To Detox or Not To Detox? What is the answer?


Back in 2010 when I put together my first detox group, detoxing was only popular among a very limited group of health “nuts.” However, as the years passed, detoxes became so commonplace that most people now have either participated in one or have a close friend or family member who has.

Using the word “detox” is problematic because it’s used for a wide variety of approaches, some good and some bad. It reminds me of the term “yoga” which is now used for just about any type of stretching exercise. It’s hard to know what any given yoga (or stretching) class will include, and the same is true of a detox. Do your homework before deciding on one.

As a review, let me answer the following questions:

What is detoxification?  The removal of accumulated toxins and the negative effects toxin buildup has on the body. 

Where do toxins come from? Toxins are everywhere. They are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and in skincare and cleaning products we use every day.

Why detox? The buildup of toxins has been linked to conditions such as diabetes, cancer, asthma, estrogen dominance and even obesity. Regular periods of detox can support your body in its daily task of clearing out these toxins, leading to better health, disease prevention, healing, freedom from addictions, weight loss, increased energy, clearer skin and more.

If you search for detoxes online, you might see options for a juice detox (or cleanse), fasting with water and lemon, cleaning out the colon with colonics or herbs, or using specialty drinks for detoxification.

The problem with some of these extreme approaches is, well, they’re extreme! And unless you have been leading a very healthy lifestyle and have no health issues, these detoxes could cause more harm than good. 

There’s no such thing as one size fits all, when it comes to detox. For example, if you are diabetic, fasting can be dangerous and ill-advised. If you have gout, certain detox foods like beets, can cause a flareup. Or, you might release so many toxins that your detoxification pathways get backed up. In this case certain compounds might be partially broken down and then reabsorbed in a more toxic form.

That’s why I’ve always done dietary detoxes. We look at each individual’s diet and find ways to make reasonable changes that will eliminate toxic offenders, while adding the appropriate foods that will support proper processing of toxins.  Each person and each detox should be different.

Of course, I’m happy to help if you’d like me to work with you on a personal detox. See my Detox Lifestyle page and Services

In the meantime, here are a few free tips to help you out:

1. Start a detox by increasing your consumption of water to about 8, 8-ounce glasses a day, and make sure it is purified water.

2. Cut out added sugars and juices for the duration of your detox, and limit the fruit you eat to about 1-2 each day. (I add blueberries to my morning smoothie and sometimes eat an organic apple as a snack in the afternoon.)

3. Eat as much organic food as possible.

4. Eliminate all processed foods, including white flour, white rice and white sugar of course.

5. Eliminate or cut back on common allergenic foods like gluten, dairy, corn or any other food you know causes problems for you.

6. Eat lots of vegetables and adequate but small amounts of protein (to support numerous detoxification pathways).

7. Add detox foods like radishes, artichokes, and asparagus.

8. Drink detox teas like dandelion root and nettles.

These changes will help your body handle toxins the way it was designed to do. Do not attempt a fast if you don’t typically eat the way described above. You need to prepare your body so it can handle a fast. Feel free to add juicing to your diet, but don’t fast with only juice unless your system has been prepared, and you have received approval from your doctor to do so.

Hopefully, this clears up a little of the confusion surrounding detox. 

If you’d like to pursue a more intense detox with me, spring is a great time to do so! Just fill out the Contact Me form and include “detox” in the subject.

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™