Everywhere you look there is a “detoxing” product or plan. But do they work? Well the truth is our bodies are designed to detox themselves. If your body isn’t removing toxins properly there may be a bigger issue. And some detoxes may be doing more harm than good.
Rick Henriksen, M.D., a family medicine physician at University of Utah Health Care, had this to say about detoxing.
“We have toxins that come from food. Some of those products aren’t healthy for us long term, but they’re not something you’re going to get rid of in a short time by doing a juice diet.
Some plants create toxins as a natural defense mechanism against insects, bacteria and even animals. These can also be damaging to us. Our liver can work to remove these from our blood.” – read more
While doing a detox may cause you to lose a few pounds it’s unlikely you will keep them off, it’s just water weight. Sometimes though it can even be muscle mass, which you don’t want to lose.
Some detoxes use ingredients that help support our organs, like the liver, to help them function better. While this can be a good thing, you need to use caution with herbal supplements. Just like conventional medicine they can have side effects and even interact with medications. It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting these supplements.
Some of the detoxes can even have harmful effects. Juice detoxes, for one, are not likely to have any long-term benefits and can be harmful. Juice detoxes often contain a large amount of sugar and minimal protein. This can cause major blood sugar spikes, which can be harmful in many ways. There is also no evidence that this has any detoxing benefits.
Another issue with detoxing is that it’s normally something you do for a short amount of time so if there is a benefit it’s not lasting.
The best way to actually detox your body is to just eat a clean, real food diet and make sure to meet your nutritional needs each day to keep your toxin fighting organs in good shape. There may also be some supplements needed to help meet your needs. Again before starting the supplements let your doctor know.
The truth is our bodies are pretty amazing and tend to do a good job removing the bad stuff. So just keep supporting your body with healthy food, lots of water, and exercise. Lifestyle changes are what works and lasts.
So have you tried any detoxes or cleanses? The only cleanse I ever did I couldn’t make it a day because of the digestive trouble it gave me. Let’s just say I spent a lot of time in the bathroom and the only thing that was going to do is dehydrate me! I’d love to hear about your experiences. Leave me a comment below.
Photo adapted from photo by corbin_dana