Written by Dr. Leone Elliott
I’m pretty sure most of us have heard about this and some may have even tried it. This subject of cleanses in general was popularized by pop culture and this blog is just my opinion on the topic. It is based purely on evidence-based scientific literature so, please forgive me in advance if this clashes with your opinion on the topic.
BOOM! How do you like that for a disclaimer?
No seriously though. I understand the sentiment and motivation about wanting to do a cleanse. Let’s face it…I think it’s centered around the fact that we put a lot of things into our bodies that are not healthy, so selling people the idea that they may need to do a “cleanse” is easily justified.
Just for clarification purposes, there are different kinds of cleanses so it might be useful to categorize that now.
There are dietary cleanses and these are what are sometimes referred to as “Clean eating” or “Eating Clean”. For example, one might do a juice cleanse or a fast/ restrictive dieting and that can be considered a cleanse. The other type of cleanse is the one from the opposite end and that is called a colon cleanse. That is another topic all its own so I will tackle that in another blog/ email.
The fact of the matter though is that there is little evidence that a ‘cleanse” or “detox”, fasting or drinking special potions actually removes toxins from our bodies. The truth is that our bodies do a helluva damn good job doing that all on its own…with very little help from you might I add.
The liver, kidneys, lungs and skin exist in large part to do just this task by filtering out impurities and eliminating it in urine, sweat, breath and feces. In fact, if you believe in cleanses, you are not alone.
It turns out this belief has been perpetrated from as way back as the ancient Egyptians. They used to purge their colons at specific times during the lunar cycle. The ancient Greeks also believed that eating allowed “demonic forces” to enter their body and embraced fasting as an antidote.
Hollywood A-listers like Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher all dabbled in cleanses but used them as a way to shed pounds after the holidays, before an upcoming role or prior to walking the red carpet. These diets range from raw food to a 48-hour lemonade diet.
All in all, the real verdict is that a Detox does not rid your body of toxins or pollutants. However, having periods of time when you consume fewer unhealthy substances such as alcohol, caffeine, artificial preservatives and pesticides cannot hurt you and can only be beneficial. The better question is, how can we do these things on a much longer and more sustainable basis? That’s where we can help. We can provide you resources of food choices you can make so you can feel healthier and more in control of your health in general.