Time for a Detox? Not So Fast
Sponsored Content by Fakih IVF
By Ms. Ayla Coussa
Clinical Dietitian, Fakih IVF
What does your body need?
Flush toxins and improve your digestive system?
Weight loss, clearer skin and better mental focus?
Garner more energy?
Don’t you want amazing results in a limited time period?
Quick fix programs for our bodies? But the supplements required for these diets can cost anywhere from $20 to over $1000.
What is detoxification?
Detox, or cleansing diets, usually last from three days to about a month, and are claimed to be natural methods to rid the body of harmful toxins.
Diets involve, either alone or in combination:
- Fasting (limiting how much food you eat)
- Restricting some food groups: carbohydrates (bread and cereals), animal products (dairy, meats, poultry, fish and eggs) – a rigid diet can consist of eating only raw vegetables, fruit, juice, and water
- Drinking large amounts of water and juices
- Taking herbal, medicinal products or laxatives to increase bowel movement (may induce diarrhoea)
- Taking nutritional supplements
Is there such a thing as cleansing?
No scientific evidence has shown that any detox regimen (whether fad diets or herb kits) delivers its promises and is recommended for disease prevention and better health. Our bodies have extraordinary systems for removing toxins and neutralizing toxic substances within hours after we eat them.
How? The liver filters the blood and waste is sent to the kidneys to be removed through urine. The small and large intestines only absorb the water and nutrients which the body needs. Anything the body doesn’t need is removed through faeces.
Does it cause more harm than good?
- Excluding food groups may cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as B vitamin deficiencies by excluding carbohydrates
- A reduction in our metabolic rate, which makes weight loss even more difficult
- Fatigue, lack of energy and dizziness
- Hair loss
- Cleansers can cause cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting
- Laxatives and frequent bathroom visits can cause irritation of the skin on your bottom
- Electrolyte imbalance (compounds needed for muscle contraction and nerve impulses)
Herbal remedies and supplements needed for these detox diets are not always regulated by the country’s legislation where it is being sold, which means they could be UNSAFE!
Your health is at greater risk from a cleanse if:
- You have diabetes
- You have kidney, heart or liver disease
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You are taking medications which may interact with the herbs included in detox diets
Clean eating OR cleansing?
Clean eating is what you need to do. Our bodies don’t need “help” to remove toxins!
- Follow a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables, whole grains and your body will naturally cleanse itself
- “Low Hi Diet” or “Low human involvement diet” – eat foods in their most natural state, or made with natural ingredients: less processed foods, or foods which are high in chemical additives, salts, trans fats, refined grains, added sugars and artificial sweeteners
- Water, water and water; aim for two to three litres per day
- Healthy fats include avocado, olive oil and nuts
- Cutting out bad habits such as alcohol and smoking