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Do I need to do a detox?

A very popular diet that some people choose to use is a detox diet. Usually, a detox consists of a few days in a row of fasting, then limiting food intake, drinking juices, lemon waters and “cleansing the body”. A lot of buzz words around detox diets are “cleanse”, “eliminate”, “toxins”, the list goes on.

 

Detox diets claim to rid the body of toxins, pollutants and chemicals, and help with obesity, chronic fatigue, allergies, inflammation… this list goes on too.

 

There is a lack of significant evidence around detox diets and their success. A lot of people do feel better after detox diets because they avoid consuming foods high in sugar, saturated fats and that are highly processed. However, anyone that eliminates foods that are higher in saturated fats or have been highly processed will feel a positive change. Adding in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and whole foods will feel better for anyone, regardless of “detoxing” or not.

 

One thing that we all have in our favour, that detoxes for us, without restricting food intake, is our liver. This organ processes and eliminates toxins and wastes from our body naturally, without juice cleanses or fasting. However, just as with every poor diet, the liver does need time to rest. Consuming highly processed foods or too much alcohol can lead to cardiovascular disease, fatty liver, diabetes and other clinical conditions. The liver can only do so much.

 

Here are a few tips to help your body along, without resorting to drastic detox diets:

  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables

Coming into spring and summer, the variety and flavours of delicious fruits and vegetables are growing! Brainstorm a few yummy salads or meals that you can start to eat, now that the weather is warming up. Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can boost your body getting more vitamins and minerals.

 

  • Take some time off alcohol

If alcohol is consumed on a daily basis in excess, the liver does not have time to process it, which can lead to the liver being damaged, along with other important organs. Consuming alcohol in moderation is better for your body and your mind. Substitute with mineral water, or alternate one drink for one non-alcoholic drink when out.

 

  • Stay hydrated

As the weather warms up, so does our body. Spending more time out in the sunshine means that we need to increase our fluid intake, to ensure we stay hydrated.