Despite the chilly temperature, birds were busy chirping in the trees this morning; it’s the first definitive sign that spring has arrived in Denver! This time of year makes me want to open the dusty closets and start spring cleaning. But it doesn’t have to stop with the cobwebbed spaces in the house. How about spring cleaning your daily routine?
My introductory nutrition students always ask questions about cleansing and detoxifying the body. Although popular topics in the media, cleanse or detox diets are a bad idea. Most of these plans rely on unhealthful methods to remove “toxins” from the body, often encouraging tactics that eliminate calories, entire food groups, or rely on nutrient-deficient beverages. The truth is, the body has its own caretakers in the form of the liver, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal tract, the body’s filtering powerhouses driven by the high speed network of the circulatory system. These organs are designed to spotlessly clean and protect the body in its entirety. Be wary of diet scams that recommend purchasing products (shakes, powders, books, etc.) or that exclude entire food groups; some of these approaches can even cause hazardous medical complications. If you really want to protect your body and feel great, eat healthfully and exercise!
The best diet is one that is high in fruits, vegetables and water, and moderate in lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Start by cutting out processed and fast foods and instead add fresh vegetables and fruits, such as pears, at each meal. In no time, you’ll feel energized and ready for spring!