to detox or not to detox?

what does detoxification really mean?
the word detox generates a lot of hype, people are often intrigued about the actual mechanism behind detoxification. Detoxification is a complex concept which occurs naturally in our bodies. Due to the number of toxins and chemicals found in our food, water, air and through metabolism, they can accumulate over time. Detoxification regimes are quite common in naturopathic medicine. The process often involves dietary and lifestyle changes, which reduce the intake of toxins while improving their elimination.

what is a toxin?
a toxin is derived or produced from any compound that has a detrimental effect on cell function and can cause disease when present at low concentrations in the body. Toxins can be internal or external. Internal toxins are your body’s breakdown of metabolites whereas external toxins are usually environmental and self-inflicted, such as medications, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, skin/hair products and pesticides.

what are the benefits of detoxing?
detoxification has numerous benefits including: weight loss, increasing mineral and vitamin absorption, resting organs and slowing the aging process. The accumulation of toxins in the body can cause acute, chronic and degenerative diseases. Some diseases associated with toxin build up include: asthma, bowel dysfunction, cancer, coronary artery disease, dental cavities, hypertension, headaches and skin conditions. The liver is one of the most important detoxifying organs, it uses a 2-step detoxification process to neutralize and remove toxins from our bodies.

components of a detox
a detox can last from as little as 5 days to 3 months depending on your health goals. As is true for all naturopathic protocols, an individualized approach is recommended. The most basic detoxification involves only diet modifications, which is a great start if this is your first attempt at detoxing. Further benefit can be achieved by adding supplements, herbs, exercise or chelation therapy. Here are some basic diet modifications that I have personally found very beneficial:
  • whole food, hypo-allergenic diet: Avoid suspected and known food allergens.
  • other foods to avoid: Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Corn, Peanuts, Caffeine, Alcohol, Sugar (except honey or maple syrup; but use in moderation) and any processed foods.
  • basically, if your food comes in a package you can NOT eat it!
  • water! drink 2-3 liters of water daily. Water should not be consumed with meals as it may interfere with digestive enzyme functioning. Consume water 30 minutes before or after meals.
throughout the last five years I have successfully and unsuccessfully completed numerous detoxification programs, which I will talk about in the near future!
feel free to post any questions or comments.

best in health,
kate kokoski


KF said...

This is great :) Thanks for the post and keep up the blogs. Interesting and educational all at the same time !

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on the cabbage diet kate? A friend of mine is doing one right now, and claims its working

Kate Kokoski said...

I am not exactly sure what you mean by "working" could you please explain what your friend means by that? Thanks!
I have done the cabbage soup diet once many years ago. I would not call the cabbage soup diet a detox because it is geared mostly towards weight loss by limiting the intake of calories. Also, the diet allows dairy products (skim milk), which is a common allergy for many people and is a source of inflammation and stress on the body. I believe a major benefit of a detox is to decrease inflammation and avoid all known and common allergies therefore I would not recommend the cabbage soup diet as a detox. A main focus of a detox for myself is to maintain a whole-food diet and to not limit the types of fruit and vegetables allowed.
I will be posting my own experiences with detoxes in an upcoming post!

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