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Detox Diets: Cleansing the Body

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Our bodies naturally detoxify every day, Page tells WebMD. "Detoxification is a normal body process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colon, liver,

If you feel "congested" from too much food -- or the wrong kinds of food -- you may want to detoxify, she says. If your energy level is low, if you have been taking many medications that have not been eliminated from your system, a weekend detox may help you feel better.

While a "water only" fast is pretty straightforward, Page's cleansing is a bit more involved.

The diet starts on Friday night with a green salad, but Saturday's menu shows you what's really in store: Breakfast starts with plenty of vitamin C, then take your choice of fruit juices. "Because of its high water content, fruit will flush you through much quicker," she says. "Green things give energy, but sugars will wash the system easier."

"You're going to be drinking something every 90 minutes to two hours, so you won't feel deprived or hungry," Page tells WebMD. "As your body gets lighter and lighter through the weekend, you can feel what's going on. You're getting rid of toxins accumulated during the winter. Your body is starting to release fat, those extra pounds."

Dinner? That's miso soup with some chopped sea vegetables (like the Japanese nori, used to make sushi) snipped over top. Or you might choose a cup of brown rice with a few chopped vegetables mixed in. "Brown rice gives your body plenty of B vitamins, which is a stress reducer. It's very high fiber, will fill you up, will help you sleep, and will flush you out in the morning."

She also advocates "cleansing boosters," including herbal laxatives, colonics, probiotics (that replenish healthy bacteria), and antioxidants. Relaxation techniques -- massage therapy, sauna, aromatherapy baths, deep breathing exercises, walking -- help round-out the cleanse.

In evaluating Page's detox diet, Dillard says, "Certainly, the human body carries huge loads of petrochemicals. We know people usually die with the full burden of PCBs they've ever been exposed to -- from fish, animals -- stuck in their liver. DDT sticks around, too."

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