To detox or not to detox!!

The word detox has been banded about in the last few years . There are sorts and all refer to removing one thing or another from your daily diet. The word ‘detox’ has taken on a whole new meaning. Now, it seems to be a term to describe some sort of intervention that gets the junk out and helps restore the body to a better state of balance. It seems as if everyone and their dog is jumping on board!
Detoxes can be relatively basic, from simply cutting out alcohol, caffeine, and processed stuff (white flour, sugar, artificial ingredients, etc.), to downright extreme, like liquid-only fruit only or raw food only regimes.

The main advantage of a basic detoxing is that it eliminates items you should be trying to limit or avoid, banning certain foods can be a great way to allow your body to experience what it feels like to take a break from things like alcohol and sugar. I feel it can benefit some people. However it appears that some detox diets are quite extreme and can be dangerous, especially those that call for you to remove solid foods from the diet. Detox diets are often given to people wanting to lose weight, using the excuse, your body is so toxic from your poor lifestyle that you should do this elimination diet for 3-4 weeks. Lets just stop there for a second. We all have a natural in built detox system, its called the liver.

The first way that the liver detoxifies the body is through filtering the blood. Our blood is full of toxins that include viruses, bacteria, and other poisons. The liver removes these toxins before it has a chance to affect us negatively. Each minute our blood is filtered though the liver. The liver can filter about 99% of the toxins out of the blood before the blood is sent back through the body, repeat the liver can filter about 99% of toxins!


Next, the liver detoxifies the body by producing bile. This substance aids in digestion, breaking down fats and proteins in the foods we eat. It is created by the liver, but stored in the gallbladder Also; bile helps eliminate toxins in the body and flushes it out through the colon.

The last way that the liver detoxifies the body is a two step process through which it detoxifies and breaks down toxins and waste in the body. The liver neutralizes the toxins or decreases the potency of the toxin. It may also change the toxins into a more water soluble form so that these toxins can be released through the bile or urine. However, if some of the toxins are not fully broken down or neutralized, the liver then directs the toxins to travel on a “pathway” that is used to detoxify extremely toxic metals, drugs such as common cold medicines, penicillin, alcohol, and other deadly toxins.


Now lets revisit the detox diet, and weight loss. Because you won’t be taking in enough carbohydrates, you’ll deplete your body’s glycogen stores, the carbs stocked away in your liver and muscle tissue. That alone can cause you to shed 5 to 10 pounds in just a few days, but that loss won’t be body fat, and I promise you will regain the weight plus maybe some extra pounds as soon as you revert to your usual routine. Another big problem with detox diets and cleanses is they generally don’t provide protein or fat, two building blocks your body needs for constant repair and healing, also leading to a weaker immune system, leaving you run down, tired, flu like symptons, all apparently to be expected during a detox. But as you can clearly see that’s because you are not taking in essential nutrients. So as you can see, its not about detoxing its about eating real food and better nutrition. It should not be about overloading the body with toxic foods and alcohol but throw in a detox and everything is fine. If you eat well from a wide range of foods and limit the amount of junk and poisons, then you will have a system that can deal with what you throw at it. Surely reducing the amount of damage we do is better for us than eliminating positive nutrients during a detox. A detox to me is like putting a band aid on a gapping wound.

You need to deal with the lifestyle first. You and your body are amazing, treat it well and you will be able to enjoy life’s nice things, follow a 80/20 rule 80% of the time give your body what it needs and then 20% of the time you can have what you want.