Five Lies About ‘Detox’ You Need To Stop Believing

Five Lies About ‘Detox’ You Need To Stop Believing
In recent times, there’s this word that has been trending on blogs, celebrity social media pages, and traditional print: ‘detox’.
It’s not unusual to hear people speak about how they bought a powerful supplement or have started drinking a mixture of many fruit juices to clean their bodies of terrible toxins so they could stay healthy.

There’s a surprise on many people’s face when you tell them that they may not be getting many benefits from taking those supplements and starting those diets. But the truth is very clear: there is no such thing as dietary detoxification.
In this article, we will be digging deeper into this topic, exposing 5 common lies members of the public have begun to believe. We’ll be discussing this in detail to clear your mind of the myths you might have recently learned, telling you what facts science knows instead.

- Your body accumulates toxins that can get you sick

This is a common statement that is used by many marketers of special diets and slimming teas. They suggest that there are toxins that get accumulated in the body over time that need to be removed. This is very untrue. If this really happened, then most people will be very sick and we will have a global health problem. Most chronic diseases do not happen because there’s accumulation of harmful substances, you should always ask your doctor or research whatever you heard on credible online sources.

- Your body needs a special diet and supplements to clean it from toxins

As we earlier mentioned, your body does not accumulate toxins, although, sometimes some chemical substances that are considered dangerous by the body need to get cleared off. This is the role of organs like the kidneys, liver, and lungs. Whenever there is a harmful chemical in the body, it is detected and sent to these specialized organs for immediate detoxification and removal from the body.
A classical example is how the body treats alcohol. Alcohol is considered as a toxin by the body and it is sent to the liver to break it down. This helps to defend the body from the potential dangers alcohol could bring. This is also why people who take large quantities of alcohol for a long period of time could develop chronic liver disease.
So, your body has its own defense system and doesn’t need any special diet to help it in detoxification.

- You can stay healthy on a diet based on fruits and vegetables

No, you can’t. The truth is that our bodies need a balanced diet to stay healthy. So, what this means is that you need all the food classes in their right proportions even if you are trying to lose weight. If you’ve been advised to lose weight by your doctor for any reason, you should not switch to juicing as your only source of nutrition, because you may end up lacking important carbohydrates and protein to give you energy and maintain your body’s tissues.
Fruits and vegetables are good and should be added to your daily meals but should not be used as a stand-alone diet, it can harm you.

- You should fast very often to ‘reset your system’

Some marketers suggest that people stay away from food for extended periods to help them lose weight. While this radical method may work for some people, it is potentially very dangerous. The reason is simple: your body (and brain especially) depends on glucose for its energy needs, starvation will release many ketones in the body and may make you feel weak, tired and nauseous.
Also, many radical programs are not sustainable, once you stop the program, you’ll likely get back to your initial weight. So, what medical professionals advice is that you carry out a plan that is easy to follow, sustainable, and safe.
If you want to lose weight, you should still eat a balanced diet but reduce the number of carbohydrates and fats in it. For instance, you can use your home double gas range to prepare quality meals that are very proteinous like fish and beef, and decrease the number of starchy foods like rice, bread, and yam. With the advent of electric versions, you can do that with minimal costs.

- Your intestines should be flushed from time to times

There are marketers that advocate flushing your intestines with water from time to time to remove potential toxins and other harmful chemicals from the digestive tract. So they plug a hose into the anus and flush in some water to wash the intestines.
This is a very terrible and unnecessary thing to do.
What this does instead is to remove all the healthy bacteria in the gut that helps with proper digestion, increasing the likelihood that harmful bacteria will replace them, leading to problems like chronic diarrhea. Your intestines do not need a flush or cleaning program, they work to clean themselves.

Editor's Review

Guest article by Dr. Charles-Davies OA, a medical doctor based in Lagos. He also blogs at 25 Doctors and works as an editor at 93 Treats- a food blog.
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