‘Detox’ is short for detoxification – the process of clearing out toxins from our body. These days, there are many types of detox diets out there – the Fasting Detox, Juice Detox, Soup Detox, you name it. Our body has been detoxifying itself since the day we were born. Our body has its own sophisticated detoxification system – cue our kidneys, liver, sweat glands, urinary system – that are detoxifying your body just as you’re reading this! However, there is the idea today that we need to rid our organs of toxins and impurities so we can be ‘clean’, and that doing so through a special dietary regime would work better than our body’s natural capabilities.
Detox diets can be dangerous not only because it’s mostly pseudo-science and marketing, but it gives us the false sense of a health halo. It makes us think that it’s okay to live our lives however we want, not caring for our bodies, abusing our vices over the weekend, and all we have to do is get on a juice cleanse Monday-Friday to undo everything.
I understand the appeal of a quick fix, however it is important to remember that our body is not a switch, and things like weight loss, lowering one’s cholesterol levels, or improving blood sugar levels takes time and effort.
There are no rigorous human studies to show the effectiveness of a detox programme that beats the one you already have in your body (and that one comes free of charge!).
You may continue to start your day with a warm glass of lemon water or celery juice if you enjoy it, but you can skip it if you’re only doing it because of ‘detox’. The ultimate lifestyle ‘detox’ is to exercise regularly, get enough sleep, drink in moderation, not smoke, and enjoy a nutritious and balanced diet that includes vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats.
I’ll be sharing some nutrition tips and delicious recipes over the next few months, so keep an eye out! In the meantime check out my vitamin-rich Lychee Mint Cooler Recipe below to get you started and Happy New Year!