Dr. Perricone Discusses

Detoxing the Healthy Way

Many of my patients ask me my opinion of the 'detox' obsession that seems to be sweeping the country. Some experts call it a waste of time and money with no true benefits, while others preach it with evangelical zeal. My point of view falls somewhere in the middle. If we follow the anti-inflammatory diet or my metabolic diet, our organ systems will function at optimum levels. We won't retain excess water, have bags under our eyes, suffer from a pasty, pallid complexion, feel sluggish and fatigued and all the other symptoms that result from a diet filled with pro-inflammatory foods. Advocates of detox talk about clear and glowing skin, and a return to the health and fitness we experience as children. There is no question that abstaining from pro-inflammatory foods (a key element of detox) offers great physical and mental benefits.

In addition to following an anti-inflammatory diet, here are some simple steps you can take to detox the healthy way:
    1. Add cilantro to your food to help cleanse your body of heavy metals. A perfect meal addition for fish lovers!
    2. Green tea is a great anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory beverage, and along with pure spring water will help the body flush out toxins and stay hydrated, supple, and healthy.
    3. Lemon is also a natural detoxifying agent, and many experts also believe detoxifying the body helps eliminate the lumpy and bumpy appearance of cellulite.
    4. Avoid hidden sugars - Sugar comes in many forms. As you might assume, when we eat sugar it raises our blood sugar, and chronically high levels of sugar in the blood lead to the creation of the sugar bonds known as AGEs. Check labels and avoid the following ingredients: white sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, confectioner's sugar, invert sugar, raw sugar, beet sugar, turbinado sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrin, honey, maple, evaporated cane juice, malt, molasses, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, maltose.
    5. Incorporate watercress into your daily diet. This delicious green is believed to be an effective diuretic that promotes urine flow, which helps in clearing toxins from the system. When eaten, the diuretic properties of watercress help relieve excess water retention and edema, and this green was historically used in heart failure to remove retained fluid.

By pairing these simple steps with an anti-inflammatory diet, you'll not only feel better but also have beautiful, glowing skin to show for it.

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