Well Being

If You Knew What Toxins Are, You’d Know You Don’t Need To Cleanse Them Out Of You

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“Cleanse” and “detox” and “toxin” are currently very popular buzz words among health buffs, and of course, celebrities. And as with any trend, it's important to scrutinize exactly what all the fuss is about, lest you do some damage to your beautiful body. So today let's learn about exactly what a toxin even is, and how they affect our insides.

As defined by Medline Plus, toxins are substances from plants, animals, and metals, which are poisonous to humans. We're constantly exposed to these substances, for example via the pesticides and mercury in our diets, or harmful gasses in the air. So being that we're exposed to poisons in the environment pretty much everyday, it seems intuitive that we should be engaging in some kind of detoxification activity, right?

Not really! Our bodies are well-oiled machines that are designed to handle these toxins. We have enzymes that are continuously breaking them down and flushing them out. Frank Sacks, MD of the Harvard School of Public Health, says the idea that we need to help our bodies get rid of toxins has “no basis in human biology.” He's not the only doctor who thinks detoxing is scientifically unfounded; Robert S. Baratz, M.D., Ph.D., president of the National Council Against Health Fraud, says proponents of detoxification often make sweeping statements, “for which there is no substantive evidence.” And Edzard Ernst, M.D., Ph.D., professor of complementary medicine at Peninsula Medical School, says, “The notion that you can and should flush out your arteries or your intestines may seem plausible, but it's not.” I think what these guys are trying to say is that our bodies got those nasties on lock.

But that's not to say that we shouldn't be doing activities to optimize our organs and immune system functions. If you really want to help clean your body, Dr. Oz recommends, “clean eating that focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein — basically, whole foods without a lot of processing. That's good for you and more likely to give you results that last, especially if you make exercise a habit.”

Since our bodies process toxins through the liver and kidneys and eliminate them in the form of sweat, urine, and feces, it makes sense that exercise plays a huge part in detoxification. And while your exercising, make sure to stay hydrated, which allows your body to detox itself more easily. Essentially, if you're eating right and exercising, there's no real need to irrigate your colon or do any other potentially harmful regimens to your body, if ridding it of toxins is your goal.

(Image: pixelbliss/Shutterstock)

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