Cleansing your body for better skin, more energy and weight loss sounds like a great idea. But does it really work?
"It's a very misused term and it's a very badly understood term," says Dr. Jonny Bowden .
Nutrition expert Dr. Bowden is talking about cleansing diets. Those wanting to clean their system for healthy weight and skin, and to help stop aging. The main focus of such a program targets the liver, our body's filtration system.
"Helping your liver get rid of junk," says Dr. Bowden. "And we're exposed to that junk in the air, in our food, in our water supply."
Some try this through dieter's teas or liquid fasts, often with negative results.
"You don't know what's in the teas, what ingredients, what kind of effects they're going to have on you, and some of them have some pretty radical effects," says nutritionist Carissa Rivas.
It seems natural that flushing toxins out with water would be the answer. Not true. As it turns out, the stuff in our system that needs to be purged is stored in our fat cells, a place where water just can't flush it away.
"The fat cells are what hold all the toxins and getting rid of them through the liver requires nutrients," says Dr. Bowden.
Those nutrients are best from colorful fruits and vegetables loaded with antioxidants and anything containing omega-3 fats that provide an anti-inflammatory shield for the body.
"Lots of berries, spinach, broccoli, then we include the whole grains and nuts and seeds," says Rivas.
Rivas helped Susan's Healthy Gourmet delivery company establish their 'anti-aging, cleansing diet' that is 10 to 14 days, mainly low-calorie, vegetarian and raw healthy food for $39.95 a day.
Both experts feel that these types of foods are the best for detoxing, with Bowden adding supplements like milk thistle , alpha lipoic acid , and selenium to assist the purifying process. You can find these supplements at most natural health stores.
Most doctors feel it's important to try just one new supplement at a time and see how your body reacts to it over several days to a week. If there are any questions or concerns about supplements, the American Holistic Medical Association offers well versed pros that can help. In regards to these supplements, all are recognized as safe.