Think you need to go on a detox diet? Think again

Detox diets

Detox diets often involve severe energy restriction via the exclusion of whole food groups for a period of time, often days or even weeks. And they usually promote tonics and juices made up of a variety of herbal concoctions.

Detox diets promise to flush toxins from the body, shed kilos, boost energy levels and aid digestion. And they guarantee to do all that in an instant. Sounds like a dream come true, really. But is this simply a marketing myth or is there some validity to this quick fix?

In short, there isn’t a skerrick of evidence to support detox diets (excuse me for not holding back). In fact, they make it nearly impossible for one to meet their nutritional requirements. And this can be especially dangerous for children, adolescents, pregnant women and the elderly. The notion that we can “cleanse” and “purify” our bodies is fallacious at best.

It is worth asking, however, whether we need to detox or whether the body has defence mechanisms to deal with so-called toxins. The answer is, that the body has a variety of mechanisms to “detox”. The liver, lungs and lymphatic system help to eliminate potentially harmful chemicals efficiently and effectively. Note that our bowels are pretty proficient at clearing waste too.

If you really wanted to espouse the detox dieting ways then including a diet with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, lean meats and plenty of whole grains is the way to do it. Not to mention ditching the grog, sugary drinks, pastries, cakes, sweets, confectionery and heavily processed foods. Or at the very least minimising your intake of these discretionary items. To get the most out of your body nourish it with the good stuff and get active too – it isn’t rocket science. But it’s the only sure-fire way to promote a healthy lifestyle and rid your body of any potential nasties.

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