In truth, our bodies need no extra cleansing—they've got the detoxing thing handled. "We have a liver and kidneys, and they are quite efficient at processing out anything toxic," American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Lona Sandon, R.D., assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, tells SELF. Colon-cleansing products might actually weaken immunity by killing good bacteria that fend off invading germs in the gut. And in the worst cases, fasting can trigger arrhythmia and even cardiac arrest because of the rapid loss of key electrolytes.
Why she cleansed Johnson, a mother of four, gained 50 to 60 pounds with each pregnancy and could never manage to get back to her starting weight. "When I'm pregnant, I don't worry about what I am eating at all," she tells SELF. After her second child, Johnson was 189 pounds and went to a health food store for weight-loss ideas. The counselor—who was not an M.D. or an R.D., the only people qualified to give diet advice—suggested a detox. After trying the master cleanse and getting sick to her stomach, Johnson created her own regimen, having only water for three days, then only juices for 17 days. She dropped weight, a predictable consequence of not eating solid food for three weeks. But she felt sluggish and bloated and found that she bruised easily. Even after her cleanse, she continued eating too few calories, skipping breakfast, and sometimes lunch and forgoing the meals she made for her family to eat merely a raw vegetable plate. She repeated this pattern (overindulging while pregnant, cleansing for 20 days, then eating raw food) two more times. "I was going to extremes," she says. "I just wanted balance."
Nutritious, delicious, and comforting, soups are a clean eating mainstay when prepared from fresh ingredients. Vegetable purees in particular are a great way to enjoy fresh-tasting creamy soups without relying on heavy cream and butter for flavor. Here, a hint of toasted sesame oil lends depth to this velvety soup. Use real baby carrots, not the whittled-down packaged ones, which are lacking in flavor. Garnish with sautéed carrot strips.
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Why she cleansed When her Bikram yoga instructor began touting detox diets, VandeKerkhof was pregnant with her first child, and the idea resonated. "I started to think a lot about toxins," she tells SELF. "Everything you eat transfers to your baby." After weaning her second child, she was bloated, tired, and anxious, and she finally gave the trend a try, spending $300 for a 28-day Arise & Shine colon-cleanse program. "For three weeks, you eat only raw foods, then for one week you have only juice or water," she says.
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Endotoxins include compounds such as lactic acid, urea and waste products from microbes in the gut. Exotoxins include environmental toxins and pollutants, pesticides, mercury in seafood, lead from car exhaust and air pollution, chemicals in tobacco smoke, dioxin in feminine care products, phthalates from plastic and parabens from lotions and cosmetics.
Reformers in these movements first attempt to convince individuals they should not drink, smoke or engage in behaviors or lifestyles harmful to health. When this does not work, public policies to prohibit the behaviors are instituted. After the main thrust of the movement, when reformers have failed to change behaviors even by legislation, a hereditarian, or eugenics movement reaches its prime. Reformers may reason that the root causes must be in the genes. During the cycle's ebb, popular changes or reforms that make sense, such as personal hygiene or sanitation, become institutionalized. On the other hand, a backlash often emerges against unpopular or restrictive reforms, such as prohibition of alcohol.
One extra note here: Chewing your produce has benefits over sipping it. It could take two heads of romaine lettuce to produce one cup of juice, and while two heads of romaine would leave you satisfied, a small cup of green juice probably won’t put a dent in hunger. Though you’ll get many of the same vitamins and minerals, juicing removes the fiber, which not only helps you fill up, but also provides important nourishment on its own.
Toxic overload is an often-overlooked factor in obesity, and the right detoxification plan can provide the nutrients your body requires to help you heal and lose weight. While these strategies are a powerfully effective starting point, a chiropractor or other healthcare professional can help you design a custom-tailored detoxification plan based on your individual needs.
^ Cook, Harold (2001). "From the Scientific Revolution to the Germ Theory". In Loudon, Irvine (ed.). Western Medicine: An Illustrated History (reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 94. ISBN 9780199248131. Retrieved 21 August 2015. By the 1830s, the increasingly widespread view that many well-established remedies, such as bleeding and purging, were actually useless or worse, made it easier to poke fun at old-fashioned doctoring.
These ruby-hued roots contain a type of antioxidant called betalains, which may help reduce chronic inflammation and repair cells in the liver thanks to their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beets also boast high amounts of dietary nitrates, which expand blood vessels and improve blood flow, and thus lower blood pressure. Consider blending your beets with a peeled orange, splash of seltzer, and some ice for a refreshing treat.
On a personal note, I make a real effort to buy almost all organic foods these days. Now that I know what I know I see it as one of the most important things I can do for me and my family’s health. Because of this, I spend a lot of money on food but have chosen to spend that money now rather than saving it for future medical bills that could have been avoided. I choose to splurge less in other areas (like clothing or fancy beauty products) because this is very important to me.
Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Fruits ― don’t think just apples or bananas. All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are great choices. Be sure to try some “exotic” fruits, too. How about a mango? Or a juicy pineapple or kiwi fruit! When your favorite fresh fruits aren’t in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety of a fresh fruit you enjoy. One caution about canned fruits is that they may contain added sugars or syrups. Be sure and choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in their own juice.
This tasty citrus fruit is well-known for its multitude of health-promoting properties, especially when it comes to detoxification. According to a 2005 animal model out of Israel, grapefruit juice was found to be incredibly effective in bumping up the levels of liver enzymes involved in detoxification. (1) Including a serving or two of grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet each day can be a simple way to keep your liver healthy and support its natural detox abilities.
And while businesses and organizations assure us all of these new things are safe, how can we really be sure? It’s already known that long-term or concentrated exposure to a number of man-made chemicals and substances is unsafe; and while still unproven, there are suspected health hazards linked to many more. Some substances haven’t been around long enough for us to know the possible long-term effects on our health.