- 7 common myths about cleansing and detoxing
- Why there’s so much confusion
- Find out if cleansing helps with weight loss
- Find out how to plan the best cleanse or detox for you
Should you cleanse?
If you search online, you’ll find a wide range of cleansing, detox, and cleanse pills facts, myths, and recommendations. And that’s why we wrote this article. We wanted to help you sort through all the seemingly contradictory information.
In this article, we look at 7 myths and the facts about cleansing, detoxing, and your health.
Myth: You must cleanse or detox for your body to get rid of waste and toxins.
Fact: Your body has systems that continually cleanse and detox.
This fact is often used to refute the idea that you can cleanse or detox your body. It, however, misses the idea behind cleanse and detox claims. Let’s look at this fact more closely.
Your body has many, many systems that continually cleanse and remove toxins. For example:
- Your kidneys remove waste from your blood for release via urine.
- Your liver is your detox organ, responsible for many of the enzymes you need to neutralize and then break down toxins. For example, your liver breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde – a toxin, which is then made harmless when the liver converts it into acetate, and then water and carbon dioxide.
- Your body produces superoxide dismutase, an enzyme with powerful antioxidant properties that protects you at the cellular level.
These are only three examples. The list could go on and on. For example, every time you breathe, your body releases some toxins. And there is an almost uncountable number of detoxing and cleansing chemical reactions taking place every moment in your cells.
But cleanses and detoxes DO NOT aim to replace these processes. When you hear or read about cleanses and detoxes, the real goal is to support your body’s natural processes. When you were young, your body could handle the number of toxins it was exposed to. As you got older, a slowing metabolism reduces the speed by which toxins can be removed. Cleanses and detoxes aim to provide your body with the nutrients needed to do what it naturally did when you were young.
Myth: You can’t cleanse or detox your body.
Fact: It’s a common medical practice.
Here is another myth-fact duo that needs further investigation. Let’s examine it with these two examples.
- Colon cleansing. Doctors have patients do a colon cleanse before a colonoscopy. If you’ve ever gone through this procedure, you know you fast for 12 hours before your scheduled time. (You can drink water.) For this procedure, the cleanse is often done with a chemical like polyethylene glycol or a process like colonic irrigation, where water rinses excess waste from your colon. Why do they have you do this? To remove any waste buildup that might prevent the camera from clearly examining the colon.
- A heavy metal detox. Heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium wreak havoc in the human body:1
- They interfere with important mineral nutrients that regulate metabolism, like magnesium and zinc.
- They disrupt how your hormones work.
- Lead lowers cognitive abilities and IQ.
- Most are classified as either “probable” or “known” cancer-causing agents.
Even the World Health Organization recognizes a link between heavy metals and chronic diseases that affect cardiovascular health and brain function.2
Now, your body has ways to remove these heavy metals. But they are so abundant in our environment, our exposure can challenge our body’s ability to cleanse them quickly. And once they become chemically bound in our cells, getting them out is very difficult. In patients where heavy metals are identified as the source of the problem, doctors use chelation to help the body clear away these toxic metals.
Chelation involves the use of either natural or pharmaceutical substances to remove these heavy metals. These substances offer a strong attraction for the heavy metals, dislodging and then binding to them, allowing your body to naturally remove them. EDTA is a common pharmaceutical chelator. Natural chelators include cilantro and blue-green algae, especially chlorella, like those in Algae Infused.
It’s clear. We can support our body’s natural ability to cleanse and detox. Advocates who claim you can cleanse and detox simply seek to support the body through natural products.
Myth: You must fast or avoid food to cleanse properly.
Fact: When cleansing or detoxing, you need adequate nutrients to properly cleanse.
There’s a simple idea behind this myth. It’s that food interferes with the cleansing process.
This is not true. In fact, eating raw, natural fruits and vegetables can supply vital nutrients to help with your cleanse or detox. Without these nutrients, your body may have difficulty safely clearing away the waste or toxins.
For example, if you are doing a colon cleanse, a substance like bentonite clay – as you find in a cleanse supplement like Cleanse Infused Plus – helps to neutralize toxins released when waste is dislodged.
You do, however, want to avoid processed and refined foods. Here’s a simple way to approach it – if your food comes from the earth, it’s good. If it comes from a manufacturing plant, avoid it.
