Is 'detox' important for beauty and health?

Now that 'detox' has gone mainstream, you can probably rattle off the names of half a dozen detoxes or cleanses, and you might've even tried one or two, in an effort to boost your energy, lose 5 lbs or look more radiant for a big event.

So what's the real deal with detox? Is it healthy? Is it a waste of time?

Detoxifiying the body is not only important, it's essential, given the environmental toxins that we accumulate on a regular basis (think pollution, pesticides, chemicals in our products).  You should actually be detoxing daily. But not the way you think. A toxic body doesn't function as well as a healthy body, so detox should be a lifestyle, not a once-a-year weight loss incentive. Instead of shelling out for expensive cleanses that deprive you of solid food for days on end (do you like torturing yourself?!),  your daily food and lifestyle choices should ideally be made with detox in mind. I've found that when this happens, other food, beauty and body issues fall into line as well.

Check out the below list of 10 basic detox principles from Dr. Mark Hyman. It reads more like a collection of secrets to a healthy, balanced lifestyle than a guide to the finer points of detox:

  1. Drink plenty of clean water, at least eight to ten glasses of filtered water a day.
  2. Keep your bowels moving, at least once or twice a day. And if you can’t get going, then you need some help and this can include taking two tablespoons of ground flax seeds, taking acidophilus and extra magnesium capsules in the form of magnesium citrate. If you have any chronic diseases or problems you have to be careful about taking supplements, you should work with your doctor.
  3. You should also eat organic produce and animal products to eliminate the toxins in our food.
  4. You should eat eight to ten servings of colorful fruits and vegetables and specifically include, every day, the family of the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, as well as the garlic family, garlic and onions, which help increase sulfur in the body and help detoxification.
  5. Avoid stimulants, sedatives and drugs, such as caffeine, nicotine, and try to reduce alcohol intake.
  6. Exercise five days a week with focus on conditioning of your cardiovascular system, strengthening exercises and stretching exercises.
  7. Get rid of the white menace, which is white flour and white sugar.
  8. Sweat profusely at least three times a week, using a sauna, steam or a detox bath.
  9. Take a high-quality multivitamin and mineral.
  10. Relax deeply every day, to get your nervous system in a state of calm, rest and relaxation.

When you think about it, these concepts aren't that difficult to incorporate into your life every single day. You probably do many of them already, or at least try to. Why not print out this list and keep it at your desk to help you restore your body to top form? It'll be like your own personal anti-detox, anti-diet...a lifestyle that you can thrive on!