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Important Facts about Body Cleansing and Detox Diets

Body detoxification is an alternative medicine approach to health and wellness. Due to an increase in environmental toxicity along with an unhealthy diet, many people suffer from common ailments such as fatigue and headaches. While your body has a natural ability to expel most of these toxins, natural detoxification can help to get rid of pollutants that accumulate over time. There are several ways to detox, including a colon cleanse and a detox diet.


What Is a Colon Cleanse?

A colon cleanse is not something you should do on a regular basis. Bowel cleansing helps the bowels to reduce waste and aids other organs of the body in the elimination process. Also, the use of alcohol and drugs affects the body, particularly the kidneys and liver; with prolonged exposure to these substances, these structures may stop functioning properly, resulting in obesity and diabetes. Eliminating toxins can help prevent the development of long-term health problems.

The practice of colon cleansing dates back to ancient Greece. This measure became popular in the U.S. in the 1920s. Products used include enzymes, teas, colon irrigation, and oral agents. A bowel cleanse with a powdered or liquid supplement can be done by mouth or through the rectum. Many health food stores, pharmacies, Internet sites, and supermarkets carry these products.

A colon hydrotherapist performs colon irrigation, which is similar to an enema. While you lie on a table, a gravity-based reservoir or low-pressure pump flushes water through a small tube that is inserted into your rectum. You hold that in while the therapist massages your abdomen. When you release this fluid, the process flushes out toxins along with feces and the fluid. Sometimes, the irrigation fluid contains probiotics, enzymes, herbs, and/or coffee.

Detox Diets

Detox diets are considered extreme weight loss interventions by many. Detoxing is based on the concept that your body needs flushed of unwanted, harmful toxins found in processed foods and the environment. Once free of these toxins, the body works better and your metabolism increases so you can shed pounds.

Most detox diets follow a low-calorie pattern with the inclusion of vegetables, fruits, and assorted supplements. Many people consider detox diets as "fads" with weight regain occurring soon after the diet is over. Much of the initial weight loss is due to "water weight" loss.

There are certain foods that cleanse the body naturally. By eating the right foods, you can rid your body of harmful toxins. Common cleansing foods include wild rice, cabbage, papaya, carrots, peaches, celery, and cauliflower. Additionally, green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are alkaline foods that maintain alkalinity in the blood by neutralizing excess sugar from the diet. These foods can remove toxic substances from the blood, as well.

  • Lemon Detox Diet – Invented by Stanley Burroughs, this diet is called the Master Cleanse. It consists of using lemon juice, maple syrup, water, and cayenne mixed together for ten days.
  • Fruit Flush Detox Diet – This diet was created by Jay Robb who believes you can shed excess pounds and rid the body of toxins in three days by eating natural fruits. To stick to the regimen, you must eat fruit every two hours keep blood sugar levels stable.
  • Colon Detox Diet – For someone with constipation, this detox diet takes around ten days. To adhere to the plan, you eat lots of freshly juiced vegetables and drink soup and water. In addition, you use a cleansing enema. The benefits include enhanced immunity and improved energy.
  • Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet – Based on an effective Ayurvedic medicine approach, this regimen eliminates all acidic foods so the body can eliminate toxin buildup. The foods supposedly alter the PH balance in the body.
  • Raw Food Detox Diet – Developed by a nutritionist, Natalia Rose, this diet involves consuming raw foods at your own pace. To improve the digestion process, fruits and vegetables provide nutrition while detoxing the body. This program differs from a typical vegan diet in that it allows for healthy animal products.

How to Detox

When you detox, there are some things to remember. First of all, do no harm yourself. You need to be cautious to avoid dehydration and electrolyte disturbances. Many natural cleansing methods come with electrolyte drinks to replace what is lost. One of the main theories behind detoxification is the age-old belief of autointoxication. With this belief, people feel that undigested meat and other foods cause mucus buildup in the intestines, and this produces toxins. These toxins enter into circulation via the blood and poison all areas of the body. The goals of body cleansing are to improve mental outlook, lose weight, enhance the immune system, and reduce the risk of colon cancer.


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WebMD (2013). Natural Colon Cleansing: Is It Necessary? Retrieved from:

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