The Truth About Cleanses: Dmitri Alden

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The liver is an amazing organ. 

It does everything from storing and producing energy to eliminating toxic substances from our bodies. Does the liver get overridden with toxins? Can they be flushed out? Many theories and diets advertise the “liver cleanse.” Unfortunately, most of them are lacking any scientific evidence or research behind them. Although most of these regimes are fairly harmless, some could cause dangerous dehydration, organ damage, a slowed metabolism and cause many other unpleasant symptoms.

Still, the concept of “body purification” persists. So, how do you navigate these waters safely? Milk thistle works as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and is believed to support the liver. But unfortunately many liver specialists around the world have looked into this and have found no solid benefit. In many cultures practices of fasting and dieting have existed for thousands of years, but water fasts starve the body and juice fasts are a bit too radical and require strict discipline. Instead I usually recommend extremely clean eating for a period of time then transitioning to years of healthy eating.

For this you must eliminate sugar and foods produced with corn syrup, white flour and other highly refined engineered food products. The shorter the ingredient list, the better. Choose a week without too many social, work or travel commitments. Then eliminate meat and dairy products for 48-72 hours and pay attention to how you feel. The menu is simple. For breakfast have water-based steel cut oatmeal with dry, organic apricots without sulfur treatment, and dry sugar-free cranberries and dates.

 In many cultures practices of fasting and dieting have existed for thousands of years, but water fasts starve the body and juice fasts are a bit too radical and require strict discipline. 

Try green tea instead of coffee. It provides many antioxidants, boosts your liver energy and regulates intestinal health. For lunch a kale salad with avocado will give you all your healthy dose of protein and fat. A quinoa salad with ginger, nutmeg and flaxseed oil is a great alternative. A glass of sugar-free pomegranate juice and a cup of berries would make your lunch or snack detox complete. Also try organic brown or wild rice, lentils and a variety of beans cooked with vegetables such as okra and sweet peppers. Use very little oil.

If you can take the heat, try spicy peppers. They contain capsaicin, an ingredient believed to kill prostate cancer cells, produce endorphins and help with appetite suppression and possibly weight loss. After completing your 2-3 day cleanse, go back to your notes and review how you felt while on it. You will notice positive changes that might make you think of implementing this strategy on a regular basis.

Dr-Alden

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