Detoxifying your body is not a new concept. Thousand of years ago the Ancient Egyptians used to detox by fasting and ingesting colon-cleansing herbs. They understand the need to rid the body of impurities through detox. Today, many different programs exist to help you detox, but not all of them are good for you. How do you know when, and how to detox?

Through our daily lives we take toxins into our bodies, either through the foods we eat, the fluids we drink, the lotions we slather on our skin, the air and chemicals that we come in contact with. The human body has an excellent system in place to get rid of these toxins using our liver and kidneys and expelling them through feces, urine and sweat.

However, some people believe some of these toxins hang around, or that resting the liver by fasting for a few days allows it to work more effectively. Numerous detoxification programs have been created – most involve some kind of fast with slow reintroduction of certain foods, and may use enemas, special teas, supplements, juices or lemon water.

If you're thinking about detoxification, it is important to read up about various programs and choose one you believe works for you. Scientists are divided on the health benefits of detoxification, so it's important you make up your own mind before embarking on one of these programs.

Certain people should not attempt a detoxification program, such as pregnant or nursing women, children, teens, and those with serious health issues. Consult your doctor if you're concerned.

Even if you do not think a detoxification program is for you, there are plenty of ways to decrease the amount of toxins that enter your body and ensure your liver and kidneys are working at their optimum.

• Reduce or eliminate toxin-rich products from your diet, such as alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugar and saturated fats.

• Try to eat organic, spray-free fruits and vegetables.

• If you can afford it, eat organic meat that is not enriched with hormones and other chemicals.

• Relieve stress, as this can lead to the body releasing stress hormones into your system that create harmful toxins in your body.

• Drink green tea to help cleanse your liver.

• Drink plenty of water – this helps cleanse your body.

• Exercise for 30 minutes to an hour every day. This releases toxins through your sweat and keeps your organs functioning for years to come.