Detoxes and cleanses have been around for a while but are picking up steam these days, thanks to popular channels like Instagram, which attract a large population of health and fitness-minded people, celebrities and their following.
This is not surprising – the way we access, consume, and engage with our health is remarkably different from just 20 years ago; We’re a lot more social, and becoming natural crowd sourcers and sharers.
The explosion of health and fitness on social channels, from juice cleanses to teatoxes, have presented us a seemingly endless amount of choices to pick from – but is there any merit to them when it comes to being effective at the claims they make, like weight loss, flushing toxins, and jumpstarting a healthier eating regimen? How safe are they?
It’s important to keep in mind that any large shift you put your body through – like a detox or cleanse – for an extended period of time is going to impact your body – for better or worse.
Since one of our goals at WellnessFX is optimal health, let’s do a quick deep dive and see if they have the makings to contribute to an overall healthy body inside and out.
Detoxes & Cleanses: The Rundown
Who: Detoxes and cleanses are sought out by a variety of people for different reasons, from weight loss, to “getting rid of the toxins,” to increase energy or even as a precursor before foraying into a diet or nutrition change.
Why: A popular opinion observed is that a sweeping or drastic change in the body – and what it consumes – will produce equally drastic change, and with speedy results.
What: Some of the more popular ones with air time today include: BluePrint cleanse (where you drink only juices), teatoxes (where you consume massive amounts of tea in combination with specific meals), elimination of an entire food group(s). Sometimes a period of fasting is followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water.
What to Consider
Succinctly put by The Mayo Clinic, “Detox, or detoxification, diets are popular, but they’re not scientifically proven.” What could that mean for you as a participant and consumer? When engaging in these diets, be wary of the following:
- Side effects: Diets that require fasting, eliminate entire food groups or put the kibosh on certain macronutrients that your body needs to function, such as protein, fat or carbohydrates, can result in fatigue or hormonal imbalances. Think food doesn’t matter when it comes to hormones? Check out our recent “How Food Affects Your Mood in 4 Simple Steps.”
- Micronutrient deficiencies: If you are being asked to eliminate essential food groups, or to fast for an extended period of time, you risk vitamin and mineral deficiencies. These micronutrients play a crucial role in keeping your body healthy and functioning from immune system and muscle function, to heart and blood health, and even eye health. (Related post: 6 Medications that Deplete Your Nutrients: How to Supplement + Foods to Help).
Detoxes and Cleanses: The bottom line
Detoxes and cleanses vary in guidelines, instruction and restrictions, and not all are bad, just because they are labeled as a detox/cleanse. So what does that mean when scrolling through your next health blog or Instagram feed?
Look at what the cleanse/detox is asking you to do.
Do your research. Does it support sustainable, long-term nutrition habits or optimal health?
Don’t get caught up in the claims, packaging or testimonials. In doubt? Consult a health practitioner regarding the health impact of a diet change.
How WellnessFX Can Help
If you’re considering a detox/cleanse, get the OK from your doctor first – a WellnessFX practitioner can give you customized feedback based on your individual goals. As always, we recommend regularly testing your biomarkers to better understand your body’s chemistry and how it reacts to changes in nutrition – before and after. Why is it important to retest?
What other nutrition trends are you curious about? You can view our recent coverage of the popular IIFYM eating trend here.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.