Who hasn’t heard about cleanses or detox diets that promise to address weight gain, afternoon fatigue, brain fog, hormone imbalance, insomnia, low libido, gas and bloating, to name but a few health issues?  Do these “cleanses” work?  If so, which cleanse is best and how does one “detox “the body?

A quick online search comes up with a greater variety of detox programs than there are ice cream flavors at Ben & Jerry’s. Some would have you believe that you need to drink juiced fruits and veggies, others that you need to purge your bowels, drinking oils to stimulate your gallbladder. There’s some merit to these strategies and some people may get results that unfortunately are often short lived and the “detox” oftentimes has to be repeated. Furthermore, some may experience worsening symptoms.  So, let’s talk about detox strategies that are gentle and effective.

Let our premise be that our bodies have the innate ability to heal, always trying to achieve health. We cannot expect to achieve health without removing obstacles to cure.

Over a lifetime we build up toxins due to exposures to chemicals, poor dietary choices, lack of movement, and lack of sleep. Here are a few ways to address them.

  1. Avoid exposures to chemicals.
    Look through your skin care products, your pantry, your garage, and get rid of insecticides, pesticides, chemical fragrances, and foods with lists of ingredients you cannot identify or pronounce. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s lists of non-toxic products for more info.
  1. Clean your gut by fasting on nourishing bone broths.
    Bone broth fasts are a great way of eliminating sugars, carbohydrates and fiber while providing nutrients and fuel. A guided bone broth fast helps clean out the pounds of bacteria and yeasts in our intestines that stoke the flames of inflammation, bacteria that prevent us from losing weight, and that promote gas and bloating. If you are gassy and bloated after meals, you are fermenting food in your body.
Exercise for a healthy body
  1. Move your body.
    Moving your body literally helps you clean out your cells, blood, and organs. Movement promotes the production and release of a compound called Nitric Oxide which increases blood flow in your body. This allows for more oxygen delivery to every cell, thereby improving cellular metabolism. When you can improve oxygen delivery and metabolism, your cells will begin cleaning house and dumping toxins.
  1. Sleep when your body calls for it.
    The importance of sleep cannot be overstated. A good rest allows for a reset of the nervous system whereby neurotransmitters and receptors are able to rebalance and recharge, hormones that promote tension are given a chance to return to baseline, and the body is able to repair from injury. If you are not feeling rested upon waking, you may want to be evaluated for sleep apnea.

These are very simple and effective strategies for detoxing the body and restoring health. For more personal guidance make an appointment with one of our healthcare providers.

By Dr. McClane Duncan