Detoxes claim to help your body flush out toxins. Learn about the dangers of detox diets and how to detoxify your body naturally
What are the dangers of detox diets?
No scientific evidence exists regarding the proposed health benefits. In fact, many detox diets involve the use of laxatives, diuretics, minerals, teas, and other foods that are thought to have detoxification effects, but may actually be dangerous for people with metabolic disorders such as diabetes and thyroid problems.
Also, these diets often require you to cut out macronutrients such as carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. As a result, many people report feeling hungry, weak, nauseated or dizzy because of low blood sugar levels and poor nutrition.
In theory, the detoxification process involves cleaning out your body of chemicals, pollutants, and other “toxins” that can negatively impact your health. However, the truth is that healthy bodies are able to do this on their own through the kidneys, liver, digestive system, and skin.
6 natural ways to detox your body
By keeping these organs healthy, you can help optimize your body’s natural system of detoxification. Here are 6 natural ways to optimize ensure that your organs function properly, protect your body against free radicals that cause cellular damage, and keep diseases at bay.
1. Limit alcohol
Your liver metabolizes almost 99% of alcohol. While moderate drinking (1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men) is fine, too much alcohol consumption can damage your liver, causing the accumulation of fat and scarring (liver cirrhosis). This can hamper the liver’s ability to detoxify your body naturally by filtering out waste from your body.
2. Drink plenty of water
Your body is almost more than 80% water. Drinking water helps your body eliminate unwanted wastes through urine, stool, and sweat and prevents urea and carbon dioxide from building up in your blood. Staying properly hydrated is also crucial for your digestive system and can help with your bowel movements.
Adequate daily intake of water is between 91 and 125 ounces, although this amount may vary depending on your activity level, climate, and diet.
3. Reduce sodium
When you eat too much salt on a daily basis, excess salt causes fluid buildup in your body, called water retention. It can also cause you to urinate less, meaning less detoxification.
One way to prevent this from happening is to drink more water. Another way is to limit salt in your diet to less than a tablespoon per day, as well as incorporate potassium-rich foods such as bananas, potatoes, squash, coconut water, and spinach. Avoid or modify recipes that call for a high amount of sodium.
4. Exercise regularly
Having a regular exercise regimen and staying physically active is one of the best ways to detox your body. Not only does it help with weight loss, but it also reduces your risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer that can affect the functioning of your organs.
Exercise flushes the lungs, cleanses the skin through sweat, and reduces inflammation. By promoting blood circulation, it also helps the liver and lymph nodes in their detoxification processes. It’s recommended to exercise for at least 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day 5 days of the week.
5. Avoid sugar and processed foods
Eating too many high-calorie, sugary, fatty foods can lead to lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. For example, sugary food can cause fatty liver, which affects your body’s ability to naturally detox your body.
Replacing junk food with a healthy diet of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits can help your body organs stay healthy and maintain their efficiency.
6. Eat more fiber
Fiber helps your bowel movements by improving your digestive system and allowing the smooth passage of stools from your colon. Eating at least 25 grams of fiber through fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, avocadoes, bananas, carrots, etc. can help you make sure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet.