Detoxification is something that the body does naturally to get rid of or keep toxins in check. The human body is exposed to different toxins every day, from the food we eat, the liquids we guzzle, and even the environment, such as fungus-contaminated buildings. Toxins are also the by-product of the body’s normal cellular activities, and many of the body’s organs function to turn toxins into less harmful compounds and excrete these from the body.
What is a Detox Diet?
To help the body along, people engage in a detox diet. This type of diet is intended to be done for only a short period, because prolonging it more than necessary may result in deficiencies in the necessary nutrients the body needs, such as calcium and protein. Going on a detox requires dieters to fast and refrain from eating certain types of food, such as processed meat and those containing artificial flavors. Instead, dieters eat organic food rich in antioxidants and vitamins needed by the body for its natural detoxification process. High-fiber food and plenty of water are recommended as well, to help in eliminating toxins through excretion.
Is Going on a Detox Diet Necessary?
The idea behind going on a detox diet sounds good, but the detoxifying effects are not scientifically proven. A detox diet by itself is harmless unless it results in nutrient deficiency, but there is little evidence that it actually eliminates toxins from the body. As mentioned, the body—in particular, the liver and kidneys—naturally works to kick the toxins from its system. Going on a detox diet is not necessary, but it can be beneficial, considering that dieters would be avoiding highly processed food containing added sugar and preservatives.
What Can I Get from a Detox Diet?
Those who have tried going on a detox diet reported feeling more energetic and focused after the dieting period. Clearer skin, improved digestion, and regular bowel movement also result from eating organic, high-fiber, and vitamin-rich food. People should be careful not to overdo it, however, as there are also possible side effects to limiting the diet to certain foods. Fasting, the first stage of a detox diet, can result in fatigue, constipation, and dehydration. It can also lead to nutritional deficiencies and would make it more difficult for the body to heal itself. This type of diet is certainly not for everyone, especially children and pregnant or lactating women.
What if I want to try out a detox diet?
As with any pursuit in the name of fitness, it’s best to consult your doctor first before embarking on a diet. A detox diet is not a be-all and end-all solution to getting rid of toxins—keeping the body’s organs in proper working order is. So, be sure to discuss a diet plan with your doctor that will help you keep fit without depriving yourself of the nutrients your body needs.