Body Detox: Is Detoxification Real or a Marketing Bluff?

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Verified by Mindmonia

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Red smoothie berries

Every day you unknowingly add toxins to your body. Depending on what you eat, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, the amount of toxins varies. Many people, therefore, believe that they need to do a body detox.

In most cases, the body can cleanse itself naturally. However, detox enthusiasts believe that your body is too “polluted” these days and therefore it can’t detoxify or cleanse itself on its own. Many even believe that being healthy without a body detox isn’t possible. 

We at Mindmonia got to the bottom of this. In this article, we will tell you everything we have found out.

Jump ahead to any of the sections below:

What Is a Body Detox?

Cup of fresh tea

A body detox involves cleansing the body of all toxins that damage or harm it. Simply put, detox stands for detoxification and refers to a temporary diet or body treatment. It’s intended to cleansify, purify and detoxify your body.

In some cases, there are diets that aim to cleanse specific organs, such as your liver or digestive system.

There are many different ways and means to do a body detox. However, it’s not clear how most of these diets work, what toxins they exactly target and, above all, if they even work.

Depending on which detoxification treatment you follow, you will eat or drink different foods. In the past, a whole range of special diets was developed. Most contain one or more of the following components:

  • Juice therapy
  • Detoxification tea
  • Hydration treatment
  • Gut treatment
  • Fasting
  • Sugar detox

The bottom line is that a detox treatment not only tells you when and how to eat your food, it also tells you which foods to eat. During a juice diet, for example, you’re only allowed to consume juices, water, soups, and herbal teas.

Risks of a Juice Diet

It’s not wise to base your entire diet on juices. Among other things, it can lead to a protein deficiency in the body and cause low blood pressure and severe diarrhea (source).

Furthermore, if the juices and smoothies are mostly made from fruits, it can cause you to gain weight while losing healthy muscle mass due to the lack of protein. The high fruit sugar level can also have a big impact on your blood sugar.

Besides the dangers of a diet based only on juices, you should also be aware that fasting is not always healthy for you. If you fast the wrong way or for too long, you will actually do more harm to your body than supporting or cleansing it.

Yet many detox supporters ignore the dangers (and the science behind it) and continue to promote the following benefits of such a body detox:

  • Helps and supports your digestion
  • Is a good way to lose weight
  • Improves your skin
  • Increases your energy
  • Makes you happier

In the next chapter, we will explain the science of detoxification and show you if and how there is a healthy way to cleanse your body. 

How to Detox Your Body?

Woman with facemask

As already mentioned, your body has a natural detoxification process to cleanse itself. Your organs, such as the liver, kidneys, your digestive system but also your skin and lungs have their own and unique way of dealing with toxins.

How to detox your body? You can’t.

You can’t actively do a body detox, but you can support your body in its work through a healthy lifestyle. However, detox products are useless at this point.

Science has not yet been able to prove whether and how actively detoxing yourself has a positive effect on your body. Even the benefits that emerged in various experiments can’t be exclusively linked to a detox diet. (source)

Detox products such as various teas, soups or skin products, which promise to free your body from toxins, do not seem to be any better either.

In 2009, a group of scientists contacted 15 producers of various detox products (smoothies, juices, food, and shampoos). Their goal was to find out how exactly these products detoxify the body and what effect they have on it. 

The result: Not one company could specify how exactly the product cleanses the body of toxins. Not even the toxins that the products are supposed to fight could be named.

Even more severe is the fact that scientists have assessed the product manufacturers’ understanding of the human body as potentially dangerous.

The bottom line is that these products not only have no effect on the body, but they can even harm the body.

Here’s the study.

The same applies to the various detox diets that you can find across the Internet.

Many of these diets claim that they detoxify the body by removing harmful or even toxic substances from it. However, only very few of them can actually explain what toxins the diet is clearing from the body. 

The core message from all this is: Your body has developed a natural mechanism for detoxification. You don’t need to test any special detox diets or products.

How come most people feel better after a detox? 

That’s easy to explain.

You start to care about your diet and consume healthier food (the food itself is healthier, not the way you consume it). Another example of the many benefits of mindfulness.

