Detox became a buzz word five or so years ago and seems to have hung around since as people relished the idea that all their sins could seemingly be undone in a three day juice.
For most people, committing to a detox is a big ask and do you really need to do it? The information out there is very confusing. From juice cleanses to pills and powders, the detox definition has broadened so much that its hard to identify exactly what it now means.
So lets look at what its all about and if / why its something you should consider.
Firstly what is the the point? What am i detoxifying?
The main aim of any detox is to rid the body of harmful toxins that over time can have detrimental affects on our long term health.
But what is a toxin?
In layman's terms its simply "a harmful matter".
Realistically things we consume can be considered toxic in some way if we consume too much of them (like alcohol) or too regularly. However our amazing bodies have some clever ways of cleansing itself.
Other toxins consumed daily by most people include:
Overuse of prescription and non prescription medications
Excess alcohol intake
Consumption of sugary foods, drinks and modified products
Lack of nutrient rich diet
Lack of exercise
Poor sleep patterns
Exposure to toxic chemicals, smog, heavy metals
The good news is our bodies have an incredible system in place to detoxify ourselves on a daily basis. Our major organs of detoxification include the digestive tract, kidneys, skin, lungs, liver, lymphatic system, and respiratory system.
The bad news is that due to our diets and lifestyles, these systems struggle over time to work optimally and like everything else in life need ongoing care and attention to work efficiently.
Where toxins become dangerous is when they accumulate.
But do detoxes work? Aren't they dangerous? Can anyone do them?
The purpose of any detox program is to support your liver and kidney functions in order to prevent any sort of imbalance or buildup.
Realistically, any detox or cleanse that is advocating extreme fasting or calorie / food restriction should be avoided unless carried out under medical supervision. Some common effects of these sort of detoxes include; headaches, low blood sugar, nausea, dizziness, fatigue and lack of energy. Not much fun!
The most effective way to help our bodies long term is to include the key foods that contain nutrients that help break down more effectively than others. Also increasing foods that have the enzymes that bind to toxins and carry them through your digestive tract, easing the burden on your liver and kidneys.
The focus needs to be on clean eating as a lifestyle not a fad or afterthought to over indulgence.
A supporting supplementary plan may also help support liver health. Pop in for a chat about whether or not supplements may work for you.