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Do You Need to Detox?

Jul 16, 2008
If you eat a good diet and follow healthy eating guidelines do you need to detox - and if you do, how should you go about it? The human body is a self-righting mechanism and has an almost infinite capacity to sort out most problems that occur, including dealing with the toxins we ingest on a daily basis. If our bodies were man made machines with all the interlinking systems that are required, someone once calculated that they would break down every 7 seconds!

A good, balanced diet which contains all the food groups in moderate amounts will provide your body with everything it needs to function efficiently. Provided you don't do anything to deliberately harm your body, such as smoking, drinking to excess or taking harmful substances your body is likely to be able to process and filter out any toxins that you take on board. If you do indulge in any of those habits or if your diet is based on fast and junky food with lots of empty calories then your body is, in all likelihood, overstressed and in need of some support.

If you are feeling constantly unwell and picking up lots of bugs your immune system is likely to be struggling. If you are feeling weary or exhausted when you wake in the morning and you can't get past that feeling then your body is under pressure and is sending you a message. If you feel 'muzzy' headed and unable to concentrate there is most likely something wrong with the self righting systems in the body. All of these symptoms suggest that the body is under pressure, if they have only been going on for a short while then you may well benefit from a gentle detox regime to improve your mental alertness and energy level. If the symptoms have been going on for a while, or if you experience any of these symptoms to a great degree you should check with your medical practitioner in case there is something else underlying them.

There are some very simple and very basic methods to help our body that don't require too much hardship - detoxing is all very well, but if you subject your already weakened system to even more stress you may well make yourself seriously ill. You should never undertake a radical detox without medical supervision, however a simple dietary restriction detox which only lasts a day or two should not be a problem.

None of the following should be done for more than two days or you will cause more problems than you solve. Our digestive systems don't like change very much and can wreak dreadful vengeance on you! One of the simplest detox systems is just to cut out cooked foods for a day or so and eat nothing but raw fruit and vegetables. It is not advisable to eat raw meats and fish unless properly prepared. Slightly more extreme is to only have freshly prepared juices, you can buy ready made juices but it is far better (and cheaper) to invest in a juicer and make them yourself. You can put almost anything into a juice to provide the essential nutrients you need whist giving your body a rest from the hard work of digestion. Bought juices often have preservatives in them so they don't really help with the detox process.

Most extreme is the water fast. Quite simply you have nothing but water for a day, two at the most. This gives your body a total rest from the digestive process and allows it to cleanse. You should plan to rest whilst doing this, it is certainly not something to be done whilst you are at work. You will also need to eat sensibly after you finish your fast and to continue resting for a day or two.

There are also some proprietary detox products which you can buy, however these can be very fierce and strip the body of many essential vitamins and minerals and would certainly not fit in with any sensible healthy eating guidelines. If you do feel it is necessary to detox in this way you should not do so under any circumstances without first consulting your doctor. It is better to adopt a gentler approach that fits in more with the mechanisms that your own body would choose to naturally cleanse and detox your system.
About the Author
Annie Horthorne grew up in the catering business and has always been an enthusiastic and highly regarded cook. She has a special interest in healthy eating and how to make it tasty and fun. Annie's delicious healthy eating recipes can be found at The Healthy Eating Guide
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