What is a Detox Diet?

Toxin are chemicals or poisons that come from food (or chemicals used to grow and prepare food), water and even from the air. Organs in the body, such as the liver and kidneys, process these poisonous chemicals and eliminate them in the form of sweat, urine and feces.

Detox diet practitioners believe that these toxins sometimes do not leave the body when we egest waste. They think toxins stay in the digestive, gastrointestinal and lymph systems, even the hair and skin. These remaining toxins cause headaches, nausea and tiredness.

To get rid of the remaining toxins, detox dieters think that certain foods that are thought to be toxic should be avoided temporarily – to purify the body.

Detox diets and usually involve a sort of fast for a couple of days, then slowly reintroducing certain foods into the diet. Others recommend drinking teas or other supplements to help purify the body. A lot of them also encourage people to have enemas to cleanse the colon.

But the thing is, our bodies are designed to cleanse itself.

Not for teens

Detox diets involve fasting and giving up certain foods which may not be good for growing individuals. Young people need plenty of nutrients to support healthy development. Teens who are involved in sports should especially avoid detox diets since physical activities require generous amounts of food to fuel the body.

Not for people with existing health conditions

People with diabetes and heart disease should avoid detox diets, so should people with chronic health problems. The elimination of certain foods might aggravate these medical problems. Pregnant women and people with eating disorders should also avoid detox diets.

Water weight

Detox diets do not cause fat weight loss. Instead, most of the weight lost after fasting is water, and some may be muscle. Water and muscle weight is quickly regained.

Short-term use

Detox diets are not designed for long-term practice. Fasting for too long can slow down a person’s metabolism, making it more difficult to keep the weight off.

Supplement side effects

Detox diet supplements are usually laxatives which makes people go the bathroom often. Aside from being messy, laxatives can cause dehydration, problems in the digestive system and mineral imbalances.

Addicting

Some people get a high from fasting and/or having an enema, which can lead to eating disorders, heart problems and death.

Eating healthy

On the upside, detox diets encourage eating plenty fruits and vegetables, and drinking lots of water. However, fruits and veggies can not supply all the nutrients needed by your body. You need to include other nutrient sources in your diet such as lean meats, eggs and beans which are good sources of protein; low-fat or non-fat milk and yogurt which are ample sources of calcium. Before you start any kind of diet, consult your doctor first.