Plus, there is the mental effect. Many suffer from being overweight, are unhappy with their body, or just feel bad because they had pizza or burgers last night. With radical detoxification, you get the feeling that you are freeing your body from all these sins and that you are practically making a fresh start. 

Body Detox: 6 Tips on How to Naturally Cleanse Your Body

As you already learned in the chapters above, your body is well equipped to deal with toxins and harmful substances. However, having a healthy lifestyle comes along with many benefits.

You can learn how to maintain such a healthy lifestyle in our article, right here.

Here are some healthy lifestyle tips that help you support your body’s detoxification process

Body Detox Tip 1: Drink More Water

First things first: You shouldn’t just drink water just because you want to cleanse your body. It’s scientifically proven that you will benefit from the following as long as you hydrate yourself sufficiently:

  • Your body performance improves: You can exercise longer because your body doesn’t “overheat”. Overheating makes you feel tired and exhausted more quickly. (source)
  • Your mental performance improves: Even slight dehydration has a negative effect on your memory and concentration. (source)
  • You lose weight faster: If you really want to try something that will help you lose weight, just drink plenty of water. Water speeds up your metabolism and also makes you satiated. (source)
  • You will have fewer headaches: You’ll have more frequent headaches if you don’t drink enough water. (source)

Besides all these benefits, being sufficiently hydrated will also help your body cleans waste products. This is because your body eliminates all toxins and waste through liquids (for example urine and sweat). Therefore, if you hydrate yourself well, you support the natural detoxification process immensely. (source)

Body Detox Tip 2: Watch Your Sugar Intake

Berries on spoon

There are many reasons to eat less sugar and can be a tricky thing, since even the products you least expect, contain sugar. Even if it says “no sugar” on the product, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is sugar-free. Sugar comes in many names. 

If you happen to be one of the people who check the nutritional facts on the backside of the products: See if you can find the terms maltose, dextrose, raffinose or glucose (different types of sugar) in the ingredients list. The column “sugar” in the nutrition table contains only one type of sugar at this point.

Nevertheless, excessive sugar consumption is not healthy and is associated with many diseases and obesity. (source)

In terms of detox, less sugar means that your body functions better. This is because sugar attacks important organs, such as the kidneys and liver, and prevents them from carrying out their normal functions optimally. With less sugar, you can avoid this problem.

By the way: Fruits contain fructose (fruit sugar), which increases your natural feeling of hunger. This can cause you to eat more food and thus gain weight. 

Excessive consumption of fructose can even lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that regulates your sense of hunger. Simply put, leptin regulates when you should stop eating. If you are resistant to this hormone, it can be difficult to feel satiated. (source)

If you try a juice-based body detox and nourish yourself exclusively with juices and smoothies, you are more likely to damage your body, despite the many good nutrients in the fruit.

Body Detox Tip 3: Eat Food Rich in Antioxidants

Free radicals are a metabolic product that can lead to so-called oxidative stress if present in high concentrations. Oxidative stress, in turn, is very harmful to your body. It’s associated with a wide variety of diseases, such as cardiac arrhythmia. (source)

Yet free radicals are not necessarily bad. Your body needs them to ensure certain functions. For example, your immune system uses free radicals to fight bacteria during infections. (source)

The oxidative stress mentioned above only occurs when the number of free radicals is greater than the number of antioxidants. In order to avoid this, you can either try to minimize the formation of free radicals in your body or take in more antioxidants. 

Foods with a high concentration in antioxidants are:

  • Moringa
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries 
  • Raspberries 
  • Artichokes 
  • Spinach
  • Grapes
  • Tea
  • Beans 
  • Fish

Remember to have a balanced and varied diet and to try to eat the foods listed above on a regular basis.

Body Detox Tip 4: Drink Less Alcohol

White cocktail with lemon

As we already explained in the tip above, free radicals can cause oxidative stress. In order to balance free radicals and antioxidants, you can simply reduce your alcohol consumption. 

Every time you drink alcohol, it’s being processed, dissolved and detoxified by your liver. If you drink less alcohol, you give your liver less to do.

High alcohol consumption leads to more free radicals in the body and also damages your liver. A damaged liver, on the other hand, is unable to perform one of its main functions, which is detoxifying your body. (source)

If you want to help your body with its detoxification processes, it’s only logical to keep your alcohol consumption moderate or avoid alcohol altogether. 

