Detox diets are a popular way to supposedly cleanse your system of harmful toxins. However, evidence that supports the health benefits of detoxing is lacking.
Depending on the type of detox and length of time, detoxing can prove harmful or helpful. Detox diets can be many things. They can be diets that rest your organs through fasting. They could be diets that stimulate the liver or improve its functioning. Detoxes could even be as simple as improving blood circulation. You may be surprised that just refuelling the body with certain nutrients can even function as a detox.
If you are considering going on a temporary detoxification diet, there are a few things you should consider first.
What are toxins?
To start, detox diets claim to flush out toxins from your systems. But what are these toxins and where do they come from? Toxins in our bodies can enter our bodies as chemical toxins, environmental toxins, drugs, skin care products, food allergens, heavy metals, hormones in animal products, pesticides, viruses, etc. The list seems endless!
Toxins in our bodies prevent cells from working properly, and also damage enzymes and DNA. These toxins can even cause hormone imbalances.
How do we get rid of them?
Actual detox diets which limit calories do not detoxify your body in any special way. The human body is already incredibly made to eliminate waste naturally. Our bodies eliminate toxins regularly, in fact toxins never actually “build up”.
The large intestine, liver and kidney all function to eliminate toxins from the body. The large intestine gets rid of food remains after nutrients have been absorbed into your body. The liver and kidney both filter your blood to remove toxins and byproducts of digestion.
In reality, our many bodily processes that occur daily function to keep our bodies as toxin-free as possible. Going on a calorie-limiting detox diet will most likely only end up making you feel fatigued and starved.
So what can we do to detox naturally?
Although specific detox diets may not prove beneficial, there are numerous ways that we can help our bodies to detox naturally in the best way they can. Here are a few of the main ways to cleanse your body daily:
- Eat lots of fiber
- Breathe deeply
- Exercise (both movement and sweat helps eliminate toxins)
- Cook with herbs
- Drink loads of water
In the end, our bodies do not need fancy supplements or cleansing juice diets to eliminate harmful toxins. Those things may end up doing more harm than good. The important thing to remember is to focus on eating lots of whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables to keep your bodily systems running smoothly!