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What is a Detox?

By: Rachel Collier - Updated: 11 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Detox Detoxification Detox Diet Diet

Detoxification, or detox, is the term used to describe the way our bodies remove toxins, either naturally occurring or ingested, via a process of elimination or neutralisation. Put simply, this means that potentially damaging matter is expelled our systems in the form of urine and faeces. Many different complaints, from tiredness and skin problems to digestive disorders, are said to be improved with better detoxification.

Helping Hand

Fans of alternative medicine widely believe that modern lifestyles have increased the need for us to assist our congested bodies with the detoxification process, primarily through diet, though exercise and spiritual activities such as yoga can also play a part. It is thought that these measures increase our ability to manage the toxins we take in to our systems, from such sources as pesticides and additives in food, chemicals found in cleaning products, medical and recreational drugs, poor diet and everyday pollution.

Diet To Detox

Detox diets are extremely popular and numerous, with some more extreme than others. Most are short, with plans ranging from two days to one month, all with the emphasis on purging our bodies of unhealthy toxins, rather like a deep clean. Detox diets commonly follow a period of excess – after Christmas is when many people decide to embark upon their first detox.

Food For Thought

By encouraging us to eat fresh, high-fibre and organic foods and stock up on vitamins and antioxidants, detox diets not only give our bodies the essential tools they need to process harmful matter, but also help educate us to avoid overloading our systems in future. Together with avoiding certain types of foods, such as sugar, refined products and ‘bad’ fats, and increasing water intake, the human body gets the deep cleanse it needs for fighting fitness.

Jump Around

Exercise is a great way to complement a detox-focused lifestyle. It is a fact that exercise helps us to function more efficiently, pumping blood around the body and increasing the amount of oxygen in our cells, helping them to function. Sweating also expels toxins, and the deep-breathing techniques associated with yoga and similar practices help to cleanse the lymphatic system, which holds on to pollutants within the body.

Off the Shelf

Although there is much debate over their effectiveness, detox supplements are widely available in the form of herbal and other natural products. These can be expensive, yet they remain popular even though many detox advocates believe they are no substitute for a healthy diet.

Extreme Detox

For the brave detox dieter, colonic hydrotherapy is thought to cleanse the digestive system very effectively, reducing bloating and even promoting clearer skin. This is perhaps the most daunting of a handful of extreme detox methods, all of which should be investigated fully before you embark upon a treatment. For those of a squeamish disposition, using a dry body brush every day is said to purge the body of toxins by stimulating the lymph system into action.

Detox is a controversial and much-debated topic. While some methods are somewhat severe, by adopting certain elements to suit your lifestyle you can help your body get back to being beautiful, in no time.

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