Detox diets are commonly known for its promise to cleanse your system of the toxins stored in the body and filter our liver. It is believed that toxins are the reason why we may feel sluggish or irritable. Over time, we accumulate these toxins mainly from the junk foods, treats, sweets, and alcohol we consume. There are many different kinds of detoxes and done in different ways. Some require a very strict diet of only fresh fruits and vegetables, while others require fasting altogether. Due to such restricted diets, detoxes are only done for short periods of a few days to a couple weeks. Longer periods can lead to malnutrition and health concerns. Due to this, many are skeptical of detox diets. Some say they do more harm than good to the body, while others say that a couple days of water and colorful plates of fruits and vegetables can lead to an instant increase in energy reserves or even lose weight in that time frame.
After doing some quick research, I have noticed a common trend in the answer to the question “do detox diets work?” Many start off with the same keywords when first introducing “detox diets.” Almost all of them start off with something similar to “detox diets should (…)” and this is what puts me on the skeptical side. Detox diets are claimed to do so many miraculous things. But many say that there is no real scientific evidence to back those claims up. I do believe that major health concerns are the cause of our traditional poor diet. However, a few days of “eating clean” is not going to resolve anything. The body is known for its self-maintenance. Our digestive system absorbs what it needs from the foods we eat and disposes of the waste. Any toxins that were absorbed is filtered out by the kidneys and removed by waste. It does not make sense to filter the filter of our bodies. Moderation is key. Too much or too little of anything is harmful. Normally, our problematic diet is due to overeating nutrition poor, artificial foods. Removing these from our diets will do more good than removing everything from our diets altogether. Another promise that does not make sense is the promise to increase energy levels. Aside from the fact that toxins in our bodies are naturally removed, removing our source of energy is a contradiction to the promise. We get energy from the nutrients we absorb from our food. Our main source of energy are sugars and fats that can be converted to glucose or glycogen for later use. Removing this will be the opposite of its promise. Our bodies’ metabolisms will drop to preserve energy and when we finally start eating again, our bodies will store the extra food as fat rather than use it. Maybe we will lose a couple pounds from the lack of food and our bodies going into starvation mode. But when we return to our normal diet, our body has no way of knowing that food is available and the diet was temporary, it will continue to save whatever it can in the event it must go into that starvation mode again.
To conclude, I do not believe any diet that requires the body to go into starvation mode or deprive the body of any nutrients could be beneficial. I believe that our bodies are fantastic machines and our immune and digestive systems are smarter than we are. It takes care of our bodies and does its best to repair itself from any damage we do to it. The best thing we can do is to minimize those damage causing habits. We can eat healthier and in moderation, get the proper exercise, and get enough rest to let our bodies do what it does best. Before this paper, doing a detox sounded amazing to me as well and I was looking into finding a quick one to do. However, after reading three different scientific sites on detox, I realize that it is just a fad that sounds like it could work, but can actually have really bad consequences to the body and worse if the user has current health conditions.
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