Dr Sandra Cabot is the best-selling author of many books including The Liver Cleansing Diet and more recently The Ultimate Detox.

What does detox mean to you?

To detox is to stop consuming unhealthy foods, beverages, stimulants and drugs for a period of time to improve overall health. It is also important to minimise exposure to environmental toxins as much
as possible.

What are the benefits of detox?

Doing a detox forces you to take a good look at what you are eating and the type of lifestyle you lead, and then evaluate whether that is helping your health, or hindering it. In our clinics we see many patients with conditions such as fatigue, allergies, insomnia, frequent infections, excess weight and skin problems. Each of these conditions can be greatly improved with a good detox.

But what of the opposing view?

The human body has inbuilt detoxification mechanisms, designed to remove toxins from our body via our bowels, urine, breath and perspiration. This would function well enough in an ideal, stress-free, unpolluted world but we do not live in such a world. In today's times we are exposed to much higher levels of chemicals, heavy metals and stress than any generation before us, with new challenges such as food irradiation, genetically modified foods, microwave ovens and an increasing amount of artificial sweeteners.

So where does exercise fit into a good detox program?

Exercise is a fantastic way to speed the removal of toxins from the body because it improves circulation, stimulates the lymphatic system to remove waste from the bloodstream, and many toxins are excreted through perspiration. Exercise also increases energy levels and motivation to eat well and look after ourselves. While doing a detox, we strongly recommend that people exercise at a lower intensity than usual. It is important to not push yourself too hard during this time.


Janella Purcell, naturopath and soon to be seen on Janella Purcell's Get a Life on Foxtel.

What's the best approach to detox?

Slow. A lot of people do a really full-on detox and they get symptoms of a healing crisis, such as headaches, nausea and skin break outs. All the toxins are being released at once, and you get the symptoms of a really bad hangover. To do it slowly is better. You can't go off everything all at once and expect to feel good.

How should one prepare?

Getting rid of the junk food out of your house. Getting a whole lot of fresh fish and vegies.

Can detox be bad for you?

If it's done in extreme, definitely. You don't want to release all those nasties at once, you want to sneak them out.

Pungent is a great flavour for the liver (found in ginger and coriander) because it's good for digestion. Sour foods are specific for the liver (grapefruit, lemon, pears, plums and mango). Peppermint tea, celery, broccoli, seaweed, chamomile, rye and wheatgrrass are good. Generally, your detox diet should be made of good fats, fresh fish and vegies.

All preservatives and chemicals. Processed and refined foods, such as
white wheat and sugar. All junk food, processed oils, rich and heavy food.

I don't think that you should particularly deprive your of anything. But it's good to be mindful of the foods listed above.

Drink lots of water, do gentle exercise and don't rush into anything too quickly. Think of detox as a change of lifestyle, rather than a quick-fix solution.

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