What Does It Mean to Detox?
Detoxing is a way to assist the natural body purification process. From drinking a glass of water to following a cleansing diet, detoxification can mean many things. Ultimately it is up to your preferences and your state of health to determine what detoxing means to you.
The body is always working on cleansing itself of chemicals, waste and byproducts. As we are exposed to environmental pollutants on a daily basis in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink it is inevitable that toxins find there way into the bloodstream and are either eliminated or, if there are too many for the body to naturally filter out, they are deposited in fatty tissue. Detoxing, whether it be fasting, increasing your water and fresh juice intake, altering your diet to include more fiber, exercising and/or taking purifying baths, is a way to support the liver, kidneys, skin and bowels rid the body of waste. Fasting in particular helps to release foreign substances that may have been accumulating in fatty deposits and revitalizes the body.
What Are the Benefits?
Fasting regularly allows the organs of the body a rest, encourages the release of accumulated waste and supports the organs of elimination, leading to more efficient functioning of all body systems. More mild methods of purification such as exercising, drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day and cleansing baths have a similar effect, supporting healthy, renewed organ functioning, only the effect is much milder. Only with fasting will the effects be profound. The benefits of detoxification include:
- Slowing the effects of aging
- Increased energy levels
- Improved digestion
- Stronger immune system
- Clarity of mind
- Loss of excess weight
- Clearer skin
- Elimination of excess mucous
Detoxing regularly encourages better lifestyle habits such as eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, learning how to
make fresh juices and taking the time to focus on health.
Will cleansing prevent disease? If done routinely it may help to ward off degenerative diseases. Detoxification in addition to eating a healthy diet, exercising and supporting mental health will inevitably improve well-being and reduce the risk of disease and many common health problems.
For the most detoxification benefits, be sure to eat a diet of fresh, not cooked foods the day before and the day after a fast. Do not fast on water alone, but rather consume fresh juices, broths and herbal teas while fasting. If in good health a monthly one to three day fast and an annual five to ten day fast is recommended, although it is important to build up to more intense detoxing, to learn as much as you can about cleansing safely and to do only what is right for you.
Balch, Phyllis A. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing.” Fourth Edition (Penguin Books, 2006).
Page, Linda. “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition” (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
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