Hands up if you’ve declared you’re doing a January detox diet and are already feeling pretty miserable about it? Well, it turns out now might be a good time to abandon the green juices.
Yep, science has brought us some good news on the health front for once, revealing that detoxing your body really isn’t worth the effort. Come on, who wouldn’t rather have an extra twenty minutes in bed over chopping up endless green stuff to chuck in your Nutribullet every morning? This rather cheery January news comes from an article by Dr Veronique Chacay, a dietician at the University of Queensland, who states that our bodies are designed to detox naturally. That’s right, no matter how much celery, kale or ginger you cram into that juice, it probably won’t have much effect.
The concept of a detox comes from the idea that toxins accumulate and the body needs regular purification, and many traditional medicine practices describe cleansing as a way to avoid illness. Now, there are countless ways to detox the body, from juice cleanses and detoxing tea to eliminating certain food groups and mainlining hot water with lemon – with a dash of cayenne pepper and maple syrup if you’re Beyonce.
Dr Chacay, however, describes the body as “a comprehensive, self-mending, self-detoxing apparatus. It will perform its detoxification tasks regardless of whether you’re undertaking a rigid detox cure, or a gourmet food and wine tasting marathon. But providing the right ingredients for optimal function daily, rather than opting for a quick-fix detox, is the key.”
She continues, “the liver metabolises and detoxifies any dietary constituents (including caffeine or herbal teas and supplements) and any external toxins entering the body from a variety of exposure.” Meaning it’s got the endless fizz, vino, mince pies etc consumed over the festive period covered.
According to Chacay, “no one-off detox regimen can “erase” the effects of weeks' worth of excess and years of sluggish lifestyle habits. There’s no scientific base or high-level evidence showing the benefits of commercial short-term detox programs.”
So there you have it. Don’t be sucked in by those ‘lose 7lb in one week’ gimmicks that everyone is flogging in January to prey on our post Christmas indulgence insecurity, simply make healthy fixes like green juices and hot water a regular part of your life. Trust us, you’ll feel way better for it.