Cleansing By Detoxing To Remove Toxins

Maria Rodale

CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc. and book author

Why should you do a cleanse?

The main purpose is to clear the body of toxins, contaminants, and heavy metals that can accumulate in joints, organs, tissues, cells, and in the bloodstream.

These health-robbing pollutants can come from a number of sources, including pesticides, environmental contaminants, everyday household products, overprocessed foods and packaging agents, alcohol, OTC and prescription drugs, and more.

By giving your body a break from its toxic burden and deeply nourishing yourself with the right foods, supplements, and exercise, you can reach a new level of health and vitality.

A gentle cleanse can also help improve mental clarity and emotional stability; balance blood sugar, reducing cravings and crashes; and increase strength, flexibility and stamina, and more.

The Signs of Toxin Overload.

Toxin overload in the body can potentially express itself through a dizzying array of symptoms.

The most common are:

  • chronic digestive complaints,
  • joint problems,
  • skin conditions,
  • persistent allergies,
  • frequent colds or flu,
  • head and body aches,
  • lethargy,
  • weight gain,
  • irritability, and
  • mental fog.

(If you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis, however, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out other possible conditions.)

The Health Benefits of Gentle Detoxification.

Normally, our detoxification organs and systems–liver, kidneys, digestive, lymphatic, lungs, and skin–would successfully eliminate most contaminants.

In today’s world however, many of us can benefit significantly and noticeably from a gentle cleanse. The health effects are numerous and can often be experienced in just a matter of days, particularly the greater energy and vitality that can result.

Other important benefits include:

  • improved digestion and immunity,
  • reduced inflammation,
  • stabilized blood sugar,
  • increased circulation,
  • healthier weight,
  • balanced hormones,
  • clearer skin, and
  • improved well-being on all levels.

Long-term exposure to toxins has been linked to numerous types of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic, life-threatening conditions.


How to Get Started.

How long your cleanse program lasts is up to you:

It can be three days, three weeks, or three months, depending on your lifestyle, health goals, and so forth.

Any detox program can easily be tailored to suit your individual needs, but regardless of how long or what type of program you do, there are a several key components, listed below, which are essential to a successful cleanse. They serve as the basic foundation for a cleanse program, and they can also be combined with other therapies to enhance your experience.

Essentials of a Healthy Cleanse

A cleansing and hydrating detox diet.

A cleansing diet is at the heart of any detoxification program. The goal is to focus on organic, nutrient-dense, and minimally processed foods.

Here are the basics:

Eat less animal protein, particularly red meat and dairy. Instead, favor organic plant-based proteins, which will help ease digestive stress and improve elimination. You can incorporate a plant-based protein powder to supplement and fill your protein needs. Green powders, made of concentrated greens such as cereal grasses, sprouts, and green vegetables, can add extra nutritional value and increased detox support.

Eat more alkaline fresh vegetables, such as cucumber, spinach, broccoli, avocado, to counteract the acidity toxins create. An alkaline environment in the body helps promote oxygenation and detoxification, among other health benefits. Emphasize other low-starch leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and collard greens. Vegetables may be eaten raw, juiced, steamed, or sautéed in liquid.

Add fiber to your diet, such as flax or chia seeds, psyllium, or rice bran.

Include probiotic foods to improve digestive and overall health by reintroducing healthy probiotic flora (beneficial bacteria) to the digestive tract. Probiotics, like yogurt, pickles, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and kimchi, are shown to boost immunity, support detoxification, improve nutrient assimilation, and promote overall health.

Eliminate inflammatory foods, that can cause increased toxic body burden, such as alcohol, sugars, processed foods, trans fats, cooked oils, caffeinated beverages, and nonorganic foods.

Drink plenty of pure, filtered water (at least 64 ounces per day), as well as herbal tea. Homemade vegetable broth is an excellent addition, as it’s very nutrient rich and hydrating.




Updated: July 1, 2012 — 8:13 am