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Top Health Benefits Of A Detox
Most people have seen advertisements or infomercials on TV about the benefits of detox programs, “juice cleansing” and other approaches to removing “toxins” from your body. But what do these terms mean, and what are the actual benefits of going through a dietary detox plan? Let’s explore the facts and determine if a detox program is right for you.
Defining What a “Detox” is
The terminology on this topic can be somewhat confusing, because quite a lot of people, including nutritionists and health news sources, use the term “detox” and “cleanse” interchangeably. For the most part, it isn’t incorrect to do so. This is, of course, different from the detox programs offered at rehabilitation centers to help people with drug and alcohol addiction.
A “detox” in this context is a program in which a person voluntarily restricts their intake of certain foods and drinks in order to rid themselves of harmful effects which supposedly come from their consumption. For example, they might be told to give up meat and/or carbohydrates or sugar for the duration of the program.
In addition to this, they might consume a special type of juice or concocted beverage specifically designed to aid in the “cleansing” process. Someone undergoing the master cleanse, one of the more famous detox programs, would do an iodized salt water flush in the morning, and a special blend of lemonade, cayenne pepper and maple syrup several times per day. A typical detox program lasts 5 to 10 days, but some programs are shorter and can be done in 24 to 48 hours.
The Benefits of Doing a Detox
Many people report getting positive results from following a detox program. Some of the benefits associated with following a detox program are:
1. Removing harmful free radicals from the body. A “free radical” is formed when an oxygen molecule splits in two and leaves unpaired electrons to run amok, searching around for other electrons to pair with. Inevitably it tries to “steal” electrons from molecules contained in cells. When this occurs, it triggers a chain reaction of free radicalization and damages the cells affected. Free radical damage, also known as “oxidative stress,” is linked to an increased risk of conditions like cancer, inflammatory diseases, neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, and a plethora of other medical problems.
Much of this damage is triggered by the foods we eat, including foods high in sugar and inflammatory, unnatural fats. Since most detox programs call for such foods to be eliminated from the diet, they prevent damaging free radicals from accumulating in your body. For the best results, continue to avoid these foods after your detox program, and instead adopt a diet with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
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2. You will have more energy. One of the more commonly reported benefits of doing a detox program is having more energy. According to Natural News, this is because the typical modern diet includes a lot of unhealthy foods which pollute your body with toxins that accumulate over time, leading to a general lack of energy. The kidneys are especially likely to be affected, since they are the organs which are actually in charge of detoxifying the body by cleaning the blood. Taking in in unhealthy food all the time just makes their job harder. A detoxing cleanse can help ease the burden on the kidneys and rid your body of toxins.
3. Clear thinking. Have you ever experience “brain fog”? This may be due to toxins as well! It’s no surprise, then, that many people who do a detox find they are able to think more clearly and perform better at mental tasks.
4. Weight loss. This is one of the oldest benefits associated with a detox program. Many programs require you to go on a strict fruit or vegetable diet or even fast while undergoing the cleanse. The combination of a lower caloric intake and beneficial compounds contained in the detox beverages can help boost metabolism and facilitate the loss of fat. (One word of caution, however: you may want to reduce your level of exercise during a detox program since you will be taking in fewer calories, and your body has less fuel to direct toward physical activity. In such a condition, you are more likely to quickly get tired or feel faint.)
If you’ve never tried it before, try a detox program out today. It just might drastically change the way you feel!