A few weeks back I posted a link to an article explaining why detoxing didn’t work and I’ve been by a few people to expand on it. I’m going to try and explain two things – why the surface level, cosmetic concept of a detox is misleading, and the scientific facts that debunk the myth that your body needs to detox.
Let’s start with the visual idea of a detox. With the intention to cleanse our bodies of all the nasties that have built up over time, in our minds eye our body becomes a series of twisting and turning pipes, similar to those we see in those adverts for drain unblocker, clogged with black grime that 2 days of cucumber juice will wash away to leave everything crystal clear and sparkly. Whilst researching for this blog I asked a few people to tell me what they visualized when I said the word ‘detox’ and many of them mentioned the same words; ‘cleanse’, ‘flush’, ‘purify’, ‘wash out’.
So here’s why the notion that a detox can expunge all these ‘toxins’ hiding in our systems that our normal bodily functions can’t is wrong. The clue is in the statement. We already have what we need to rid our bodies of what isn’t meant to be there. Our kidneys and liver get rid of everything we don’t need by way of our faeces – if we had so much bad stuff inside us that we couldn’t poop it out, then the real problems would start. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better’, says Edazrd Ernst of Exeter University. You can support the function of your vital organs with a healthy diet, but 5 days on a raw food diet isn’t going to help you push these so-called toxins out any more efficiently than normal.
People may also talk of a ‘detox’ when they mean a ban on sugar, fast food or alcohol. Again science comes second to the idea of being ‘clean’. There is research that proves regularly introducing alcohol to your liver equips it better to deal with it as and when you over-consume. I can tell you from my own experience that unless you plan on quitting booze completely, it’s by far the better option to have a few drinks here and there to keep those appalling hangovers at bay!
As always with health and exercise, the best thing you can do is your own research to find a lifestyle that works for you, but some generic advice on keeping yourself at optimum health goes as follows: don’t smoke, keep your diet free from processed foods and try and get at least 30 minutes of exercise twice a week or more. Don’t be fooled by the detox myth – make sustainable, long-term changes to be the best you you can be.