5 detox myths, debunked!

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5 detox myths, debunked!

Being healthy is simply something that everyone should have access to. And when we say access, we mean that they are empowered with the knowledge and understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, and how to go about living it. Here, for the novice and seasoned detoxers alike, we've busted some of the most common detox myths out there.

5 detox myths, debunked!

Myth #1: Your body needs outside help detoxing

Before getting into the mechanics of why it doesn't, a brief note on toxins, that bandied-about term that's so rarely defined. Toxins are substances that are found in your food, environment, air, and water that contribute to disease. So, yeah, no surprise that there's some intrigue to the idea of looping in help to get those suckers out of your system. In truth, your body is capable of handling toxin removal all on its own.

Your kidneys, liver, and intestines are real superstars in this process. The kidneys are small, bean-shaped organs that are 'trash collectors.' They work to remove toxins and waste from your body in the form of urine. Your liver deals with your bloodstream to do pretty much the same thing, albeit in the form of feces. As for your intestines, the small one breaks food down, then helps your bloodstream absorb the resulting nutrients. After that, your large intestine processes any leftover waste and helps transform it into stool. While it's true that things like a regular habit of drinking too much can eventually hurt your body's ability to maximise these operations, even the shiniest detox plan probably won't mitigate that effect.

Myth #2: Detoxing is an easy fix for months of over-indulging

The seeds of "I must detox" thoughts are usually sown during the festive season. After binging on unhealthy and often processed foods, the post-festive detox can feel right. People love a quick fix. The issue is that they're just not sustainable.

Sure, when you try one, you may lose pounds faster than you would on a more measured plan. But what happens after that? True health is about making long-lasting changes that you can stick to, and that's the opposite of what a detox really is. You're putting a bandage on the real issue. Most people don’t have a healthy and sensible plan after the detox is complete, so they go back to their previous eating habits and poor behaviour. Plus, intense cleanses or other methods of deprivation often prime you for yo-yo dieting, which can be a hard cycle to break.

Myth #3: You can slash certain macronutrients without a consequence

Carbs, protein, and fat are the trifecta of perfection for keeping your body healthy. They play essential roles including aiding the absorption of vitamins and minerals, providing energy, and helping brain function. Carbs offer both physical and mental fuel, protein helps keep you full and is the building block of muscle, and fat is satiating, prettifying (it often has skin-improving antioxidants), and usually freaking delicious. When you eliminate these important nutrients, you may see slowed metabolism from drastically decreasing calories, dry skin, decreased energy, and crankiness. In short, all things you want to avoid. Each one of the three macronutrients can be part of a healthy diet, including carbohydrates!

Myth #4: Green juice is the nectar of the health gods

This one hurts, because green juice really does seem like it should be the epitome of health. It's vegetable water! But pre-packaged ones are often sneakily loaded with fruit, which drives up their sugar content. And even if you have a green juice being mostly veggies and one serving of fruit, you still won't get the full benefit that would result from eating that produce instead. That's primarily because super-satiating fibre is mainly located in the skin of fruits and vegetables. Plus, eating whole vegetables tends to be way more satisfying than sipping on a juice – taste, texture, plating, it's a whole experience. That's not to say you can never have green juice, but be vigilant about reading nutrition labels, and consider swapping some of them for filling green smoothies instead.

Myth #5: A detox involves a liquid-only diet

Juice cleanses have steadily risen in popularity over the years, and are often turned to as a quick fix for weight loss. However, pressed juices are stripped of fibre and are also deficient in essential protein sources and healthy fats. That’s why it’s better to have them as an addition to your diet, rather than the only part.

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