It is an unfortunate fact that we live in a toxic world. Most of us are exposed to a litany of toxic substances from the air, water and food we encounter on a daily basis. Those of us living in urban and suburban areas likely have hundreds of toxic compounds circulating in our blood at this very moment.
Common toxins include pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, halogens, xenoestrogens, plasticizers and pharmaceuticals, among many others.
These toxins slowly poison the body over the course of many years, eventually leading to conditions like cancer and autoimmune diseases.
This is why it is so important to regularly detoxify the body.
Many detox programs are extreme, however, and some can even be dangerous. That is why it is important to understand the detoxification process so you can choose a program that is both safe and effective for you.
The human body is a miraculously intelligent and adaptive system that is continually detoxifying itself. However, when the body is overloaded with too many toxins, the detoxification pathways become congested, lymph flow begins to stagnate, the liver becomes overwhelmed and the digestive system can even malfunction.
The goal of a good detoxification program is to remove the toxic and inflammatory foods and decongest the detoxification pathways so as to allow the body's own innate intelligence to detoxify and heal itself.
Pretty much everyone can safely perform some version of a detox. For those who are pregnant or nursing, have serious illness or are on medication, it is necessary to consult a doctor who can supervise the process.
Now that you know why you need to detox, where do you start?
Which Detox Is Right for You?
With so many detoxes, fasts and cleanses available, it can be confusing trying to figure out which one is right for you.
Before you decide, it is important to realize that not all detox programs are the same.
Some detox protocols work better than others, and some detoxes can actually be harmful to certain individuals!
Types of Detox:
This has become very trendy in recent years with dozens of juice shops now in most urban centers. Typically done between three and seven days, although some people can maintain for many months, juice fasts can be beneficial for some people, but there are definite dangers to be aware of. The idea is that, by consuming a liquid-only diet, you can give the digestive system a break. Combined with the nutrient density of the vegetables, on the surface this seems like a reasonable proposition.
However, many juices are loaded with high sugar fruits. When juiced and removed from their associated fiber, fruit juice becomes a high glycemic sugar bomb that can spike the blood sugar levels and lead to inflammation. Even while low-sugar vegetable juice can be a great source of dense nutrition, it still removes all the fiber from the vegetables, which is essential in escorting toxins from the body and maintaining a healthy microbiome.
If you think juice fasting is extreme, then the Master Cleanse will make you think twice. This detox program involves consuming nothing but a concoction of water with lemon, cayenne and honey for 1-10 days. With a similar goal as juice fasting, the Master Cleanse aims to give the digestive system a rest so that the body can focus on detoxification.
Although there are many people who report favorable results with the Master Cleanse, it is an extreme cleanse that may be too dramatic for most. A cleanse of this nature can cause such a large release of toxins from the body that it can lead to what is called a Herxheimer reaction. A Herxheimer reaction consists of symptoms associated with a considerable release of toxins from the body into the blood.
This happens because, during this type of cleanse, the body will eventually switch over to burning body fat for fuel. Most toxins are fat soluble, which means they are stored in the body fat. As your metabolism begins to consume your body fat for energy, these toxins are released, causing havoc on their way out.
Additionally, it utilizes cayenne pepper, which is a nightshade and inflammatory for a subset of the population, and this cleanse completely lacks fiber, which is essential for effectively escorting toxins out of the body.
Bone Broth Fast
As bone broth has exploded in popularity, many people have turned to using this nourishing food as a tool to cleanse. The idea here is similar in that a liquid diet allows the digestive system to rest as the myriad of nutrients in the broth help heal the gut and nourish the body.
Bone broth fasts work well for those with conditions such as leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and candida.
However, for the majority of people, this diet can also be too extreme. It also lacks fiber which, again, is crucial to the effective elimination of toxins.
Dr. Colbert's 21-Day Detox
This program has been specially formulated by Dr. Colbert as the most balanced and effective detoxification protocol available. All inflammatory foods such as dairy, grains, sugar, meat and nightshades are removed from the diet. They are replaced by living, healing foods such as vegetables, low glycemic fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.
You are still able to eat regular meals so that you have adequate energy and feel satiated throughout the day. You also receive adequate fiber so that the toxins that are released from your fat cells can be easily escorted out of the body.
The 21 Day Detox gives you all the benefits of detoxification without any of the dangers of an extreme liquid diet. This is designed to awaken your body's own innate healing and detoxification potential by eliminating toxic and inflammatory foods while still nourishing the body with regular meals.
Safe and Effective
Detoxification can be completely safe if you choose the right program. Although there are many viable cleansing options, many of these diets are extreme and potentially dangerous. That's why Dr. Colbert developed his 21-Day Detox system. It provides the body with everything it needs to heal, while eliminating everything that can interfere with the body's ability to naturally detoxify.
Don Colbert, M.D., has been board certified in Family Practice for over 25 years and practices anti-aging and integrative medicine. He is a New York Times best-selling author of books such as The Bible Cure Series, What Would Jesus Eat, Deadly Emotions, What You Don't Know May Be Killing You, and many more with over 10 million books sold. He is the medical director of the Divine Health Wellness Center in Orlando, Florida where he has treated over 50,000 patients.
This article originally appeared at drcolbert.com.