The world is filled with toxins—in the food, we eat, in the air, we breathe, and in the water, we drink. Many of our foods are loaded with toxic pesticides and preservatives to keep the food on the supermarket shelves and to grow large quantities of foods, usually imported from foreign countries that don’t have strict laws on what types of pesticides to use on growing foods.
People have increasingly turned to fasting and detoxification programs to clean out the body, especially the colon and to return the body to a natural, healthy state. However, detoxification programs and fasting is not the same thing, even though many people use these terms interchangeably.
Strictly speaking, detox is the process of using different foods and techniques to get rid of the toxic waste accumulated in the body, particularly in areas such as the liver. Fasting involves severely restricting the number of calories you take in for several days in a row, either by drinking water alone or using limited calories in juices. Some diets meet the criteria for both fasting and detoxing.
What are the benefits of fasting?
• Fasting, which can involve taking in no calories, will also starve any bacterial, parasitic, viral or fungal infections that might be brewing, especially in the gut.
• Fasting clears out the taste buds so when you stop the fast, healthy foods will taste better than ever before.
• It is a process that can depress your overall appetite so, when you cease doing the fast, you will not be as hungry, and you may continue to lose weight.
• If you are trying to lose weight, fasting can help you lose several pounds over a brief period of time. It improves your psychological resistance so you can continue on a healthy weight loss plan.
• You may also have so many toxins in the gut that food is difficult to digest.
Fasting can clear out these toxins so that your gut can heal and better digest healthy, low calorie foods. The body often needs some kind of support to detoxify itself and a fast can do just that. The body is flushed out and it will function better.
Can you detoxify without fasting?
Some people simply cannot go long without ingesting some calories. Fortunately, it is possible to detoxify your body while taking in nutritive calories. A salad detox program is a popular one. You eat mostly greens, such as dandelion leaves, mustard greens, kale, and collard greens, mixed with garlic, lemon and apple cider vinegar for extra flavor. These salad greens are the body’s natural detoxifiers so you can clear yourself from toxins and get some calories, too.
There are other vegetables that are natural detoxifiers. These include garlic, turmeric, cilantro, and cabbage. A good cabbage soup, made ahead and eaten with meals, is a good way to detoxify the body and fill up with calories that will help you lose weight. Some vegetables can be eaten with brown rice and herbs to spice up flavor and add fiber to your diet. The natural enzymes contained in vegetable detoxifying diets can aid in detoxification and rebuilding the body’s energy.
How does the detoxification work?
We detoxify in several ways. First, we provide foods that flush out the colon of unhealthy bacteria that make toxins in our gut. We can also activate the liver to better detoxify the preservatives, pesticides and other toxins so the body works better. Finally, the metabolic products of toxins can safely be eliminated in the urine. This is partly why it is a good idea to drink plenty of water during the detoxifying process.
Natural Is Always Best
Detoxifying naturally with plant foods, fresh juices is optimal as opposed to spending a fortune on some of the overhyped detox products on the market. If you do decide to use some type of product do some research, and make sure it is safe.
It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting any type of detox or fasting program.