Laxatives act to soften the stool and evacuate feces from the colon relatively quickly. Most laxatives contain chemical properties, including Milk of Magnesia, Colace, Dulcolax, and Kaopectate; and are available in various forms including tablet, capsule, suppository, and powder. Laxatives are also available in everyday food sources. Some natural laxatives include coconut oil, raisins and prunes. Routinely incorporating fibrous food sources into the diet can produce enhanced bowel regularity. Consequently, too much of a laxative (regardless of type) can produce adverse affects including frequent diarrhea and dehydration, among others.
For many dieters, those two healthy living buzzwords are used interchangeably to describe a period of Spartan-like discipline during which your body gets a kind of nutritional reboot. But what many dieters don't realize is that there's actually a significant difference between cleansing your body and detoxing. So, what actually sets one apart from the other?
We can get behind eating healthy foods that help your body detoxify itself, but some of the detox diets out there sound like straight-up torture — do you really want to drink lemonade laced with cayenne pepper for 10 days straight or eat cabbage soup at every meal?
Kara Wahlgren is a contributing editor at Openfit and a freelance health writer whose work can be found at Prevention, Seventeen, Women's Health, and more. When she's not writing, she enjoys beach volleyball, traveling, live music, and running half marathons reeeaaally slowly.
But drinking only juices and smoothies and depriving your body of actual food is where this detox veers into unhealthy territory.
What Is a Detox Diet?
Toxins are potentially harmful substances we come into contact with every day — pesticides on your produce, pollutants in the air, unpronounceable ingredients in processed food, or heavy metals like mercury and arsenic in the soil, to name just a few.
And if a diet is too restrictive, your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to carry out its natural processes.