What is Detox, Anyway?

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It can be easily argued that our world is becoming more toxic. We are bombarded with pesticide, herbicide and exhaust from our environment. We take prescription medications and other over-the-counter medications, often filled with unnecessary chemicals. We eat food with hormones, artificial additives, colors and other preservatives. A stressful lifestyle can become toxic to us. By the time we get to work, we have been exposed to more than 100 different toxins!

Quite simply, we need to be more diligent in protecting ourselves. What can be done?

Detox or Cleanse?

These two words are heard quite often and used interchangeably, yet they are not the same thing. A cleanse does just that—cleanse the intestinal tract. A detox, on the other hand, targets the whole body and focuses on improving liver function.

Normally, our immune system, liver and kidneys all work together to remove toxins efficiently. But when toxins come in faster than they can be eliminated, you start to notice problems.

Signs of a toxin buildup? Digestive problems, headaches, allergies and asthma, fatigue, frequent colds, muscle and joint pain, problems losing weight and even depression.

Toxins are fat-soluble molecules. If they are not eliminated efficiently, they are stored in our fat cells or other tissues to prevent them from circulating throughout the blood stream. Our body will even create a fat cell for the purpose of housing the toxin. While this is a built-in survival mechanism, you can see how it can start to affect all the other body systems.

Our goal is to stop or limit exposure to the various toxins and provide the body with the required nutrients to enable proper detoxification and elimination. I encourage those struggling with the above symptoms to look into the idea of improving detoxification first.

Step 1: Clean up the diet.

This is the main focus, as food can be a toxin. Depending on the protocol, it can mean going gluten-free/dairy-free/sugar-free, and removing processed foods and artificial sweeteners. In some instances, fasting for a period of time may be necessary. Be sure to increase fiber and protein.

Step 2: Take your vitamins.

You want to make sure the body—more important, the liver—has a constant supply of the required nutrients. This is as simple as adding in a quality multivitamin/mineral at least twice daily during the detox period. Other beneficial nutrients include milk thistle, N-acetyl-cysteine and amino acids, which work together to pull stored toxins and eliminate them.

Most people can see results in as little as seven days, but could take as many as 21 in more "toxic" cases.

Sadly, our world isn't going to become less toxic; for the most part this isn't a one-time process, and is often repeated at minimum annually. We want to keep running at optimal performance. Think of it as an oil change for your body.


Written by Brandi Grimmer, nutritional consultant, Keystone Nutrition. Brandi completed her certification as a Nutritional Consultant through Natural Healing College and graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in Human Biology. She is a Licensed Pharmacy Technician with over 10 years of experience. Brandi believes total health is dependent on proper diet, exercise and nutritional supplementation.

For more information on detoxification options, please contact Brandi at 616.974.9792 or at [email protected].

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