It is difficult not to be sucked into the idea of detoxing. The notion that you can easily cleanse all your little ‘caloric sins’ is an easy and perfect solution to our junk food filled and our alcohol-lubricated lives. However, experts advise that before you dust up your fancy juicer and try out this latest weight-loss trend, it is pertinent that you ascertain whether detoxification really works or whether it is just another weight-loss fad.
Can detoxing really help to flush your system of stubborn impurities and leave your major organs completely clean or is it just another pseudo medical concept cleverly concocted by entrepreneurs to promote and sell their products? To be able to understand whether detoxing is a myth it is important to understand the science of detoxification.
A brief look at the science behind detoxification that proves detox diets are a myth
Although detox diet are extremely popular, there is very little evidence that they actually eliminate toxins from your body and help in long-term weight-loss. Deox diet vary but they typically include a period of brief fasting that is followed by a strict diet if water, fruits, fruit juices and raw vegetables. Most detox diets advocate for the use of supplements, herbs and colon cleansing (enemas) to help clean the intestines.
The most important organs in detoxification are kidneys and the liver which make up a sophisticated and complex natural detoxification system. The kidney plays the role of filtering the blood and removing excess waste and water from the body. The liver on the other hand uses a two phase product to break down toxins.
Phase 1 involves the breaking down and neutralization of toxins while phase 2 involves binding the broken down toxins to other molecules creating a non toxic molecules that can easily be dispelled from the body through the stool, urine and bile.
For this natural detoxification process to be efficient the body needs a steady and sufficient supply of nutrients. Some of the nutrients that accelerate natural detoxification include B-Vitamins, flavonoids present in fruits and vegetables, food rich in vitamin A, C and E such as almonds, oranges and carrots. Other necessary nutrients for the detoxification process are Glutathione, found in avocado, fish oil and amino acids from healthy proteins. This simply means that efficient detoxification requires a balanced diet that includes loads of vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins and water. Simply starving yourself then ingesting loads of fruits and vegetables cannot effectively rid your body of toxins.
Why most people are inclined to believe that Detoxification works;
If detoxing is really a myth; why do most people report feeling more energized and focused after completing detox diets? The answer is simple! Detox diets eliminate highly processed foods that consist of sugar and solid fats. By avoiding the consumption of these high-calorie foods your body becomes more energized.
All those fancy ingredients in most detox diets such as cayenne pepper, lemon juice, water and maple syrup do not do much in terms of detoxifying and cleansing. What most of these ingredients do is eliminate processed fats, alcohol, soda, commercial meat, fructose corn syrup and snack foods. Ultimately the only benefit you accrue from detox diets is that they ensure the kidney and liver are not overburdened by bad food which hinders the natural detoxification process.
2 common misconceptions (‘myths’) about detox diets
- Detoxing is fastest method to lose weight
FACT- While the starving that is accompanied by the heavy diet of fruits and vegetables can help shed a few pounds, you will quickly gain the weight back once you resume your normal diet. Although conventional weight-loss methods such as a strict exercise regimen are slower, they are more reliable and ensure the weights stays off.
- Excessive consumption of water detoxes the body
FACT-This is not entirely true because while water assists in cleaning out and enhance liver and kidney function, excessive water consumption is not healthy. Overdrinking water can lead to unpleasant side effects such as disorientation, nausea and even headaches.
Detox diets are not long term solution to maintaining a healthy body weight, instead they are a great way to jumpstart your journey to healthier living. To maintain a healthy natural detoxification system, your best bet is to adopt a healthy exercise regimen and consistently eat a diet rich in lean sources of proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.