Rely on your body's natural detox system, not a fad diet
BY DR. KOMOROFF Universal Uclick
Monday, February 04, 2013
2/04/13 at 4:34 AM
Dear Doctor K: It seems like everyone I know is doing a cleanse or detox diet. Is there any merit to them?
Dear Reader: I'm open to a number of nontraditional treatments.
You've probably heard of the "Master Cleanse." For days, you consume only a concoction made of spring water, organic maple syrup, freshly squeezed organic lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Not all detox diets are that extreme, but many do require at least 24 hours of a strict liquid diet.
Detox diets claim to cleanse the body of toxic waste. As toxins are flushed out, so the theory goes, the body functions better and metabolism returns to normal.
I'm sympathetic to this idea. Surely, in the post-industrial age we have added many chemicals into our environment. It's not unreasonable to think that some of these chemicals might be damaging our health, and that anything that removes them from our body might therefore be beneficial.
But there's no evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from our bodies, prevent chronic disease or improve overall health. What's more, detox diets can be expensive and can cause unpleasant side effects such as decreased energy, lightheadedness, headaches and nausea.
Specific foods and food groups are especially good at supporting our natural detoxification system. At the top of the list are cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, watercress and Brussels sprouts. Other foods on the list include garlic, leeks and onions, turmeric and citrus peel.
If you're in good health, a brief detox diet probably won't hurt. But avoid one completely if you are nursing or pregnant, young, elderly or have a medical condition.
I support my body's natural detoxification system by eating a well-balanced, plant-rich diet that includes plenty of detox-supporting foods. After all, why drink broccoli when you can just eat it?
Write Dr. K at www.AskDoctorK.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106