Debunking the detox hoax

Put the juice down

Debunking the detox hoax
Stars Insider

08/01/19 | StarsInsider

HEALTH Healthy living

The holidays have come and gone, and now we're all left with the bitter end of January resolutions, scrambling to undo the gluttony we not so long ago happily submitted to. It's the time when bread suddenly has calories again, and cleanses start to sound like an easy way out. 

But one registered dietitian, Tori Martinet, has some uncomfortable news for anyone who's already invested in their expensive juice bottles for the week: "There's no evidence that drinking a series of juices, teas, or any of other so-called 'detox' products do anything besides profit the people selling them," she writes on Tonic

While health gurus and celebrities continue to praise the wonderful detoxifying effects of kale-charcoal-ACV mixtures and "skinny" teas, it turns out that your body is an expert at doing that detoxifying work on its own, and all it requires are healthy lifestyle choices. It might not be as sexy or appealing, but eating your vegetables works wonders. 

So what's all the fuss about the sudden need to detoxify come January? Martinet says that it doesn't have to do with actual toxins, which are part of a broad spectrum and something that humans excrete naturally anyway, but more to do with the fact that you feel bloated, fatigued, and sad about your weight gain, as a result of the gingerbread, the second and third servings, and the copious amounts of alcohol to wash it all down. Your body has already processed those toxins, but you don't feel good because your exercise, sleep, and eating patterns have been disrupted.

Martinet recommends taking actions to promote your body's natural waste removal, which means paying attention to your liver, the organ responsible for filtering through nearly everything you ingest. Contrary to popular belief, drinking solely maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper for three days is not an action that will aid your body's filtration system. 

Drinking water is one of the first and best solutions, and you should drink enough of it that your pee runs clear. Water carries waste products out of your body through your urine, sweat, and feces, whereas juice is usually high in sugar and makes your liver work harder, when you really just want to flush it out. 

You should also exercise, which requires ingesting real food for energy, both before and after. Plus, you can put all of that money that would've been spent on juices towards a gym membership. 

Another important point that Martinet makes is that the enzymes your liver is using to forward its natural detoxification are made from substances in certain foods you eat—particularly whole fruits, vegetables, and protein. Juice cleanses won't help you here, especially since you need the fiber of whole produce which, when combined with water, results in healthy bowel movements, AKA the real goal of the proverbial cleanse. 

So don't fall for the supposed "quick fix" that leaves you feeling shaky and disrupts your body's natural processes, and opt for long-term healthier lifestyle choices (which probably taste way better anyway). 

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