The idea of doing a cleanse or a detox is that you temporarily make a drastic change to your diet so that your body can flush out all the toxins it has accumulated so that it can then heal its self. Depending on where you look, you may find information suggesting that cleanses will help you lose weight, improve your digestions, fight cancer, and many more claims. But is this really the case?
There are lots of different types of cleanses and detoxes, but they all follow the same general scheme. You stop eating most foods, primarily solid foods. Instead, you take in a very narrow range of foods, for example, you drink fruit juice or green tea. During the first day or two, you might feel good, but soon after you can start to get sluggish, tired, and often end up with gastrointestinal distress.
These diets are typically very low calorie. They also lack all the things our bodies need to keep working well, for example, protein and fat. The best thing you can say about a cleanse is that it might help you lose some weight in the short term and may give you a vitamin boost. But there aren’t any long-term gains. The lack of benefits is for one key reason - you don’t need to change your diet to detox. Your body is actively ‘cleansing’ every day.
How Your Body Does A Cleanse
The idea that you need to do something drastic to rid your body of toxins is incorrect. Your body is amazing. Really! Every day numerous systems in your body work to keep you healthy by processing and eliminating any toxins.
Your kidneys are powerhouses when it comes to cleansing. Their primary purpose is to clean and filter toxins out of your blood. They filter everything you don’t want in your blood out and get rid of it through your urine. They are so good at their job that you can even manage with only one kidney and live a healthy life just fine.
When you think about your lungs, you probably only think about breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. But, your lungs do so much more than that. Your lungs act as filters. They catch dust, dirt, and germs that might enter your body, and then trap it all in mucus until it can be gotten rid of.
If there is an organ that most of us take for granted, it is probably our skin. It is not only the largest organ we have but also one of the most important. Your skin is the ultimate barrier. It prevents toxins from even entering our body in the first place, rendering a body detox unnecessary.
Your liver is another wonderful organ. It performs a lot of essential roles. In terms of cleansing our body, there are two big things it does. Firstly, it is involved in supporting the kidneys to make sure that toxins are filtered out of your blood. Secondly, it produces digestive juices which destroy dangerous chemicals and toxins that you might ingest.
Your blood is like the transport system for your body. It passes through every cell and picks up all the waste. This stops toxins from building up and keeps everything neat and tidy.
It might not be glamorous, but it is essential. Your colon is the last stop on your digestive system. It removes anything you might need and packages up all the waste so that you can get rid of it.
If your blood is the system that carries away waste products, then your lymphatic system is the one that bags up all the waste. It filters the contents of your cells and removes all the waste products. It packages them up in white blood cells so your blood can carry it all away.
So, Can You Help Your Body Cleanse?
Western diets can be a little heavy on the body. Highly processed foods can contain more chemicals that our body needs to filter out. There are some small healthy changes you can make that will keep your body in tip-top condition.
- Drink more water. If your urine is not clear, you need to drink more. This will help your kidneys do their job.
- Go easy on your beauty products. When you put large amounts of beauty products on your skin, it can make it harder for your skin to do its job. You don’t have to give everything up, just be mindful of how many products you use. It can help to opt for natural products, rather than those with harsh, synthetic chemicals.
- Watch your weight. If your BMI is too high, or too low, it puts added strain on your organs.
- ‘Cleanse’ your mind. What’s going on in your head affects your whole body. So, look after yourself and practise mindfulness; this will help to keep you healthy inside and out.
So, stop worrying about detoxing and start trusting your body. Trust us; it’s got it handled.