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Periodically, my patients ask me questions about the importance of a detox cleanse. Do we need to detox if we have a healthy liver? 

Full disclaimer: I do not detox or follow a cleanse regularly. I have pretty broad parameters about nutrition. In general, if it’s food grown in the ground, not genetically modified, and not sprayed with toxic pesticides, it’s safe. So, that means a wide variety of our diet can come from plants, veggies and fruit. I’m also a big fan of lean protein that hasn’t been pumped up with hormones and antibiotics. Anything packaged is typically off limits. That’s because, in general, the amount of salt and preservatives found in packaged foods make them a nutritionally weak choice. Convenience comes at a cost and the cost is usually additives we don’t need.

But I understand life gets busy. Usually, when we’re too busy, we eat like crap because it’s easy to just grab and go. In times like this, a packaged, weighed, measured, and structured detox cleanse can be helpful. It can prevent us from grabbing unhealthy convenience food. A structured cleanse can also help us “reset” after one of those busy season past. When we’re feeling tired, logey, and even depressed after indulging, say after a vacation, a holiday or a busy/stressful season in life, a detox cleanse can be really beneficial.  I often recommend diet changes to my patients who complain of feeling constantly tired or of hitting an afternoon slump. Depending on their goals, that could mean cutting back on snacks or portions, or it might be following a structured 2-3 week cleanse.

In the past, I’ve carried only one cleanse in the office. It’s from Standard Process, a company I regard highly for the quality of their products. We’ve seen great results from this cleanse–and people say they really like the taste. It comes with supplements and powder to use in meal-replacement shakes.

BUT.  Some patients think 21 days is too long to cleanse, so I recently brought in an additional detox option. This one is from Bionics Research. I’ve recommended and sold Bionics for years because I know their ingredients go through a rigorous approval process and their scientific formulas have proven to be very effective. The new detox is called NutriClear Plus. It’s a 15-day cleanse rather than a 21-day, which seems more manageable for people who have a lot of events on their calendar. This metabolic detox comes with 30 powder packets, supplements and a shaker, making this detox option convenient for those on the go.

 

 

The value of a cleanse

For most of us, the first days of the cleanse are very much like a “fast,” even though we do actually eat. The benefits this provides to the body and mind can be powerful. The drop in your blood sugar level will jump-start your body’s fat-burning functions. The reduced intake also gives your body a chance to focus on waste removal. A fast can be beneficial to the heart and even help lower blood pressure. Even the stress people feel from the dramatic dietary change during a cleanse can be beneficial on the brain!

If you’re interested in a nutritional “reset” with a cleanse, I’d recommend either the Standard Process cleanse or NutriClear Plus from Bionics Research. Both offer shakes as a supplement to meals or snacks, but also rely upon whole foods to round out a healthy dietary intake. Both are available at the office, but call before you come in to make sure they’re in stock.

 

One last thing

I don’t typically villainize any food in moderation, but I have one exception and that’s sugar. The amount of sugar consumed in the Western diet is astounding. This sugar-focused diet is terrible for our bodies. Sugar inflames our cells and inflammation causes all sorts of illness. Diabetes has skyrocketed. If you want to read an excellent book on the topic, get your hands on “The Case Against Sugar.” It’s a well-cited, easy-to-read documentary that will make you realize sugar is anything but sweet. (You can read it free when you support our local library!)

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