We are surrounded by toxins, herbicides, pesticides, and industrial chemicals. The level of environmental pollution is ever increasing. The body stores toxins in its tissues, organs and cells and over time chronic toxicity may affect their functioning, your overall energy level and your sense of well being. One of the common meanings of detox describes the body’s physiological process of rendering chemicals, compounds, hormones, and toxins less harmful and excreting them appropriately. This process is according the the Institute of Functional Medicine often referred to as “metabolic detoxification.” The organs of detoxification (they include the liver, kidneys, large intestine, lymphatic system, and sweat glands) ideally work efficiently as a whole to reduce the body’s toxic load.
In part I of our IV part detox series we discussed the basics of cleansing and detoxing. Part II will give you an idea about the many benefits of eating a cleansing diet, ideally on a daily basis. Improved energy, radiant skin, better digestion, increased concentration, and clarity are just a few of the „goodies” you will experience.
Here’s your short primer – 10 benefits of eating a cleansing diet:
1. Boosts Your Energy
Many people who are on a cleansing diet feel more energetic. This makes sense because while you are detoxing, you are stopping the intake of the things that made you need a detox in the first place. By cutting out sugar, caffeine, trans fat, saturated fat, and replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll be getting a natural energy boost. It’s vital to stay well hydrated while on any detox program. Drinking enough water can already be a source of increased energy, especially if you typically don’t get enough water throughout the day.
2. Rids the Body of Any Excess Waste
One major thing detoxing does is that it allows the body to rid itself of any excess waste it has been storing. Most detox programs are designed to stimulate the body “to purge“ itself by helping the liver, the kidneys, and the colon to do a better, more efficient job. Cleansing the colon is an important part of the detoxing process. Toxins need to exit the body. A backed up colon can cause them to be reintroduced into your body, rather than exiting it as planned. Sticking with an ample amount of vegetables and fruits even after the cleansing program is completed, is a good way to keep things moving. Why? Because you want to make sure to get enough fiber.
3. Helps with Weight Loss
It’s easy to see how a detox diet would cause short term weight loss. The best long term solution, however, is to make healthy eating a habit, to support your health and well-being each and every day. Rid yourself of unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits for good. Many times we are all about a reduction in calories to achieve rapid weight loss. These short-term results are most of the time not sustainable. We need to choose healthful foods each and every day and use our newfound energy to exercise more so we keep on thriving.
4. Stronger Immune System
When you detox the body you free up your organs to function properly. This in return gives your immune system a boost since you’ll be able to better absorb nutrients like Vitamin C. Many of the herbs you take while on a detox will help the lymphatic system, which plays a big role in keeping you healthy and vibrant. Light exercise during the detox helps circulate lymph fluid through the body and also helps strengthen your immune system in the process.
6. Promotes Healthy Changes
It’s hard to change a long-standing habit, and a detox program – no matter how long – is one way to put a wedge between your old ways and your new ones. If you have addictions to sugar, caffeine, fried, or crunchy foods you can use a detox program to help you kill those cravings. Often if you just try to quit eating those foods or drinking those beverages you’ll have limited success, and go back to your old ways. But if you cleanse the body and replace those foods with healthier choices, you can re-train yourself and will more likely stick to your new habits.
7. Clearer Thinking
A good detox program will pay some attention to your state of mind during the cleanse. The use of meditation is often recommended as a way to get back in touch with your body during this time of purging and cleansing of toxins. Detox followers often say that they lose that sense of fogginess, and are able to think more clearly during a detox. It makes sense, since many of the sugar-filled and fat-filled foods that surround us each day will cause us to feel lethargic and can factor heavily in the quality of our thinking.
8. Lighter Feeling
One of the reported benefits of detoxing is a feeling of being lighter. There are several reasons why this would be the case, especially if you’ll be doing a colon cleanse as part of the program. When you stop eating foods that weigh you down, and replace them with fresh organic fruits and vegetables, a lighter feeling is bound to occur. It’s also important not to overeat while detoxing, which will yield a lighter feeling as well, and will give you the energy you’ve been missing.
9. Anti-Aging Benefits
The constant barrage of toxins that the body has to deal with is one contributing factor to the aging process. By reducing the amount of free radical damage done to the body, you’re going to see not only short term benefits like glowing skin, but also long term benefits like longevity and an overall feeling of wellbeing & increased energy. When you finish your detox program, it’s very important not to go right back to the lifestyle that was causing the toxicity. Sticking to an improved diet and getting daily activity are great ways to make sure that you feel good each moment of your life.
10. Improved Sense of Wellbeing
When you detox, you feel good, and when you feel good, good things happen. Detoxing is often used strategically to lose weight or to start a new diet plan, but really there’s no better reason than just to feel better. When you set the stage for wellbeing, you are going to improve all areas of your life.
Curious to learn more about cleansing & detoxing? Stay tuned for Part 3 and 4 of our detox series. We will talk about detox foods in detail, and also chat about the ideal lifestyle to make sure your new habits are a success on all levels.