Naturopathy Physician Dr Chirag Andhariya talks about Detox system in our body. He throws light on what are toxins and medical experts' opinions on detox. Will a detox make you feel better? Will it help you lose weight? Are detox diets dangerous? Read on to find answers to all your questions about detox.
What do you mean by Detox Diet?
A detox is a diet plan that requires you to follow a particular diet over a certain period of time in order to cleanse the body. It may also include herbal supplements or other methods, such as colonic irrigation, all of which aim to remove environmental and dietary toxins from the body. There are various extremes of detox diets from juice-only type regimens to those that simply stipulate consuming unprocessed foods only particularly organic foods and foods high in fibre and water, while eliminating all sugars, salt, caffeine and alcohol.
What are toxins?
Toxins are agents that can potentially harm the body. External (exogenous) toxins are things such as pollution from cars, cigarette smoke, factories and foods; endogenous toxins are viral or bacterial infections and autogenous toxins result from normal cell activity in the body that produce compounds such as lactic acid and ammonia.
What do detox diet proponents say?
Period cleansing is done in order to flush out toxins from the body. If not done, the toxins accumulate and will lead to various health problems in the future.
What do the medical experts say?
The body already has systems in place that protect us from potentially harmful substances. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic systems are all designed to work together to ensure any dangerous toxins are chemically transformed into less harmful compounds that are then excreted from the body.
Will a detox make me feel better?
Those who normally eat an unhealthy diet will naturally feel better when they start eating properly. Most people don't drink enough water or eat enough fresh fruit and vegetables anyway, so simple changes such as boosting hydration and eliminating processed foods will lead to an increased sense of wellbeing.
Will it help me lose weight?
Weight loss through detox diets is usually short-term, as these diets aren't sustainable. Having completed the diet, most people feel they can go back to eating what they want anyway and return to their pre diet weight. Other claimed benefits of detoxing, such as helping relieve headaches, are more likely to be linked to lifestyle changes such as not drinking alcohol or coffee. Reduced bloating, for example, is probably just a result of eating less while better skin may be due to drinking more fluids.
Are detox diets dangerous?
Experts say that the biggest danger with detox diets is that they often don't provide enough nutrients. Insufficient carbohydrates can drain you of energy. Other downsides may include blood sugar problems, fatigue, nausea and a decrease in the body's ability to fight infection. Laxatives are not advised and colonic irrigation is deemed unnecessary and may result in bowel infection or perforation.
Our bodies have an amazing detox system already in place and there's no need to spend on expensive treatments and products. A better and more sustainable investment in your health would be to eat more natural foods, cut back on sugar, salt, additives, caffeine and alcohol and follow the 100% rule of sticking to healthy diet the majority of the time