Detoxing is one of those buzzwords that people love throwing around, usually in conjunction with words like ‘weight-loss’ and ‘drop a dress size’. But if you forget about these huge claims for a minute, is there any value in doing a detox? The goal is to rid the body of toxic substances, clean out and reset the digestive system – as a result, many of these diets are very, very low in calories. So, do you detox?
By Jana du Plessis
Many health websites claim that a detox will make you feel lighter and revitalised after a few days of highly restrictive food intake. Whether it’s a soup cleanse, a juice fast or eating only half a block of cheese for breakfast, all of these will promise a kick-start to weight-loss and ultimate health. Everyday we are confronted with various toxic substances and over time, these can have a taxing effect on the body. From the pesticide, chemical and metal residues on foods to artificial ingredients and pollutants that we accidentally consume, a detox can help to remove these toxic substances from your body to refresh and restore you from within.
Although it’s true that our bodies are under pressure when it comes to external bacteria and other nasties, detox advocates forget to mention how amazing the human body was created. Each of us are already equipped with detoxifying organs to help deal with the variables we come in contact with. The liver, kidneys, lungs, large intestine and the skin are renewing and cleaning up our insides through normal, daily bodily functions.
Sure, some days even we feel like taking on a detox programme (especially after that extra slab of chocolate we sneaked last night!). But what these diets don’t tell us is what and how to eat after the detox is completed. We drank our juices or suffered through our monotonous dinners, but there is still no clear indication as to how the detox will provide us with the tools and knowledge to set us up for healthier eating habits moving forward.
Whether you are for detoxing or against it, remember that our bodies are naturally detoxifying organs. If we reach for fresh, minimally processed and nutritious foods, would we really need to limit calorie consumption for the sake of removing toxins?