Leading up to the warmer months, detox diets to get ready for summer are a hot topic. But, following a detox diet which involves removing whole food groups from your diet in a bid to help your body remove toxins is not going to help your health (or your shape for that matter). Here, nutrition expert, Caitlin Reid dispels the detoxing myths.
Myth buster 1: Your body needs a detox every now and then
Your body has its very own inbuilt detoxification system involving your skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and lymphatic system. Together they remove toxins from your body everyday. It’s amazing that people are prepared to risk seriously disrupting these sophisticated systems with unproven ‘detox’ diets, which could do them more harm than good. There is no evidence to suggest that detoxing helps your body perform any better.
Myth buster 2: Detox diets make you feel better
Some people report feeling better on a detox diet, which means they probably weren’t giving their body the right kinds of foods to begin with. Detox diets get you to remove foods high in fat, salt and added sugar, and to limit alcohol and caffeine. At the same time they get you to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Eating a healthy balanced diet rich in whole foods and containing minimal amounts of processed and refined foods would offer you the same benefits with a better nutritional profile. A healthy diet should contain a variety of healthy foods with moderate amounts of treat foods.
Myth buster 3: Detox diets are good for you
Detox diets are extremely rigid and often remove whole food groups, which can lead to nutritional deficiency if done over the long-term. Detox diets are also extremely dangerous for people with special needs, children, teenagers, pregnant or breastfeeding women and the elderly.
How can I boost my energy levels then?
Making long-term lifestyle and dietary changes will help boost your energy levels. Including plenty of whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and lean protein, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep and finding some time to relax each week will have you feeling great in no time. Limiting the amount of alcohol and caffeine your consume, swapping saturated fats for unsaturated fats, and reducing the amount of processed food you consume will also help. Make small lifestyle changes now to give you big long-term health benefits.