Detox Cleanses: Benefits, Risks, & More

Five smoothies are lined up on a wooden table. Each smoothie is a different color and represents the fruit above it. The fruits above the smoothies (in order from left to right) are raspberries, celery, strawberries, an orange, and blueberries. Each fruit also spells out a word: the raspberry spells out a D, the celeries are lined up to mimic an E, the strawberries are ordered into a T, the orange slice represents an O, and the blueberries are ordered into an X. Together, the fruit spells 'Detox'

Every day, our bodies are bombarded with pollutants, stress, and unhealthy lifestyle choices, whether it’s alcohol consumption or eating empty-calorie foods. And when these toxins accumulate in our bodies over time, they can take a toll on our health and wellbeing.

This is where detox cleanses come in.

What Is a Detox Cleanse?

A medical doctor is holding a stethoscope at chest level. Next to the stethoscope is a chart titled 'Detoxification.' The chart shows that there are Phase 1 and Phase 2 toxins. Phase 1 toxins can be treated with B vitamins, Glutathione & NAC, Vitamins A, C, D3, and E, citrus bioflavonoids and quercetin, and milk thistle. Phase 2 toxins can be treated with glutamine, glycine, taurine, cysteine, lysine, carnitine, garlic, eggs, cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, MSM, and NAC. When toxins leave the body, they are either transferred to the gallbladder and dispelled from the body as bile or into the kidneys and dispelled from the body in urine.

The liver, kidneys, and digestive system work together daily to eliminate toxins. But, sometimes, there are too many toxins for the body to handle independently. When the body can no longer handle the amount of toxins it has stored, a detox cleanse may be the right solution.

A detox cleanse is the process of abstaining from certain habits, such as drinking, caffeine, and poor food choices, to remove toxins from the body. Simply put, it’s a way to reset and build healthy habits by providing our bodies with a much-needed break from harmful contaminants.

Our lifestyle educator, Sandy Vu, explains that “we can all suffer from various degrees of inflammation through the foods we eat, what we drink, the cleaning supplies we use, and our environment.” Vu also emphasizes that “we must realize that anything we put in our body can either heal or hurt it. Food can be healing, or it can be the slowest form of poison.”

A chart showing the color diet. The chart shows that yellow food promotes a healthy heart, lower cholesterol, healthy joints, better eyesight, and healthy skin. White foods support the immune system, promote a healthy colon and heart, lowers cholesterol, and prevents ulcers. Red food promotes a healthy heart, protects the skin, prevents cancer, helps with cell renewal, and provides immune support. Green foods prevent cancer, support healthy bones and eyesight, provide immune support, and improves digestion. Purple foods promote healthy hearts and blood vessels, improves memory, promotes urinary health, and has anti-aging benefits. Orange foods promote a healthy heart and immune system, protect the skin, and provide much-needed antioxidants.
Note: This is one example of a detox diet. There are many detox diets—a nutritionist can help you find the best program for your lifestyle.

Vu also mentions that it can be challenging for individuals to start the detoxification process, especially when the body becomes accustomed to unhealthy lifestyle choices that contribute to inflammation, like excessive alcohol consumption, too much or too little exercise, frequent stress, and smoking.

The Benefits of Detoxing

  • Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
  • Can Contribute to Long-Term Weight Maintenance
  • Improves Gut Health
  • Alleviates Bloating, Constipation, & Indigestion
  • Helps Build Better Habits
  • Improves Focus
  • Enhances Cognitive Function
  • Improves Mental Health

Are There Risks to Detoxing?

Yes. Certain detox cleanses and diets can be extreme and could potentially affect the body negatively. The biggest risks associated with detoxing are when an individual attempts to detox on their own without professional assistance.

Sandy Vu explains a little of this by noting, “what makes homemade detox elixirs dangerous is when you remove toxins from your fat, where they’re typically stored. These toxins don’t just go away—they need to find a new home. [In some cases], toxins may go directly to the brain. To detox safely, the toxins must be pulled from your fat cells and be expelled through the liver and out of the body through elimination.”

How to Detox

There are many ways to detox. Total Health Systems offers two detoxification programs: Standard Process (21 Days) and Metagenics Clear Change (10 Days). Both programs include pills that help support the elimination of toxins and provide the body with the nutrients it needs. They also come with nutritious shakes, instructions, and daily menus and recipes.

Sandy Vu notes that “[After our detox programs] many people have reported improved energy, cognitive function, sleep, and reduced joint pain.”

By removing the burden of processing and eliminating toxins, the body can better redirect energy towards essential bodily functions.

Start Your Detoxification Program Today

Are you ready to start building better habits? Book your first appointment at Total Health Systems today to see which detox program is right for you. You can also follow us on Facebook, where we frequently post recipes and detox tips.

Disclaimer: This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare professional for advice on medical issues.

Sandy Lundgaard, Fitness Instructor, Total Health Systems

Sandy Vu-Lundgaard's Bio

Sandy Lundgaard has been in the the fitness industry for over 25 years. In 1989 she started as a Group Fitness Instructor while attending College in Canada.