Not feeling yourself lately? Skin giving you a hard time? Experiencing constant never-ending fatigue? Have bloating, puffy eyes, digestive disorders and menstrual problems become your best friends? If the answer to all or some of these questions is yes, then it’s time to detox your body.
These are just some of the health claims made by many independent organizations and companies endorsing the importance of detoxification. But a rational approach under these circumstances would be to equip yourself with the knowledge on the pros and cons of a body detox and implement it in your daily regime.
Although detox seems like a trendy practice these days, it’s pretty expensive for a passing trend. Detox is a term that’s used to describe a method of cleansing the body of toxins or unhealthy substances through resting and consuming a healthy detox diet, all while ditching high amounts of sugary and caffeinated drinks or fasting for short periods of time.
At this point you’re probably wondering about the authenticity and seriousness of detoxing. That’s where we come help you. Let’s examine the secrets and mechanism of detoxing or whether you even need to detox or not.
Is Detox a Fad?
Some experts believe there’s no such thing as a healthy detox and our body is programmed to get rid of unwanted toxins naturally. Following calorie-restricted diets or using detox juices can only cause your body adverse effects in the long run, specifically your brain and digestive systems.
Yet data from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that cutting down on excess amount of carbs has also been beneficial in combating serious harmful diseases such as diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, acne, neurological diseases, cancer, respiratory disorders and cardiovascular diseases. As a result, a few health experts believe that fasting for short periods of time and taking breaks from binge eating can actually help maintain the functions of different body organs.
Similarly, there’s a whole branch of nutrition science that emphasizes using certain beneficial foods for cleaning the body internally in a healthy manner. So you can’t just stop eating natural foods since eating lots of healthy fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants can be the most effective and safest strategy. Antioxidants are the molecules that help neutralize the harmful free radicals in the body. These are abundantly present in berries, olive oil, green tea etc.
Despite all these benefits, some detox diets do contain unhealthy detox recipes, such as fruit-infused drinks. According to one such recipe, you can make lemon-infused drinks by adding cut slices of lemon to a liter of water overnight. Apparently, the next day, you’re supposed to consume eight glasses of that ‘lemonade’. If you do that and drink water first thing in the morning, the normal balance of your digestive juices gets disrupted and can cause severe acidity.
Also, if you’re interested in benefiting from some body-detoxifying functional foods, then a detox diet containing moderate amounts of carbs along with antioxidant-rich foods is best for you. Always remember that starving yourself for longer periods of times and completely excluding carbs from your diet is not recommended, as according to a study from Postgraduate Medical Journal, both measures are capable of disrupting thyroid dysfunction in the body along with other brain complications.
To sum up, detox isn’t just a fashion statement, you have to be careful in its execution. Excess of everything is bad, so with a little prior knowledge on detox diet and body functioning, you can safely detox your body.
Do our Bodies Detox Naturally?
The next question that comes to mind about detoxing is: Do our bodies detox naturally? Yes, they do.
Our liver and kidneys are designed to eliminate harmful toxins naturally. For instance, the liver works by purifying blood while the kidneys are associated with naturally cleaning our urinary systems.
Moreover, antioxidants work by scavenging the body of harmful free radicals and reducing chronic stress and inflammation or DNA damage to the body.
However, you can use antioxidants to lend a hand to the liver and kidneys cleansing your body. Add more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins in your diet and replace starchy sugar, fatty foods, alcohol, cigarettes, milk products, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners and caffeine to wheat, rye, barley and oats for colon cleanse.
Detox Your Body With Supplements And Juices
Most foods or supplements that are obtained from natural plant sources are safe for natural detoxing. The only concern is to keep a check on the quantity and the time period for which a specific intervention should be used. Some natural juices along with healthy eating can help in detoxifying your body.
To detox your body, the rule of thumb is to go natural. Listed below are a few natural and safe detoxifying foods.
Smoothies made from berries — a rich source of antioxidants — such as blue berries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries can naturally detox the body by providing healthy alternatives to milks such as coconut or almond milk.
Green smoothies including spinach, celery and ginger along with some fruit of your own choice, mixed with coconut milk, serve as good detox options.
Wheat grass contains some functional compounds that can increase red blood cells count by cleaning your blood and stimulating the thyroid gland and your metabolism. As a result, wheat grass is a good choice for ensuring a good herbal cleanse of your body.
Green tea contains catechins and epicatechins that are antioxidants in nature and have the ability to scavenge harmful toxins from your bodies. Drinking moderate amounts of green tea, such as one cup daily, can help you considerably in reaching your detoxing goal.
A study from the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism suggests that orange juice contains high amounts of polyphenols, compounds that help in detoxifying the body.
Beetroot juice is an excellent choice for keeping bad toxins at bay due to presence of a color pigment called betalain i.e., a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pigment which helps in detoxifying toxic substance.
What are the Healthiest Ways to Naturally Detox?
The healthiest way to detox is clean eating, with the most important point being not to crash diet. Such diets are low in calories and essential nutrients and have potential adverse effects on your body by lowering your blood sugar levels, leaving you tired or dizzy.
Avoiding highly fatty fast foods full of transfats and introducing other alternatives can also aid in natural detox. Other effective options such as giving your organs some rest via fasting, stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body, going on water detox by drinking enough amounts of water, improving blood circulation by exercising and adding essential vitamins and nutrients from antioxidants, can seriously help naturally detoxify your body.
Is Detox Beneficial?
Using healthy detox options can greatly help you clean your body in addition to improving mental health. However, going for extreme detox diets can also affect your body negatively.
Keep in mind that citrus fruits and juices extracted from foods such as lemon, lime and orange, if taken in high quantities, can disturb the pH of your stomach by causing acidity. Furthermore, fruit-infused waters, especially those made from citrus fruits should not be taken on an empty stomach.
At the end of the day, detoxifying for short period of times such as a 7-day cleanse isn’t harmful to your body, provided you don’t go on crash diets or undergo severe detoxification.