Before we venture into whether or not your detox diet is actually re-toxifying your body we need to understand what a Detox even is and how we achieve it.
Now generally when you ask people what they think a Detox is or actually does, you tend to get one type of answer... it removes bad stuff from the body. Now it’s important to understand what exactly is this ‘bad stuff’, why is it ‘bad’ and importantly how do we get rid of it?
What is bad?
Your body is a complex network of different body systems working together to function and perform day to day. Whilst our bodies are resilient and have truly wonderful ways to keep us functioning well and fight when our body is compromised. There is different substances that generally damage our bodies and or change negatively how the body is working. Some of these substances we consume daily and are literally adding to our own downfall. Substances such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fat, salt amongst others can cause damage.
Why is it bad?
Some of these substances are directly toxic and literally poison the body. Unfortunately for those that like a tipple or two, alcohol does this. There's a reason we call it being intoxicated and why hangovers can feel like you've been hit by a bus. Your body in multiple areas has been damaged. Now the occasional beer or glass of wine, whilst still being toxic, your body can deal with this much easier. However a cumulative effects of drinking alcohol negatively effects the brain, the heart, the liver, increases the chances of certain cancers and contribute to illnesses such as diabetes. So its important we help our bodies detox from alcohol.
Caffeine in the form of coffee and tea is another popular tipple of the average Brit nowadays and studies have shown caffeine is safe for most people when consumed in low to moderate amounts. However in high doses, caffeine can have some unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. Caffeine can lead to muscle breakdown, high blood pressure and stress onto the liver to process it.
So whilst we have only looked at two substances, sugar and fat in high doses lead to the body not working correctly or place stress and/or damage on the vital organs of the body.
How do we get rid of it?
Your body is amazing and if I'm honest truly undervalued and abused by the tenant. Your body naturally detoxes by have a fabulous combination of organs in the form of the liver, the kidneys and the spleen. This group of organs lead by the liver filters your blood continually. When you have consumed large amounts of alcohol, this alcohol is running through your blood stream affecting the body systems, but at some point that blood will be processed by the liver, to break down and get rid of the alcohol from the body.
How to actually detox.
So to truly detox your body you simply need this three step guide:
1. Have a liver.
2. Have a kidney or two.
3. Look after them..
I hoping you've got steps one and two sorted. So step three, here's how you help these organs and actually detox the body. Drinking more water and staying hydrated helps the functioning of the circulatory system (heart, vessels and blood) as well as the organs directly. Reduce and limit alcohol intake, reduce and limit caffeine intake, reduce and limit intake of fats, sugars and salt and finally have a well balanced consumption of your five fruit and veg per day. Fruit and veg contain important vitamins and minerals which help play important and vital roles and functions right through the body
How people usually try to get rid of it...
Unfortunately we live in a word where we want everything now, with maximum speed and minimum effort and business and marketing play into this to make money. We are saturated with quick fixes, detox fad diets, and some self proclaimed, celebrity endorsed bull shit, promising you this wonder juice you consume will 'cleanse' your body and detox you and you simply need to part with your cash to get it. Now you always get that one individual that swears by it and literally preach its the best thing since slice bread. But what tends to happen that individuals because they are conscience of trying to become healthier and detox, make better smaller choices that happen to coincide with the detox 'diet'. They are consuming less alcohol, less fatty, salty foods and are generally more hydrated. These small things build into them feeling better and more energised but they simply attribute it to the detox diet.
Is your detox, toxic?
How most detox fad diets work is by pushing vitamins and minerals and high consumption of fruit and veg, because as we know vitamins and minerals can positively contribute to helping the body detox, so this leads to the question of, how on earth can it re-toxify the body?
The old saying 'too much of a good thing, can be bad' is appropriate here. Can you have too many vitamins and minerals? Well, yes. Vitamins and minerals are classed as micro nutrients which we need them in small doses. Some of the supplements, juices and detoxes pack in more than we need in a day which is then added to when we eat as well.
Vitamins come in two categories, water soluble vitamins- these ones we can wee out if we have too much and even turns our wee a darker colour, and fat soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins in the form of vitamins A, D, E and K when we have to much have to be broken down by the liver and can be toxic. Minerals such as sodium (salt), potassium amongst others are processed in the same way. So if we over indulge in too much fruit and veg, we can in fact ingest too much of these nutrients than the body actually needs, as a result it can over work or poor liver and have a toxic effect on it.
So yes, we need to generally need to up our vitamins and minerals in our diet, but balance and control is key. More doesn't equal more and remember too much of a good thing, can be bad.
The best advise I can give is make small changes in all areas to help your body out. Lower alcohol, reduce caffeine, have a little less sugar, salt and fat, have a bit more water and add a bit more fruit and veg to your diet. Simple. You don't need no expensive juice, pill or drink to do the above.