Ask the Wellness Educator
Should I do a Spring detox?
I have been viewing your site and would like to know about cleansing. I hear so much about detox and cleansing the body to get rid of all the toxins. What would you suggest to use and do you feel that detoxing/cleansing should be done?
Dr. Jen's Answer:
Detoxification is the body's way of breaking down and metabolizing the toxins and unwanted materials that we have absorbed through the gut, lungs, and skin. The process is naturally occurring continuously in our bodies, at variable rates depending on what level of toxins we have been exposed to. To say we are "doing a detox" or a "cleanse" means we are intentionally taking steps that support and enhance the natural detox process, while simultaneously attempting to reduce the levels of toxins we are exposed to.
Starting with the second part, reducing toxin exposure, be sure to consume only healthy foods that don't have chemicals, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. It's best to stick with mainly organic fruits and vegetables, although some people choose to fast. Avoid alcohol, medications, and any other toxins that you can control.
The goal of the detox is to support the liver with the nutrients it needs to effectively process toxins. Glutathione is a nutrient that is synthesized in the body from three amino acids (glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine.) It is a potent antioxidant and helps metabolize toxins. When the body can't synthesize glutathione at an adequate pace, detoxification slows; this is when supplementation is indicated.
Milk thistle extract offers the active constituent silymarin, which acts to support and protect the liver. It is well-established to be an aid for chronic hepatitis and alcohol-related disease. It can be used in a detox program to optimize the liver's detox process and protect the liver from harmful toxins.
Antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, lipoic acid, selenium, and green tea extract are also indicated during a detox program. Free radicals are generated during the metabolic process, and antioxidants need to be on hand to neutralize potentially damaging free radicals.
If this is your first detox, it's wise to start off slow and keep it simple. If you try to do too much all at once, you could end up feeling sick, potentially experiencing a variety of symptoms, such as a rash, nausea, headache, or brain fog. If you experience a strong reaction, take a break and let your body recover as long as it needs. There is no point in making yourself sick in order to become healthier!
Yours in Health,