However, it’s also important to point out that not all alcohol is the same. Red wine, for example, is rich in healthy antioxidants and can have some positive effects on your health. (source)

This doesn’t mean that we recommend drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol on a regular basis leads to health problems – no matter whether you drink red wine, beer or whiskey. 

Body Detox Tip 5: Maintain a Healthy Sleep Pattern

While you sleep, you pass through different sleep phases. One of them is REM sleep. In this phase, your body recovers as your brain organizes and processes the memories and emotions you have experienced throughout the day.

Poor sleep affects your mental health and leads to various problems such as stress, concentration problems and even depression. Yet, what about your physical health?

Healthy sleep has several physical advantages. Your immune system, heart, and many other organs need sufficient sleep to carry out their biological functions in your body. Detoxification is one of them.

Your body detoxifies itself while you sleep. Therefore, sufficient sleep is essential for regular detoxification. It’s not only important how long, but also how well and how regularly you sleep. Sleep deprivation can’t be compensated. 

If you want to read more about sleep and its effects on your health, check out our article.

Body Detox Tip 6: Quit Smoking

Ashtray with cigarettes

Smoking is associated with various health risks. 

The toxins released when burning tobacco damage not only your lungs but your entire body. This includes organs responsible for detoxification.

Smoking also produces thousands of toxins, all of which you allow into your body. These toxins make it difficult for your body to detoxify itself and on top of that, they cause countless illnesses such as cancer, strokes and much more.

Many complications and health risks can be solved if you stop smoking. If you are a non-smoker, even better. Don’t start, not even occasionally. Even passive smoking does a lot of harm.

FAQ

In the last chapter of our body detox article, we compiled and answered a list of the most frequently asked questions and misunderstandings. If you have a question but can’t find it in the FAQs, feel free to leave a comment, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

How to Detox Your Body to Lose Weight?

In the short term, you can lose weight with a detox diet, especially if it includes a period of fasting.

Fasting, when practiced incorrectly, can lead to weight gain. This is mostly because your body reaches some kind of extreme state and tries to store as many nutrients and carbohydrates as possible.

The bottom line is that you can lose weight through detoxification, but only in the short term. In the long term, it’s not suitable for weight loss.

How to Detox Your Body in One Day?

You can’t do a full body detox in one day. Your body cleanses itself and a radical one-day body detox would have no effect on your body and its natural detoxification process at this point.

What’s the Best Way to Detox Your Body?

Consciously cleansing your body doesn’t make sense as it has no effect. Rather establish a healthy diet and exercise routine with the tips from above to support the natural detox process of your body. 

What Does Detox Do for Your Body?

A body detox, when done wrong, can even be dangerous. If you start fasting as a layman or go on extreme juice diets without informing yourself upfront, you may do more harm than good. Most positive effects of a body detox are linked to the placebo effect.

Can I Do a Body Detox Without Fasting?

Yes. Drink plenty of water and try to eat healthy. This will help your body more than some radical juice diet.

Which Foods Detoxify the Body?

There is not that one food that you can detox your body with. You should avoid various detox products for the reasons mentioned above. If you want to do something good for your body, eat superfoods or foods rich in antioxidants.

Conclusion

Body detox programs and various products, which have become popular in recent years, are mostly useless. Science couldn’t prove their impact on the body and whether they actually detox it. 

Your body doesn’t need any products or supplements at this point to cleanse itself. A healthy lifestyle with the right nutrition, enough sleep and not drinking alcohol can already work wonders. 

Aggressive changes in your diet without proper preparation often cause more damage. For example, if you only nourish yourself with juices and soups for several weeks, you risk a nutrient deficiency.

If you still want to try such a detox diet, be aware that profound changes in your diet have massive consequences for you and your health. Please inform yourself sufficiently before you start such a diet or cure. 

We at Mindmonia concluded that strict detox diets, with the intention of detoxifying your body, are not necessary. 

You don’t necessarily have to have your gut cleaned or detoxified, or drink juices and eat only soups for weeks for a healthy lifestyle. 

It’s much more important that you develop certain mindfulness for your body and your lifestyle and don’t blindly follow trends.

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