Do we need Detox Supplements?
Detox diets have an infamous reputation for cleansing the body of toxins, helping people lose weight, give them clearer skin and clearing out all of the "bad" foods.
Liquid diets often require a person to drink water with cayenne pepper, fresh lemon or lime juice, or maple syrup, leaving a person at the point of starvation until the cleanse is complete up to 10 days later. Avoiding cigarettes, processed food and excessive alcohol is always a good idea for a healthier lifestyle, but taking the extra step of starvation is unnecessary to cleanse the body of toxins. Plus, the extra fat does not leave. It goes into hiding and resurfaces as soon as dieters goes back to their regular, unhealthy eating habits.
There's a natural antioxidant in the body that gets rid of the toxins in liquor, cigarettes and cigars, and processed foods: glutathione (GSH). Glutathione is a simple molecule that goes through the body and grabs onto any free radicals, toxins, heavy metals and other toxic items in the body.
Of course the more toxins that are in the body, the more work glutathione has to work to rid the body of these toxins. When glutathione levels are low, this can lead to high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, several types of cancer, vision impairment, digestive problems and diabetes.
However, eating more fruits and vegetables help to partner with glutathione to make the body healthier. Eating healthier is also recommended for those who want all of the goals for detoxing without a grumbling stomach and mood swings.
Nutrition books and pamphlets regularly speak on making sure people have a colorful plate of food: dark leafy greens; red, yellow or green peppers; sweet potatoes; tomatoes; carrots; red or green apples; oranges; strawberries; grapes; bananas; lemons; grapefruit; and avocado.
Those are just a few among many fruits and vegetables that help keep the digestive system on track and glutathione helping to ease the risks of deadly diseases and illnesses. Even less colorful vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale, are incredibly useful for the digestive system.
When fruits and vegetables go through the body, they cling onto bile acids in the intestine and exit their way out when a person has a bowel movement. When people are less likely to have fiber from fruits and vegetables, the extra food turns to fat and stores in all parts of the body. Extra fat leads to becoming overweight or obese.
It is no coincidence that obesity is linked to cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and reproductive problems.
Although horror stories may be told about how eating some healthy foods are linked to kidney stone risks, there are ways to prevent this. It is true that a high number of oxalate-rich foods, including leafy greens, instant coffee, soy foods and rhubarb, can increase the risks.
However, keeping track of the recommended amount of fruits, vegetables and other oxalate-rich foods that should be eaten on a daily basis can easily resolve this. For example, a 33-year-old woman who exercises less than half an hour per day would need to eat 1.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables. However, if that same woman worked out for 30 minutes to an hour, her food and vegetable daily recommended intake would increase to 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables. Visiting sites like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to enter age and exercise habits are a quick way to get an idea of the serving sizes.
While fasting may be onto something with drinking more fluids, a healthy diet includes healthy fluids anyway. No more than two cups of soda, coffee and tea are recommended daily, but water is always welcome. Lemonade or water with lemons will also help decrease the risk of kidney stones because lemon juice increases citrate levels. Animal protein, a healthy amount of calcium, salt consumption in moderation and getting enough vitamins in a meal are also equally important.
There are mixed opinions on whether people should utilize nutritional supplements to prevent toxins. One of the problems is that people can get the same vitamins on their grocery list that they can get in a pharmacy aisle. Vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, iron, magnesium, vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids phosphorus, protein, folate and niacin are all reasonable vitamins to want in the body. On the other hand, a bushel of kale has all of these vitamins and more.
However, for people who live in food deserts who cannot easily access fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamins are a reasonable alternative. For people who may not be the best at keeping track of their food and vegetable consumption, the vitamins may help push them in the right direction.
But for the consumer who regularly eats badly and thinks a vitamin washes all of the toxins away, this is not the case. There has to be some consistency in order for glutathione to work effectively. For example, someone who smokes puts himself at higher risk for cancer and lower glutathione. Someone who hangs out with smokers and is exposed to smoke on a regularly basis may also have similar risks. A person who eats badly but uses vitamins is about equal to the voluntary second-hand smoker.
In order to avoid the risks, people must take an active part in getting themselves as far away from toxins as possible. Drinking water and industrial environments carry risks of toxins that are difficult for glutathione to fight off, but the freezer aisle, fast food restaurants and regular trips to bars are much easier to ignore.
There are people who may expose themselves to toxins more often, including gardeners who use toxic pesticides. But if that same gardener is safely cleaning her fruits and vegetables from the yard and eating them, she can find ways to fight off the toxins that she may have indirectly added to her foods. The blue-collar worker who has a job working in a toxic environment may need to use safety equipment for the outside of his body, but the inside of his body also needs the same amount of protection, too.
While there is no hard and fast way to make toxins completely disappear, proper nutrition instead of fasting is a solid answer to improve nutritional habits.