Detoxification – what is it, and why do people pursue it? Although we see new ads for detox diets every day, it’s hard to grapple with the cost of what it hopes to accomplish: a cleansing of the body. Simply put, where do healthy lifestyle choices clash with trendy, in vogue advertisements?
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At its core, detoxification speaks to the process of purifying/cleansing the body of a drug, alcohol, or other toxins or poisons. As argued by many in the world of health-minded infomercials, our bodies are constantly filled with these toxins through poor choice of diet, exposure to bad environments, and other poor lifestyle choices. Through the detoxification process, however, we can rid ourselves of these toxins, making our bodies healthy again.
Sounds like a logical premise, but it is completely true? More importantly, is it really healthy?
Argued Benefits Of Detoxing
Proponents of detoxification and detox diets argue a few key points.
First, considering the assault on our bodies from our diets, the environment, and pollutants, a detoxification helps remove dangers levels of any of the above from our bodies. This helps our body remain strong and healthy, leading to a number of other benefits.
People who detox or support detoxification argue a heightened level of energy, better ingestion and bowel movement, clearer (and perhaps even smoother) skin, weight loss, better concentration, and, if one continues this process, possible increased longevity.
Dangers Of Detox
First, keep in mind that a detox diet is a short-term diet. This is not something to continuously pursue for a number of reasons.
One key problem with detox diets are the possibility of nutrient deprivation. When one simply drinks water and eating little substance, perhaps just vegetables or light soups, they run the risk of depriving their body of needed fuel and nutrients.
Secondly, if one does not detox properly, they can danger themselves via dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea, according to nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky at Mayo Clinic. Considering these, Zeratsky reminds readers that “ the best diet is a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein.”
Finally, many doctors, including Zeratsky and Dr. Roger Clemens at USC, point to the fact that there is no sound scientific proof that detox diets do what they say they’ll do. Our kidne
ys and liver do most of the detox work automatically. Furthermore, detoxing rarely – if ever – promotes sustained weight loss. Because detoxing alters our metabolism, once we move off the diet, our bodies rapidly gain back the weight to stabilize themselves.
What’s The Bottom Line?
The best thing to do for a healthy, sound body is to follow Zeratsky’s advice: follow a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean proteins. Also, avoid the toxins a detox hopes to cleanse you of. That means no heavy drinking or smoking.
If you’re still not convinced of the downfalls of detoxing, Zeratsky offer’s one last piece of advice: “If you're considering a detox diet, get the OK from your doctor first.”