The Benefits of Detox
Posted on 19 January 2015
What is Detox?
Detox, short for detoxification, is the body's natural, ongoing process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. Toxins are anything that can potentially harm body tissue, including waste products that result from normal cell activity, such as ammonia, lactic acid and homocysteine, and human-made toxins that we are exposed to in our environment, food, and water. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic systems work together to ensure that toxins are transformed chemically to less harmful compounds and excreted from the body.
What is a Detox Diet?
The term is used to refer to a program of diet, herbs, and other methods of removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body.
There are many different types of detox diets. Generally, a detox diet is a short-term diet that:
- Minimizes the amount of chemicals ingested (for example, by eating organic food).
- Emphasizes foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification.
- Contains foods, such as high fiber foods and water, that draw out and eliminate toxins by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and urination.
Why do People go on a Detox Diet?
A growing body of research suggests that many of the chemicals we ingest daily through food, water, and air can become deposited in fat cells in our bodies. Toxins include pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, and cigarette smoke. A diet that lacks certain nutrients may also impair our natural ability to detoxify chemicals, which further leads to their build-up in the body.
The cumulative load, called the "body burden", is thought to lead to illness and has been linked to hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, nutritional deficiency, and an inefficient metabolism. Signs are thought to include indigestion, poor concentration and sluggishness, headaches, bad breath, fatigue, poor skin, and muscle pain.