Modern life exposes humans to tons of toxins that their more primitive ancestors never encountered. Many of these substances can have adverse health effects. Understandably, you would want to rinse them away before they could damage your tissues.
However, how effective are some of the most frequently used cleansing methods? Here’s an overview of five popular techniques that answers the question, “Do detoxes work?”
People have restricted food and sometimes fluid intake since time immemorial for various purposes. You may or may not hope to achieve spiritual discipline or enlightenment, but you could enjoy multiple health benefits if you safely employ this technique.
One of the most popular methods is periodic fasting. The evidence suggests that this detox technique does work. Recent research from the University of Alabama indicates that obese men who restrict their eating to an 8-hour period each day had dramatically lower insulin levels, improved insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure than those who extended their snacking over 12 hours.
Another intense meta-analysis recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that fasting offers multiple health benefits. It helps to regulate your metabolism, lower blood sugar, lessens inflammation and clears away toxins and damaged cells to reduce cancer risk and improve brain function.
To fast safely, you need to limit the time you restrict food. Even though human beings can go for a fairly long time without nourishment, prolonged fasting causes adverse health effects.
Instead, why not give periodic fasting a try? You can do so in one of several ways:
- Time-restricted eating: This method might be the most popular, especially among those who generally skip breakfast. Some people restrict their eating to a 10-hour window daily; other folks do eight.
- The twice-a-week method: Also known as the 5:2 technique, you restrict your calorie consumption twice a week while eating normally the rest. You do eat small portions, generally no more than 600 to 800 calories daily.
- Alternate-day fasting: In this form of intermittent fasting, you fast every other day while eating normally in between.
- Once-a-week full fast: While this plan isn’t for the undedicated, it offers considerable freedom six days a week. On the seventh, you don’t consume anything but fluids.
However, do keep in mind that if you eat nothing but junk during your “normal” dining periods, you won’t benefit your health much. You still need to focus on eating whole foods close to their natural forms, shunning white flour, sugar and other additives as much as reasonable.
2. Lemon Water
Steer clear of claims that lemon water will cleanse your gastrointestinal tract of built-up toxins. To scrub your intestines, you need to get more fiber in your diet. However, lemon water still has some impressive benefits that may convince you to add it to your repertoire.
For one, lemons add a splash of flavor to plain water, which comes in handy if you can’t stomach the stuff from the tap. Anything that helps you stay hydrated lets your body’s natural elimination system detox your body through your urine after your kidneys cleanse your blood.
Furthermore, if you are prone to anemia because of absorption issues, lemon water can help your body use more iron to correct the condition.. Enjoy a glass with a meal containing iron-rich foods like cashews and beans.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people have touted apple cider vinegar’s benefits for uses as vast as adding luster to your hair to helping you lose weight. Although taking a tablespoon or so of the stuff won’t help you shed pounds without diet and exercise, it offers health benefits.
One study published by the National Library of Medicine revealed that obese rats that took apple cider vinegar each day reduced their total cholesterol and triglycerides. Therefore, it might be wise to add a tablespoon per day to your diet if you have heart disease. You can blend it with water or another beverage to make it less acidic-tasting.
4. Green Drinks
They may look like they were dredged from the depths of a swamp, but those that love them swear by green drinks as detox powerhouses. What are they? These recipes often include healthy greens like kale and collard greens and herbs like parsley and cilantro.
While they might not remove toxins, these beverages do provide a potent health punch. Many recipes are chock-full of B-vitamins that increase your energy levels and keep your organs functioning at full tilt. They make an ideal meal replacement for folks who skip breakfast.
5. Detox Teas
Herbalists have used teas to treat various ailments since time immemorial. Some varieties have earned recognition as detox agents. Here are four to try:
- Dandelion: You don’t want to pick these off your lawn if you use chemical weed killers, but nor should you mistake them for pests. Dandelion has a diuretic effect, and, best of all, it helps you shed water weight without upsetting your potassium balance.
- Tulsi: Also known as holy basil, this herb can help you if you have frequent upper-respiratory infections and symptoms.
- Milk thistle: Did you do some liver damage with excess alcohol consumption or misuse of prescription medications? Fortunately, this organ does regenerate if the damage isn’t too severe, and this herb can help.
- Turmeric and pepper: Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Adding black pepper amplifies the bioavailability of this substance, calming any chronic pain.
Do Detoxes Work? The 5 Popular Techniques Above Offer Some Benefits
When answering the “do detoxes work” question, the answer is yes and no. If you expect a miracle, you might be disappointed. However, adding these five popular techniques to your repertoire will improve your health.