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In the Clear

Fight toxins with healing foods and good-for-you habits.

By Kelle Walsh

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Detox diets are the latest fad in Hollywood, but their popularity's due to more than hype or vanity. According to Mark Hyman, former co-medical director at Canyon Ranch Lenox in Massachusetts and author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss, most people are in a state of toxic overload brought on by our environment and lifestyle. "If we were sleeping nine hours a night, eating only wild foods, moving our bodies for two to three hours a day, and not being exposed to any toxins, then our bodies could do what they are meant to do," he says.

Although the body is designed to eliminate toxins, it can become overburdened, Hyman says. The result? Ill health and symptoms ranging from general fatigue, sinus problems, digestion issues, and skin rashes to more serious diseases.

The good news is, you can mitigate the effects of toxins by boosting your body's ability to fend them off. Hyman's health-preserving prescription includes drinking only filtered water; eating organic foods, including 8 to 10 daily servings of fruits and vegetables such as pomegranate, cruciferous vegetables, garlic and onions, and green tea; eliminating white flour and sugar; exercising and sweating regularly; moving your bowels daily; taking high-quality vitamins and minerals; and taking time to relax every day.

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