You’ve probably heard the words “detox” and “cleanse” a lot recently. They’re pretty big buzzwords in the nutrition field. But what do they actually mean? The words themselves are pretty interchangeable. Let’s start with dictionary definitions:

Cleanse: to rid of impurities by or as if by washing

Detox: to free from an intoxicating or an addictive substance, or dependence on such a substance

Pretty much the same thing, right? So “cleansing” and “detox” mean taking out toxins and addictive stuff, like sugar, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and chemicals (coined “SNACCs” by detox doctor Elson Haas). But removing toxins is only one side of the cleansing equation. The other side, which is just as crucial, is adding in nutrient dense whole foods. So the formula is simple – reduce SNACCs, increase whole foods.

Now, keeping our formula in mind, there are different degrees of cleansing. You can go out in the desert and live on water for 40 days to cleanse, or you can simply eliminate one food that you rely on every day. It could be your morning bagel, your 3pm latte or the fast-food drive through lane you find yourself in on the way home from work.

Remember, eliminating toxins is only one side of the equation. So you’ve decided which SNACC you are getting rid of. Great! Now what do you add to your daily diet? We suggest green vegetables, and lots of them! Some examples of green vegetables are kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, spinach, and rocket. They are the foods most missing in modern diets, and are loaded with beneficial phytochemicals and cleansing fiber. You may be thinking “But I don’t have time to cook green vegetables.” Not to worry! This month’s Food Focus – Green Smoothies – shows you a great shortcut to getting more green veggie power into your diet everyday.

If you’d like to find out more about detoxing and my favourite type of detox, which is detoxing from sugar, then read on: More on How to Beat Sugar Addiction

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