Why you don’t need a Juice Cleanse to “Detox”
With the start of the new year everywhere you look you can see someone talking about doing a cleanse or detoxing. Over the last few years this term has become very trendy and seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.
But do we really need to do a detox?
Lets talk about what a detox really means. By definition detox means ‘a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification. Specific detox diets vary — but typically a period of fasting is followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water.’
Our body has its own built in detox systems that help to get rid of toxic and unhealthy substances on its own called our liver. It is complex multi-phased process that helps keep our body healthy.
Fasting and following a strict diet has not been proven to help to make this process any faster, quicker or more effective. In fact, our body needs certain amino acids that are provided by proteins for our body to complete phase 2 detoxification and most juice cleanses do not provide any protein therefore poorly designed.
However, I understand the feeling of wanting to clean up your diet and removing foods that will make you feel sluggish and weigh you down. So instead of doing a harsh detox or cleanse here are some ways to help make changes to your diet.
Increase water consumption. Water is used in almost every body process and we would not be able to produce the natural detox processes without it. Therefore it is important to drink ample amounts of water to help the body do it its job. Carry around a bottle of filtered water all day long to ensure you are drinking enough water. Vegetables are mostly water so eating plenty of vegetables will help to increase water intake. Green tea and natural coconut water are also great drinks that help support the body in detoxification.
Remove processed foods. Processed foods are the number one hidden source of fats and sugars. Removing processed foods helps to reduce excess calories, fat and sugar and also additional chemicals and preservatives that may put excess stress on our built in detox systems.
Remove added sugars. Sugars are not all created equally, sugars found in cakes, candy, and cookies can increase inflammation in your body and cause disease. Removing sugar can help you realize how sweet natural sugars that are found in fruits can be. By removing processed sugars from your diet can help take stress off your body’s natural detoxing processes and reduce inflammation in the body.
Eat Lean Protein. Our detox mechanisms run on amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins therefore it is important to eat lean proteins. Proteins are also help to keep us full and our hormones balanced so we don’t get those crazy cravings that can occur with juice cleanses. Choose foods that are organic and grass fed beef, free range poultry, cold-water fish and farm fresh eggs.
Fill up on Fiber. Fiber is important for our digestive system, it help to keep things moving along and keep us regular. Eating foods with a good amount of fiber like vegetables along with water with help to keep anything we eat and want to get rid of out of our body.
Get a Sweat on. Our skin is our largest organ and another vehicle our body uses to help remove toxins from our body. In order to assist our body in these processes it is a good idea to help the body sweat though high intensity exercises and also saunas.
Sleep. Sleeping is our bodies reset button and helps to restore balance back into our body. The more we sleep the more our body is able to rest and reset. The shorter we sleep the more stress we put on our bodies and less we are able to help it restore and do it’s job like detoxing.
These simple changes to your lifestyle and diet can help to avoid restrictive juice cleanses while giving you the results you desire.