You may associate spring with cleaning your apartment or house. But, this is a great time of year to internally cleanse or detox your body too. One of the best ways to detox is by doing a juice cleansing fast. Never juiced before? Read our tips below then experience firsthand the benefits of going on a natural detox diet.
Why do a Juice Fast?
Fasting, which is an integral part of many religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, has been practiced for centuries. In modern times, periodic fasting is recommended to remove toxins we’re exposed to in our environment and that we ingest from the foods and beverages we consume on a daily basis.
Dietary and lifestyle toxins include the obvious such as alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and sugar. Other foods such as dairy, wheat, peanuts, and soy promote an allergic reaction in certain individuals.
Environmental toxins include pesticides, antibiotics, hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging (e.g., BPA), household cleaners, detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs and cigarette smoke. Many of these toxins are stored in fatty tissue and their long-term effect on human health is debated.
Think you live in a relatively toxic free environment? Think again. On a daily basis, we’re exposed to a wide range of environmental toxins which are released from fabrics, vehicle exhaust, plastics and filtering systems in our phones and computers. This interactive graphic tool gives you an idea of the large number of toxins leaching from your home.
This point was driven home by author David E. Duncan. He used himself as a guinea pig to test the amount of chemicals in his body. Researchers tested for 320 toxins and detected 165 in his body including high concentrations of flame-retardants, pesticides and PCBs. Duncan wrote about his experience and the implications to human health in “The Pollution Within”, an article that appeared in National Geographic magazine.
How are Toxins Removed from the Body?
Despite what late night commercials want you to believe, our colon is not filled with pounds of waste! In fact, we have wonderful innate systems for removing toxins from our body. These include the respiratory (lungs, sinuses, nose), gastrointestinal (liver, colon, GI tract), urinary (kidneys, bladder), skin (sweat and sebaceous glands) and lymphatic systems. Each day, these systems work efficiently to neutralize, transform or eliminate toxins in the body.
Critics of fasting argue that the body does a good job eliminating toxins and a detoxification program is not necessary. Proponents of fasting say it is necessary. We think it’s a bit of both. Indeed, the human body does a remarkable job to remove its toxic load. However, our diet, lifestyle and environment is dramatically different than that of our ancestors. With the increased chemical burden on our bodies, the need for a periodic detox seems prudent and beneficial.