The Myth Regarding Detoxification

Kaitlyn Szilagyi, Health & Beauty Editor

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Recent research suggests the popular practice of detoxing—ridding the body of toxins or other unhealthy substances—is more myth than fact.

WebMD reporter Jeanie Davis has written about the famous Detox Diets, acknowledging the anthropological significance of fasting and cleansing the body.

In her writing, she provided an example within Chinese medicine in which fasting and cleansing were part of preventative health care. It has been said such things as Vitamin C, fruit juices, brown rice, colonics, probiotics, and antioxidants can help detox the body.

However, these detoxification diets may claim to flush toxins from the body and not follow through.

Detox diets such as a juice cleanse—consuming raw fruit and or vegetable juice for a short period of time—are likely to leave individuals feeling hungry and weak, according to Dr. Kathleen M. Zelman, director of nutrition for WebMD. The potential side effects to cleansing and detox practices may include low energy, low blood sugar, muscle aches, fatigue, dizziness, or nausea.

Engaging in detox practices, by design, leads to the limitation of food consumption, minimizes cooking and shopping options, and is not very effective.

If detox is used with the intent of losing weight, the little weight lost while following the detoxifying plan will quickly be gained back once the cleanse or fast is completed.

In addition, a cleanse or fast could be harmful to people with preexisting conditions such as diabetes, and they haven’t been shown to help improve blood sugar or any cardiovascular improvements.

Further, and perhaps most importantly, the body naturally detoxifies itself to begin with.

The colon and liver are responsible for filtering toxins out of the body, whether said toxins were ingested via beverage or food. No additional detox diets are necessary.

It is important to remember that the secret to staying healthy is eating a balanced diet from the start. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables in one’s diet as well as lean meats and whole grains. Try to avoid foods heavy in sugar and saturated fats.

Adding exercise to one’s schedule is always helpful as well. Unhealthy snacks such as sweets should be eaten in moderation. If a diet is balanced, and an individual practices exercise on a regulated schedule the need to detoxify the body should be avoidable.

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