The benefits of modern life are undeniable. Who would not accept cold air coming from an air conditioner on a hot day? Could you completely stop using your cell phone for two or three consecutive days? Could you travel from one country to another without using modern transportation such as airplanes or bus services? The logical answer is NO. Most of us are totally dependant on the luxuries of life made available because of advances in modern technology. Yet, there is another side of the coin, and simply, nothing comes without a price.
Very often, advances that speed up the pace of our life can also disturb the normal balance between nature and our human bodies. Unfortunately, this can negatively impact our health, and this is usually seen in the form of an overload of toxic substances inside the human body. According to the Merriam-Webster (America’s most-trusted online dictionary):
“A toxin is a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues and typically capable of inducing antibody formation.”
I can simply say that toxins are deleterious substances, which have undesirable short-term or long-term effects on our health. Overexposure to toxic substances with concurrent failure to correctly metabolize them can produce various symptoms such as nausea, migraine headaches, malaise, joint pain, and allergies or flu-like symptoms. This toxic accumulation can also contribute to inflammatory and neurological diseases. While it is nearly impossible to preclude accumulation of toxic substances that come with modern life, you may have the power to restore balance to a healthy lifestyle!
Detoxification, or body cleansing, aims to clear the body of toxins or harmful substances. Detox diets, considered to be the base of detoxification, are dietary plans that facilitate toxin elimination and weight loss, thereby promoting health and well-being. The liver is the most important organ in the body involved in the detoxification process. The liver can convert the toxic substances into less harmful components, facilitating their removal from the body. Hence, it is believed that the best way to boost your liver function is to depend on detox diets ranging from fasting (total or juice/water) to food modification. Usually, detox diets are rich in fiber. Proponents claim that detox diets stimulate the body to release stored fats including fat-stored toxins into the blood, facilitating their excretion through urine, breath, and feces. Many detox diets contain a combination of laxatives, diuretics, multi-vitamins, minerals, herbs, celery, and other juicy low-calorie vegetables. In the rest of the article, I will try to summarize the most important components of detox diets.
Many vitamins especially vitamin A, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 play a leading role in boosting the detoxification function of the liver. Patra et al., (2006) showed that there is a strong ability of the essential amino acid L-methionine to cleanse the body from the harmful effect of lead, a heavy metal. Taurine, which is an amino acid, is also suggested as having an antioxidant effect against lead-induced oxidative stress. Obinata et al., (1996) showed that taurine was effective in treating fatty liver in children with simple obesity regardless of the success/failure of weight control. Taurine administration is also considered to be helpful as an adjuvant therapy for fatty liver. Inositol, which is a type of sugar related to glucose, is currently considered as a liver supplement. Silymarin, which is the active constituent of milk thistle, is considered one of the best liver supports and liver detoxification. Bile is a major way to excrete harmful substances. Bile also emulsifies dietary fats and facilitates their digestion and absorption. Ox bile is currently reported to promote bile production. The Romans used Chelidonium majus or greater celandine as a blood cleanser. The extracts of greater celandine have shown toxic effects in harmful organisms, as well as liver protecting activities. The artichoke is a plant with antioxidant activities. Mehmetçik et al., (2008) indicated that in vivo artichoke extract administration may be useful for the prevention of oxidative stress-induced hepatotoxicity. Beet, which is a high-antioxidant vegetable, is used as food coloring and as a medicinal plant. Do you know that by eating beets you can help your body cleanse your liver? Váli et al., (2007) showed that the table beet has excellent liver-protecting effects during ischemia-reperfusion.
In conclusion, I would recommend that you incorporate a mixture of all the previous detox diets if you wish to detox your body, cleanse your liver, and stay healthy.