Are Detox Diets Thin On Facts?
There is a widespread belief that detox diets don't work. Is the science of detoxification pure bunkum or are there benefits to be gained from giving your digestive system a holiday?
Many people think that detox diets are just a fad. In case you don't know, the basic idea behind detoxification is that we are absorbing toxins from our environment faster than our bodies can process them. So, according to the detox diet proponents we need to make extra efforts to clean the poisons out of our system.
So, a detox diet is basically a vacation for the digestive system and the time for our minds and bodies to concentrate on getting rid of the nasty substances clogging our lungs, liver, colon and skin. Our senses don't get to take a vacation because a detoxing invokes unfamiliar thoughts, feelings and sensations that intrude on our regular lives.
A detox diet gives us the opportunity to eat and drink with a goal in our minds. As we let go of our usual dietary habits we can't help but take stock of how we live our lives and how we treat our bodies. As we feel the uncomfortable side effects of our fasting, we are faced with the question of how serious is our concern for our health. Are we serious enough to persevere with our diet in the face of mood swings, nausea, constipation and other unpleasant sensations?
One of the big questions some of us must face is how do we take the knowledge that mainstream medicine does not take detoxification seriously. Your doctor will tell you that there is no need to help our bodies to get rid of toxins. Our organs can take care of the job quite well. Medical research tells us that even if we are under attack from more toxins than in past ages our bodies can still take care of it.
Your doctor will say that spending three days or a week or so eating fruit and vegetables is probably a good thing for your health. He will tell you that spending a few days eating no solid food but drinking juice or water may not do you any harm as long as you don't go overboard.
There are diets that are supposed to detox us in three days. Others say we need a week or ten days. Some detox enthusiasts will go on a juice fast for several weeks. You can find a diet regime that takes as little or as long as you like. You just need to be able to let go of your job and family responsibilities for the duration of your diet because you might find yourself devoting more time to eliminating stuff from your body than is comfortable for friends and family.
The lack of scientific facts may not do anything to lessen our feeling that we need to cleanse our bodies. The idea sounds logical. We wash the outside of our bodies, we have been using steam baths for hundreds of years to help cleanse us, and taking a special time to eliminate toxins seems like an excellent idea.
So it seems to me that the opportunity to take stock of my life is valuable. If my doctor tells me that I'm just following a fad, that's fine. His job is to take care of the balance of chemicals in my body. So far no pill has been developed that will make me feel clean and healthy and enthusiastic about looking after my health.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zara Buckley is a journalist with an interest in traditional remedies. Visit her site to find out more about the liver detox diet and the detox cleansing diet.