Love your liver

Detox diets sound promising but are neither effective nor good for you Shinchon Zombie Comics. Learn how to love your liver the healthy way!Why detox?

The sound of a detox diet is appealing: “flush out your liver, get more energy, feel great”! The theory behind a detox diet is that toxins, from your diet and environment, build up in your body. Too many of these toxins start to cause problems including disease, weight gain, fatigue and lowered immunity. There are literally hundreds of different detox products available in pharmacies and supermarkets, not to mention Beyonce’s miracle Master Cleanse (eating or drinking nothing but hot water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper for 10 days) and the world famous cabbage soup diet (yes, just cabbage soup for 10 days). The goal of these products and protocols is to flush out your system and restore it to a clean balance.

Is one detox programme better than another? No! None are effective

Detox diets are not as miraculous as they are popular and there is no scientific evidence to support any of them. The reality is that a detox diet is more likely to flush out your wallet than your liver! That’s because toxins never get the chance to accumulate in your body. Your liver, your kidneys and your skin are your in-built filters. They work together to either prevent toxins from getting in, or get rid of them as soon as they arrive.

The downside of a detox

Detox diets are to the body what a tank half-full of diluted petrol is to your car. You function slower because you’re lacking necessary fuel. Detox diets, besides making you feel grumpy (which isn’t good for you or the rest of us) can be dangerous for your health. The biggest danger is a simple lack of nutrients that can lower your immune system, cause extreme fatigue and confusion. What’s more, the more often you do these kinds of diets, your metabolism starts to slow. Over time, this can lead you to put on weight.

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The healthy way to “detox”

You may have done a detox before and lost a few kilos. Unfortunately, the detox side of things had very little to do with that. The real reason? You cut out all of the bad stuff and ate more of the good stuff. Think about it – you ditched the sugar, you ditched the processed foods, you ditched the salt and you ditched the white breads, pastas and potatoes. Sound about right?

So, for a healthier option:

  1. Support the organs that detox. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. This gives your body a chance to stop working on getting rid of all the bad stuff (processed foods) and start using all of the good stuff (vitamins!)
  2. Turn to whole foods. Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish, and fewer fried foods, refined grains and added sugars.
  3. Get rid of the toxins you can control – smoking, alcohol and sitting still for too long!

If a detox diet makes you start eating better that’s a wonderful thing. But if you’re serious about improving your health, you need to make changes that last beyond the few weeks of a magical detox program!