Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fasting for Detox

Today I'm doing a pure fast.

What's a pure fast you ask?

Well, I have received a number of emails asking my opinion on various detox diets. Since my area of expertise is definitely NOT in the area of detoxification, I took the weekend to review some of the literature.

I wasn't able to find any support for consuming massive amounts of fiber, lemon juice, or weird spices and their ability to 'detox' your body. In fact, what I've found suggests that (depending on how you describe 'detox') the best detox diet possible is, you guessed it, fasting.

If you are trying to detoxify your body then you one of the best things you can do is simply give your body sometime without any food, allowing your own repair systems some free-time to get their work done.

A typical Eat Stop Eat style 24 hour fast will already give you some great detox benefits.

However, I'm going to go once step further and say that a pure fast is the absolute best detox diet. Especially if you think beyond the traditional GI cleanse and think about an actually total body cleanse, including the removal and repair of damaged proteins, lipids, and other cellular structures from your body (a process that kicks into high gear when you are fasting).

A pure fast is where you only drink water, tea and black coffee during your fast. No diet pop, No artificial sweeteners in your tea and coffee and no gum.

So if you really want to be strict about it, you can take an Eat Stop Eat fast and every once in a while turn it into a pure fast where you can fast without food or additives like artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.

This allows your body ample time to remove and replace damaged tissues and cells without having to deal with the digestion of any new foods, or possible complications that might occur due to chemicals like aspartame*.

*note: I didn't find any conclusive evidence that aspartame negatively effects the detox effects of a fast, I'm simply suggesting the 'why chance it approach'

I don't think you need to be this strict with your fasting all the time. So since I am currently fasting about once every five days, I'm going to make every other fast a pure fast just to try it out.

I'll let you now how it goes.


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Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

What toxins are we detoxifying anyways?

Because unless you stop breathing, or you're Michael Jackson and live in a bubble, then who is ever going to be able to "detoxify" in today's polluted environment?

Just what exactly is meant by "detoxifying"?

body-detox-diet said...

fasting flushes toxins that have accumulated inside the body. its great to do it once in a while.

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

Thanks spammer.

Does anyone have any real answers?

Brad Pilon said...

Hi Craig,

The straight answer is that the only true toxins the body can remove are it's own damaged cells,and possibly lowering the causes of this damage (typically things like Reactive Oxygen Species).

So by toxin removal we are really talking about any damaged body tissues or cell structures.

When it comes to pollutants (which is what people typically mean when they say 'toxins'), it is exactly as you said, the majority of the pollutants in our bodies come from our environment, and it is (in my opinion) impossible to eat a polutant free diet, or live a pollutant free life..after all, we all have to breath.

The best we can do is try to avoid poor-quality overly processed foods, strive to eat quality foods, and exercise and fast to promote a regular turn-over of body tissues.


Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

Thanks, I'd appreciate even more detail on this...perhaps a full article.

Because just like people who wear Che t-shirts, the majority of people who talk about detoxing probably don't have a clue...

julie said...

The benefit of fasting is the healing process it triggers. During a fast, energy is diverted away from the digestive system, since there is no food to mobilise it, towards the metabolism and immune system. This is the reason why we feel less hungry when we're sick.


jeff said...

This is jeff,With high fiber foods you can easily lower your risk of constipation, overweight, diabetes, colon cancer and heart disease. Here's your high fiber foods list.



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