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09 Nov 2016

Detox - Another Health Fad?


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Detox seems to be a buzz word these days and made all the more trendy and glamorous because of celebrities' endorsement. While it promises to clear out harmful toxins that have been building up in our bodies, there has been no clinical evidence to support it. 

Detoxification varies from fasting to juice cleansing to colon irrigation. 

For those who are new to detox, going for a fast may be too drastic to begin with. It requires you to abstain from food for 12 hours or more, and take in only water. Since your body is deprived of vital nutrients, it burns existing fats into energy. The downside is it leaves you with low energy and prone to cold. It is also not recommended if you are having an active day. And if you are not careful, fasting could trigger a bingeing feast thereafter. 

Juice cleansing, on the other hand, comprises a diet of fruits, vegetables and water for a few days. If you are trying out for the first time, beware of possible side effects such as bloatedness, headaches and even nausea. What juice cleansing does is it can help to reboot your palate and change your preference for clean eating. While you may feel lighter, the weight loss (mostly water) would soon come back once you return to your daily routine. 

In the case of colon irrigation, large amounts of water are flushed into your colon through a tube inserted into your rectum. This process is supposed to ease constipation, improve bowel movement and digestion. With this method, there are also possible risks of dehydration, bowel perforation and infections. 

While health fads like detoxification have its supporters and allure, there are definitely better long term solutions. 

Start by eating healthy on a daily basis. Eat at least one serving of grains (size of a fist) and, two servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Cut down on processed food and drink moderately. Believe it or not, our bodies are smarter than we know and are fully capable of purging out toxins naturally as long as we do not overburden our liver and kidneys. 

Regular exercise can also help you to sweat out the toxins. Working out keeps us in shape and relieves stress. If your body is under stress, it actually slows down the detoxification enzymes in the liver. In other words, when you exercise, your liver is working better! 

So the next time you are considering detoxification, ask yourself if you can make it a longer commitment!