We’ve all seen and heard of the wild and outlandish lengths people go to in the name of “detoxing”. A trendy buzzword, the term detox certainly draws attention whenever and wherever it’s used. However, when it comes to detoxing, there’s a lot of misinformation put out there, often for the sake of sales.
Today, we’re helping you plow through the mumbo jumbo nonsense regarding detoxing and outlining some science-based, simple, & inexpensive ways to help your body detox naturally (no juice cleanse or supplements necessary).
Don’t: Embark on an Extreme Fasting Diet or Juice Cleanse
Each year, around the time we start getting hit with the “New Year, New Me” messaging, we see a spike in marketing promotions pushing expensive, hyper-trendy juice cleanse diets that feed off of the common desire to “cleanse” after a few weeks of indulgent drinks and eats over the holidays. These dangerously low calorie and nutritionally unbalanced meal plans promise all kinds of wellness benefits, from weight loss to anti-aging benefits, most of which are made without science-backed evidence. Ironically enough, these predominantly sugar & carb-rich fruit and vegetable juice cleanses (which lack the fiber offered by the whole food version of each), actually compromise our long term weight management goals.
When we drastically cut calories, our metabolism slows down to adjust to the lower intake. This in turn, can lead to a situation in which our body tells our brain “we’re starving”, leading to the all-too-common yoyo diet trap. What’s worse, the rebound weight gain is often more significant than any initial water weight loss we might experience after a few days of fasting, juicing, or a combination of each.
Don’t: Cut out Protein
Most detox diet plans and cleanses lean heavily on fruits, vegetables, and low calorie fluids, leading to a daily intake nearly void of one of the most important macronutrients required for natural detoxification: protein. When it comes to flushing toxins from our system, our body is well-equipped with a built-in filtration system, our liver.
To carry out the process of toxin elimination, our liver relies on amino acids, the building blocks of protein, as its main fuel source. As such, if you want to boost your body’s natural detoxification process, skimping on protein in favor of carbohydrate-centric juices does a major detox disservice.
Don’t: Assume All Natural Detox Supplements are Safe
If you’ve browsed the aisles of any health food store, pharmacy, or supplement shop, you’ve encountered the mountains of alluring natural ‘detox’ and ‘cleanse’ supplements, all promising to help your body flush dangerous toxins from your system. However, not only are these products often ineffective, they can ultimately be downright dangerous for certain populations.
Many supplements, even of the natural variety, are not regulated, often resulting in outlandish and fabricated health claims, inaccurate ingredient labels, and a host of potentially dangerous side effects, including dehydration, electrolyte disturbances, liver damage, septicemia, & even death.
Oh, but it’s natural you say? In the words of the FDA, “do not assume that the term "natural" to describe a product ensures that it is safe.”
Don’t: Ignore Warning Signs
If you decide to embark on a detox or cleanse diet, we beg you, please check in with yourself and how you’re feeling. Dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, irritable, or just plain miserable? We suggest you practice some self-care & cut the cleanse short, because long-term, sustainable health is about feeling good and fueling good for the long-haul.
With all of the expensive detox diet products and supplements on the market, it might seem too good to be true that something as simple as mineral water, like JUST's line of still and sparkling natural spring water, offers science-supported detox benefits. However, research shows that natural mineral water can help improve regularity and bowel function, two processes heavily tied to our body’s natural ability to flush toxins from our system.
Affordable, accessible, & awesome for our general health outside of ‘detoxing’? We’ll take it!
Do: Prioritize Sleep
We all know a good night’s sleep is imperative to feeling and functioning at our best. But did you know it also plays a huge role in our natural ability to detox? Scientists have found that a restful night of sleep allows our brain to flush out toxins that naturally accumulate during the day.
So if you’re looking to cleanse your body & your mind, we suggest prioritizing quality shuteye.
Do: Focus on Whole, Natural, & Unprocessed Foods
It’s no surprise that cutting back on sugar-packed, artificial, & processed foods does the body good in terms of our general health. But did you know cutting back on these foods can help boost our ability to naturally flush unwanted toxins from our system? Processed foods can alter the landscape of our gut, negatively affecting our microbiome and our natural ability to cleanse and flush toxins. To make matters worse, these highly refined, packaged foods are pro-inflammatory, leading to a systemic state of physiological stress that inhibits our natural detoxification capabilities.
Do: Skip the Alcohol
If you’ve been on the fence about cutting back on alcohol or jumping on the Dry January bandwagon, here’s some additional info that might convince you it’s worth giving a shot (or should we say, worth not taking a shot). As we discussed, our liver is the major organ involved in our ability to naturally detox and cleanse our system of toxins. However, excessive and long term consumption of alcohol can damage our liver, ultimately compromising its role as our body’s primary organ involved in detoxification.
The good news is, when we cut back or cut out alcohol, our liver can begin to regenerate and heal itself of alcohol-induced damage, which in turn, puts us back on track for healthy, natural detoxification.
The Deets on Detoxing Naturally
If you’re looking to clean up your diet, level up your health, & naturally cleanse your system, skip the scams & stick with these simple, science-based steps to help you detox naturally. Cheers to detoxing done right!