Detox and cleanse are big buzzwords especially at this time of year (new year resolutions anyone?). You see more and more companies trying to sell a juice, tea, supplement, powder, enema that claim to detox your body, but these often do not promote health at all and are just a way for companies to cash in on people’s desire to cleanse their bodies of the bad things they put in.
How do we actually detox?
We have this image that you can drink these juices etc and it will “clean the pipes’ and flush your system of any impurities but that isn’t how the body works; Our bodies are made to self-clean or detox naturally via our lungs, nasal hairs, skin, lymph nodes, liver and kidneys which all work to rid our bodies of foreign chemicals.
No juice or tea or special supplement is going to speed up that process and I would ask anyone that is claiming so to show your research and evidence of such a statement.
Why detoxes might be doing you more harm than good:
These detox plans and cleanses don’t have any research backing up their claims. A lot of the support for them is just anecdotal. Companies selling these products will most likely not be able to answer two fundamental questions; what toxin or harmful substance are you removing from the body? Is there any evidence that the toxin is removed from my body? And if they can’t answer these two simple questions why bother?
I would also be wary that some of these products can cause more harm than good as a lot contain laxatives which make you poop and diuretics that promote the production of urine. This can cause dehydration and the depletion of important minerals such as potassium, sodium and calcium.
So, if I don’t drink tea or juice and don’t take special supplements how do I detox?
The only way we can possibly speed up the detoxifying of our bodies is to
· Prevent putting in the foods that these organs such as the liver and kidneys work hard to remove such as alcohol, caffeine, processed and junk foods.
· Lifestyle factors such as getting enough sleep,
· reducing stress through various strategies such as yoga and meditation
· drinking plenty of water can also help,
· as well as putting the good stuff in such as whole or minimally processed plant foods.
Just to finish up we come into contact with multiple toxins in our everyday lives that we have little control over such as pollution, pesticides etc. by following a healthy diet and lifestyle long term it allows our bodies to work to remove these environmental toxins without putting any further or undue stress from a part of our lives that we have control over…our diet and lifestyle.
- Hannah Thompson (Plant-based Nutritionist)