Detox diets are all the rage in Hollywood these days. Gorgeous celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce Knowles and Salma Hayek openly admit that they make use of detox diets to maintain their sultry figure, especially when they’re getting ready for the red carpet or for a movie role.
Beyonce did the Master Cleanser, which is more popularly known as the “lemonade diet.” The former Destiny’s Child member got a lot of press when she confessed to using this crash diet method to shed 20 pounds for her role in the blockbuster hit “Dreamgirls.” The detox diet worked indeed but she said she was grumpy the whole time. She also gained her weight back after the movie.
Gwyneth’s cleanse menu includes organic smoothies and oatmeal for breakfast, lean chicken or fish for dinner and plenty of fruits in between. She used to do the Master Cleanser before too but decided to make it easier for herself. She consulted her nutritionist to formulate a detox plan for her that would allow her to actually eat.
Then there’s Salma Hayek, who’s the latest to the join the ranks. She’s now part of a new detox company called Cooler Cleanse. She gets fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices delivered to her doorstep everyday.
Since many people look up to their favorite stars for fashion, diet tips and just about anything, it’s not a surprise that the hype is catching on. But really, what is this detoxification program all about? Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it worth it?
Detoxification refers to the process of cleansing the blood by removing impurities in the liver. The liver is where toxins are processed for excretion from the body. Toxins can also be eliminated from the body through the intestines, skin, kidneys, lymph and lungs. When one of these systems are compromised, the toxins are not able to leave the body and thus, adversely affects the health.
A detox program can help the body’s natural cleansing ability by resting the organs through fasting, stimulating the liver to eliminate the toxins, eliminate toxins through the kidneys, skin and intestines, improve blood circulation and nourish the body with vitamins and minerals.
Most doctors agree that a short detoxification program is safe and effective. With loads of toxins found in the environment today, it’s necessary to detox at least once a year. This can help improve allergies, lower risk of low-grade infections and give your energy levels a boost.
Issues and problems arise, however, when the word, “detox” gets tossed around like what is happening in Hollywood today. For one, not all detox diets found in the market today are healthy and safe. Choosing the wrong type can harm instead of help your health.
According to Glenn Braunstein, MD, professor and chairman of the department of medicine in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, some detox programs are potentially harmful. Extreme detox programs like juice diets, fasting and the Master Cleanse can cause nutritional deficiencies even if done for only a short period.
These detox programs end up creating more toxins. Severe restriction of food causes the body to burn fat for fuel. When large amounts of fat are burned, ketones are released into the blood. Buildup of these chemicals can cause loss of appetite, nausea, bad breath and in some cases coma or death.
This is not to say that detox programs are completely evil. To reiterate what has been said a while ago, it is beneficial if you are able to do it right. Cleansing the body the right way can be done through eating a lot of fiber, like brown rice, whole wheat products and organically-grown fruits and vegetables. Some of the best natural detoxifying foods include radishes, broccoli, spirulina, cabbage, artichokes and beets.
Herbs like milk thistle, green tea, dandelion root and burdock can help in the cleansing and protection of the liver. It’s also a must to take vitamin C. This vitamin helps the body manufacture glutathione, which is a liver compound that helps keep toxins away. Drinking eight glasses of water daily is also a good habit. A hot sauna can get rid of wastes through perspiration.
There are plenty of natural ways to detoxify the body without having to undergo a hardcore detox program like Master Cleanse. To be sure, consult a health practitioner or nutritionist who will formulate a healthy and safe detox program for you.