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Do you feel like you’re in need of a detox? Many people do from time to time, especially after an indulgent holid...
Do you feel like you’re in need of a detox? Many people do from time to time, especially after an indulgent holiday or a festive season.
You will certainly find plenty of methods that claim to detox the body. Multitudes of books are available on the subject, Google searches turn up thousands of results, and trips to pharmacies will reveal plenty of detox “kits” based on all kinds of bizarre theories.
However, the basic fact is that many of these detox methods are based on unproven pseudo-science. It’s best to turn to a genuine expert to find out the truth.
Katherine Zeratsky is the specialty editor on nutrition for The Mayo Clinic. She is a qualified dietician and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. What she says is rather revealing for those considering a detox program based on sketchy evidence:
“There's little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Indeed, the kidneys and liver effectively filter and eliminate most ingested toxins.”
Zeratsky goes on to say that the main reason many detoxes are perceived to work is in fact because, as part of them, people tend to cut out processed foods full of fat and sugar.
With this in mind, we will put aside ideas of fad diets and “miracle” detox programs, and suggest a few things that really will work:
You’d have to go a long way to find any expert who would disagree that switching from highly-processed foods to natural, fresh ingredients will do the body anything but good.
We won’t get into exactly how much, as it’s hotly debated, but it doesn’t take a genius to know that a glass of fresh water is better for the body than a glass of soda.
Nearly all detox programs will tell you to do this. Nobody would argue that smoking is good for you, and sidestepping alcohol for a while gives the liver a chance to replenish.
Above all, speak to your doctor before beginning a detox--and especially a program without clear medical evidence to back it up.