What is a Detox Diet?
Although detox is primarily thought of as a treatment for alcohol or drug dependence, the term is also used to refer to diets, herbs, and other methods of removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body for optimum health
There are many different types of detox diets. Generally, a detox diet is a short-term diet that:
* Emphasizes foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification.
* Contains foods, such as high fiber foods and water, that draw out and eliminate toxins by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and urination.
Why do People go on a Detox Diet?
A growing body of research suggests that many of the chemicals we ingest daily through food, water, and air can become deposited in fat cells in our bodies. Signs are thought to include indigestion, bad breath, fatigue, poor skin, and muscle pain.
Some private labs, such as Great Smokies Diagnostic Labs, offer tests that assess urine, stools, blood, and liver function. These tests are not standard medical tests and many medical doctors do not recognize them or consider them valid.
Benefits of a Detox Diet
People often report improved energy, clearer skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, and increased concentration and clarity after a detox diet.
Who Shouldn't Try a Detox Diet?
Anyone considering a detox diet should consult a qualified health professional and/or their medical doctor first.
Pregnant or nursing women or children shouldn't go on a detox diet. People with anemia, eating disorder, diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, terminal illness, certain genetic diseases, and other chronic conditions shouldn't try this diet or should do so only under the supervision of their primary care provider.
Side Effects of Detox Diet
One of the most common side effects is headache within the first few days of starting the detox diet, often due to caffeine withdrawal. For this reason, practitioners often suggest gradually decreasing the amount of caffeine prior to starting a detox diet. Constipation may occur if people consume excess fiber without also increasing their fluid intake. Other side effects can include tiredness, irritability, acne, weight loss, and hunger. Any worsening of symptoms or new symptoms that occur during a detox diet should prompt a visit to a qualified health professional.
If a detox diet is continued for a longer time, it may result in nutrient deficiencies, particularly protein (some detox diets omit animal products) and calcium.
Getting Started with Detox Diet
Fatigue, indigestion, cough, muscle pain, and poor sleep can be signs of serious illness. Choosing a Detox Diet Method
Detox diet plans may include a special diet, herbs and supplements, hydrotherapy, exercise, breathing techniques and/or sauna therapy. Although more controversial, some detox programs include fasting, colon hydrotherapy, liver flush, and chelation.
Alternative practitioners usually recommend that people trying a detox diet for the first time opt for a gentle detox diet plan.
Some detox diets claim to target different organ systems involved in detoxification, such as the skin, liver, kidneys, colon, lungs and lymph system.
How Often Do People Go On a Detox Diet?
Proponents of detox diets generally recommend one to two times a year to improve health and prevent disease. In some cases, however, alternative practitioners may recommend a detox diet more frequently or may recommend a longer detox diet.
What Do People Eat After the Detox Diet is Over?
After the detox diet is over, alternative practitioners often suggest gradually easing back into a healthy, but less restrictive diet. Many people use a detox diet as a springboard for a healthier lifestyle and continue eating many of the vegetables and fruits they ate on the detox diet.
Do People Temporarily Stop Taking Medication During a Detox Diet?
What Critics of the Detox Diet Say
* Detox diets aren't needed. The body can detoxify on its own without the help of a detox diet. * There is no evidence that detox diets work.
* Herbal detox products are unproven and expensive.