Children under 12 and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t follow a detox program, as they have specific nutrition needs for growth and good health. For anyone with specific dietary requirements, a chronic illness, or who are on any type of medication, they should seek medical advice before embarking on a program.
Foods allowed or banned can vary dramatically among popular detox diets, but typically ‘healthy’ foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, herbal teas and water are allowed. Common foods normally banned include wheat, dairy foods, meat, fish, eggs, caffeine, alcohol, salt, sugar and processed foods. Some detox programs may also recommend vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements.
You have probably heard about the benefits of a cleanse or detox, from quick and easy weight loss and improved energy to a rebalance of your entire digestive system. Cleanses kickstart your body’s natural cleansing process by avoiding solid food or a specific food group (such as sugar, caffeine, processed foods, etc.), to eliminate those toxins and give your body and digestive system a chance to reset, heal and more readily absorb nutrients from food.
Many people do feel better for following a detox diet, yet this has little to do with the elimination of toxins from the body. Any person, especially someone who has a poor diet to start with, who eats more fruits and vegetables, drinks more water and eats less foods high in fat, salt or added sugar, and drinks less alcohol and caffeine will naturally feel better.
The principle that we need to follow a special diet to help our body eliminate toxins is not supported by medical science. Healthy adults have a wonderful system for removal of waste products and toxins from the body. Our lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system remove or neutralise toxic substances within hours after we eat them. Promoters of detox diets have never put forward any evidence to show that such diets help remove toxins from the body at any faster rate than what our body normally eliminates them.
The detox fad may also encourage the idea that a person can lead an unhealthy lifestyle most of the year and then undo the damage in a few days with a rapid detox. A theory that simply does not work.
Have you ever tried a cleanse? What were your results? Do you have any tips for anyone considering a cleanse? Please share your thoughts in the comments below – we love hearing from you!
There are many valid reasons why people undergo detoxes or cleanse diets, even when they involve some very difficult changes like only drinking cold-pressed juices abstaining from sugar or caffeine. Some of the benefits of detoxing include: