With the new year upon us, I’m sure you’ve seen tons of ads for crash diets and detoxes. I know I have!
Want to know the truth? Detox diets are not needed!
First of all, we have kidneys and a liver that, if healthy and functioning normally, do a fine job at getting rid of toxins without needing any help from us (بلا ربح جميلتنا).
Second, concerning weight loss claims, yes, severely restricting calories and certain food groups will lead to rapid weight loss; however, this is definitely not healthy or sustainable. Most of what you will lose while following a severely restrictive detox diet is water and glycogen which will be quickly restored when normal eating patterns resume.
We can however, support our body’s natural detoxification processes by consuming certain types of foods.
Want to know more? Keep reading!
WHAT DOES DETOX MEAN?
The term “detox” is originally a medical term. A detox procedure is usually carried out when someone has ingested life-threatening amounts of poison, alcohol, or drugs (think of someone getting their stomach “pumped”). This takes place in a hospital and involves the use of specific procedures and medicines depending on the type and degree of toxicity.
Nowadays, the term detox is thrown around haphazardly as a type of diet. The claim is that it will help you lose weight and “detoxify” your body from harmful chemicals and toxins.
Detox diets come in all shapes and sizes. Some advocate for days of only fresh pressed juices or new (aka unheard of and untested) herbal teas (they’ll probably even try to get you to buy it from their company) while others call for periods of fasting or just consuming only a limited range of foods.
YOUR BODY’S NATURAL DETOX PROCESS
Your body uses several mechanisms to detoxify itself including using the kidneys and liver.
If functioning properly and supported by a balanced diet, these organs are able to get rid of all the so-called “toxins” you might have ingested.
This happens through several reactions. that involve enzymes including cytochrome P450 oxidases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, and glutathione S-transferases.
Basically, your body is all set up for a natural detoxification process without you needing to do anything yourself!
FOODS THAT SUPPORT THE PROCESS
The detoxification process can be supported by a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Specifically, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fibers all help.
– Whole grain bread
– Dark Chocolate
– Cruciferous vegetables such as brussel sprouts
*Basically a healthy, balanced diet!
WHAT IF I WANT TO TRY A DETOX DIET?
As mentioned before detox diets are usually crash diets that are considered to be “fad diets” and are not really proven to have a certain benefit.
Following a “juice cleanse” or a fruit-and-vegetable-only policy for one day is not going to be the end of the world!
However, consuming such a limited variety of nutrients on the long-term can be harmful to your health.
The best bet is always a balanced diet with carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber!