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What Are Detox Diets and How Do They Help?

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Detox Diet
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When people talk about “detoxification diets”, I often wonder what they mean. Isn’t the liver our organ of detoxification? And isn’t our liver continually working to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract before passing it to the rest of the body? So that’s “detox” happening for you on a daily basis!!! 

Logic would, therefore, tell you that you need a healthy functioning liver to ensure that your body is being “detoxified” optimally. Instead, periods of fasting or food restriction is what is commonly passed off as “detox” or “cleansing” diets that are often promoted as having dual benefits – weight loss and a cleaner healthier human system!

Detox therapies claim to ‘rest your organs’, ‘stimulate your liver’, ‘improve circulation’, and ‘promote toxin elimination’. But these are just claims! 

There is no substantive flawless scientific evidence that vehemently supports the stated benefits of ‘detox diets’. My two questions to everybody who swears by detox diets are:

  • What are the specific toxins that are being removed from the body when you undergo detox therapy?
  • What is the mechanism by which these diets “detox” the body?  

The human body has been beautifully created and is more than capable of cleansing itself through the liver, faeces, urine, and sweat. The stubborn pollutants that often accumulate in the blood and fatty tissue over years of exposure will not go away overnight by a detox flush! And hence, making small but lifelong changes in dietary habits will serve as better detox methods than a weekly cleansing diet, which will only serve to make your mind feel happy that you have followed certain so-called beneficial food restrictions for at least a day or two a week! 

The energetic, improved well-being you often vociferously assert you feel following a period of detox may simply be due to eliminating processed foods, alcohol, and other unhealthy substances from your diet for that one day in the week. 

That should tell you that the more often you stay off those foods, the better are your chances of feeling on “high” 7 instead of 1 day a week. Following the so-called detox diet may also give you the natural dietary vitamins and minerals that were lacking throughout the week, thus making you glow. 

In my opinion, following a 3 or 4 days “detox” diet is not going to miraculously reverse the build-up of unhealthy matter inside of you. Making a commitment to include the following foods on a daily basis, however, will help you reach your goal of a cleaner body, courtesy a better functional liver:

  • Surprise! Coffee has been scientifically proven to positively influence liver enzymes and reduce fat build-up in the liver. Enjoy your morning wake-me-upper!!  
  • β-glucan containing foods such as oats, barley, shitake mushrooms, and edible seaweeds are biologically active anti-inflammatory substances that do your liver a world of good.
  • Berries, grapes, grapefruit are rich in antioxidants that prevent liver damage
  • Fatty fish help maintain liver enzyme levels
  • Nuts and plant foods (green, orange, and red vegetables and fruits) are scientifically proven as liver-friendly foods
  • Garlic and broccoli sprouts boost glutathione which supports liver health
  • And of course ….. keeping yourself hydrated at all times is a sure way to ensure your liver is functioning optimally

Incorporating the above every day, in addition to all the other not-so-healthy foods, is not difficult. And the days you have time on hand to pay attention to what goes on your plate, make sure that 80% of the day’s meal is made up of the liver-rejuvenating list above. Eaten whole, juiced, blended, and in moderation – that’s what will see you safe through all the forced unhealthy food choices we make through a stressful work-filled day!  

Always remember that a much smarter approach is to eat healthier and improve your lifestyle rather than go on a potentially dangerous cleanse that may not even help you reach your intended health goal. 

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