Cleansing and detoxing is critical for good health. In a perfect world, your body would be able to detoxify naturally, without any help. It has programmed ways of getting rid of chemicals and toxins, but unfortunately, those channels don’t always work properly for various reasons. Those with compromised immune systems, chronic stress, autoimmune conditions and impaired detoxification pathways have a more difficult time detoxing. With a change of diet and lifestyle, you can reduce the body burden, clearing a path for toxins to be safely eliminated from the body. Toxins can come from the foods we eat, pans we cook on, skin care and makeup products we use and the water we drink. For this reason, I find seasonal cleansing to be particularly beneficial. This type of “tune up” allows for the body to clean itself up, much like emptying a garbage can.

The body gets rid of substances that present no benefit. Many of those substances can actually be harmful. The end goal is the same- to reduce inflammation and allow a clear pathway for detoxification.

Here are a few reasons to consider a cleanse or detox this season:

1.       Cleansing can eliminate many different toxins from your system. A cleanse can be done a few times a year to allow your body to function and feel better. During a cleanse, refined sugars, processed foods, commercially raised meats, and most grains are eliminated. Certain foods, such as lots of organic vegetables and plant based proteins are strongly encouraged. The purpose for this is to basically reduce inflammation and lighten the toxic load on the body, so fewer toxins have to be processed. While it is not necessarily meant for weight loss, most individuals do end up losing some weight when cleansing.

2.       Detoxing may include the use of an infrared saunas. Saunas heat your body to temperatures above the norm and induce sweating. The body has developed several mechanisms for purging toxins, though not all are as effective as needed. Sweating can be wonderful for the detox process. Use an infrared sauna to draw out toxins found deeper under the outer layer of skin. Start off slow, about 5 minutes, and adjust the time accordingly with more use. Showering immediately after is very important as it cleans the skin’s surface and prevents the toxins that were just released from being reabsorbed back into the skin.

3.       Specific supplementation can be an integral part of a healthy cleanse or detox protocol. Detox plans combine strategic food combining along with certain supplements. These supplements will build a nutritional profile that can increase antioxidants such as glutathione, your body’s most important antioxidant that contributes to detoxification.

4.       You may or may not feel better right away. Toxins are a diverse group of substances that interact with each individual differently. Some substances are not as easy to get rid of, and instead, are stored in your fat tissue. A detox plan, combined with weight loss, might include the risk of these toxins being released into the body again while other treatments draw those toxins out. The re-release of these toxins can actually increase symptoms of toxic overload as your body then tries to eliminate them again.  Sometimes you can feel worse before feeling better. Other times you can feel great right from the start. Each person is unique, so a cleanse tailored to your individual needs is best.