Think twice before you decide to go on a cleansing diet
Most people have already failed at keeping up with the New Year’s resolutions they made on January 1 and are thinking of coming up with new ones. Detoxing has been a popular diet over the last several years. Whether it’s a fad or a trend is early to say, but one constant factor is the lack of scientific evidence supporting them.
Many toxins are used to grow the food we eat, so we consume the harmful chemicals all the time. Even the air we breathe has too many. The liver and kidneys naturally get rid of them every time you sweat or go to the bathroom. This has been the case for thousands of years. So why do people need to do more? They don’t. Cleaning up your diet instead will do just fine.
The basic principle of cleansing is not eating foods or drink beverages that contain toxins. That list can be endless. The goal is to “purify” the body but, again, it does that on its own.
Science is not conclusive whether detox is good for you. There is no definitive proof that such diets help the body eliminate toxins faster. Tempting arguments exist on both sides. There is research, however, that shows certain foods to be good for improving your liver.
Studies have indicated that the liver is among the most important organs in the body that regulates and stores vital proteins and nutrients needed to purify (here is that word again) and clear the organism of harmful chemicals. A healthy liver doesn’t store toxins; it transforms them into water-soluble substances that leave your body in the form of sweat, urine and excrement.
Detoxing also targets the colon. These diets are not necessary at all. Georgetown University reviewed several studies and concluded that, medically, colon detoxing regiments are not justified. Moreover, they have certain common side effects which include nausea, abdominal pain and lack of electrolytes, which you need so the body can regulate water retention, pH levels, muscle function, and many other body tasks.
Many detoxing diets basically require you not to eat anything or to have some juices and herbal supplements. Your body needs about 2,000 calories a day to function properly. It must have its vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to keep you healthy so you don’t gain weight, get constipated or sick, lose your energy…Anything less than that puts it in stress mode.
You are likely not going to find nutritionists who will recommend to a teen to get on a cleansing diet – even if they have not definitively taken a pro- or con-detox stance yet. Young people, but especially those between 13 and 20, need a lot of “healthy” calories and nutrients to give it energy to grow and develop physically (and mentally). Significantly depriving the body of them will have negative consequences.
You probably never thought that plastic surgery or exercising can get addictive. Detoxing falls in this category as well. Some people get “high” from feeling hungry just like smokers feel satisfied and happy when they light a cigarette after a meal. Eating disorders usually follow after that.
The bottom line is that you can “purify” your body by treating it right. Stop eating junk food and replace it with healthy snacks, fish and lean meat. Add vegetables as sides to your meals and fruits to your smoothies. Drink more water and stay away from sugary drinks. These choices will do you a lot more good than a hundred detoxing diets put together.