Fasting has its place but is not essential to a cleanse or detox.
Myth: If you feel bad, your cleanse is working.
Fact: Feeling ill means you may not be getting the best cleanse.
You’ll see terms like “healing crisis” or “detox crisis” related to a cleanse or detox. The idea goes like this…as your body releases toxins, you feel a little sick. You might feel “brain fog,” moodiness, body aches, headache, an upset stomach, or fatigue.
The reality is, if you experience this detox sickness, it means your body can’t handle all the toxins released. It is normal to feel a little uncomfortable when detoxing or cleansing. You’ve changed your pattern. But you shouldn’t feel ill.
A good cleanse does more than dislodge toxins. It supplies the nutrients you need to neutralize and escort them out safely.
The need for increased nutrients is a big reason juicing cleanses are so popular. When you juice fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you ease digestion but still get the nutrients you need. Ideally, you want to use organic fruits and vegetables to avoid herbicides or pesticides.
Cleanse supplements can also help. A supplement can provide a wide range of nutrients you will need to support the entire process. We also recommend supplements with enzymes. By adding enzymes, you help your body break down the waste and toxins that get released.
Myth: Cleansing is hard.
Fact: It doesn’t have to be.
Any type of change can be hard. The key is to set your goal for the cleanse first. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can make sure you have everything you need to ensure success.
For example, if you want to do a colon cleanse, you want to make sure you have the best cleanse supplement and the time set aside for it. Prunes could work but can be harsh if you have trouble with fiber. Oxygenated magnesium is popular. It gently breaks up waste and draws water into the colon to ease passing.
And you need to plan a colon cleanse. You wouldn’t want to cleanse the day of a big business meeting or family holiday!
Plan your cleanse or detox and you’ll find it a smooth and successful process.
Myth: Cleansing is a good way to lose weight.
Fact: Successful weight loss requires lifestyle changes.
A cleanse and detox can be a great start for weight loss. But you won’t lose a lot of weight that way.
Sure, a colon cleanse removes waste buildup. And for some people, that waste buildup could way several pounds. If you don’t change your diet, the factors that caused that waste buildup will remain, and waste will build up again.
The more significant colon cleanse benefit for weight loss comes from the improved health of your digestive tract.
- Without large amounts of waste or toxin buildup, the lining of your colon can repair and recover.
- With a little help from probiotic foods or supplements like Flora Infused, you can restore healthy levels of those good probiotic bacteria that support digestion and excellent health.
- You’ll digest food more completely and absorb nutrients better.
Doing a detox also helps as it supports the clearing of toxins from your cells. Fewer toxins in your cells mean they produce and burn energy more efficiently. You experience this as a higher metabolism, more efficient fat burning, better health, and feeling energized.
A cleanse can be a great first step for any weight loss program. To lose weight and keep it off, you want to create a lifestyle with a balanced diet, focused on natural – ideally raw – foods, and eating sensible portions at every meal.
Myth: Detox diets are the best way to cleanse.
Fact: You need to find the detox strategy that works best for you.
A regular, well-planned detox schedule may be an ideal way to keep your body healthy and strong. There is nothing more natural than raw foods prepared with spices, herbs, and seasonings that support detox.
The challenge of a detox diet like this is having the time and money to do it – plus access to the fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables needed to ensure you have all the nutrients needed for a successful cleanse.
For most people, we find a hybrid approach works best. This approach features a detox diet based on one’s resources supported by supplements as needed. Supplements can supply everything from toxin neutralizers like algae to probiotics to promote a healthy gut to colon cleansers that help remove toxins and waste.
To further boost the effectiveness of your detox diet, we also recommend adding enzymes. Digestive enzymes like those in Digest Infused support the breakdown of your food. Some supplements like Metabolic Infused also support the immune system and help to cleanse your blood of excess proteins (the kind you want to remove) that could interfere with your desired detox results.
Ultimately, you need to find the approach that best fits your current situation. And always consult with your doctor. Then, once you know your approach, you want to get started with your cleanse and detox. Healthy living shouldn’t have to wait another day.
- Sears ME. Chelation: harnessing and enhancing heavy metal detoxification–a review. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013;2013:219840. Published 2013 Apr 18. doi:10.1155/2013/219840