If your idea of ‘New Year New Me’ is heading straight into a juice cleanse or adding those much-needed greens in your diet–basically go into detox mode–then what we say next might just make you rethink your plan this month. The truth is–there’s no such thing as detox food. The term is simply a myth.
Your Body Already Has A Natural Detoxification System
The medical fraternity is of the opinion that there is no way that you can simply flush impurities out your system and make your organs squeaky clean with a particular diet or food. Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist and Co-founder, Food Darzee says,”Our bodies have a natural built-in detoxification system where the liver, lungs, kidneys, and the digestive system flush out toxic waste regularly, without requiring any outside detoxification agents. Yes, eating certain healthy foods further aids this natural detox process and those foods are ideally called detox foods. But it can’t completely flush out toxins on their own. It can definitely help the body’s natural detox mechanisms to work better. Eating cruciferous vegetables, fruits with antioxidants, fibrous grains and adaptogenic herbs can help decrease inflammation in the body and let the gut microbiome function better. In short, an overall healthy eating pattern devoid of processed and inflammatory foods can go a long way in keeping your body clean.”
Is Detox Food A Marketing Gimmick?
Celebrities and influential social media personalities have bastardised the use of the term detox by promoting it to be the best ways to cleanse your body. But it is merely a scam that has unfortunately created a huge list of followers. “A detox food or diet may help in losing some calories but it definitely has nothing to do with eliminating toxins. Also consuming one kind of food excessively and avoiding others can cause imbalance of nutrients,” Dr. Siddhant adds.
Detox foods have gained popularity because they seem like a convenient solution for unhealthy eating habits (specifically alcohol consumption and smoking). “They are marketed like a magic pill that will purify your system no matter what is your lifestyle. How can that possibly be? Sometimes, detox foods are simply marketing gimmicks trying to promote certain products. While trends like juice cleanses, intermittent or dry fasting, gluten or dairy-free diets or a raw food regime are healthy in their own way, they cannot be substitutes for healthy eating and exercise. An optimal diet or lifestyle calls for balance,” he adds.
Juices & Smoothies Are Beneficial But Don’t Make The Cut For Detox Food
People believe that juices and smoothies for breakfast are great ways to detox. While it is certainly better than starting your day with a cup of tea or coffee, it doesn’t count as detox food. “A glass of juice or a fruit-packed smoothie might hydrate you well, keep your bowel movements going because of the fibre content but it can’t essentially do what your internal detoxification organs do naturally. Smoothies are also a good option for people who do not eat enough fruits and veggies in a day but they can never be a substitute for whole greens. So have your juices and smoothies as part of a more holistic diet to reap their true benefits,” Dr. Siddhant says.
Substitutes For The Term Detox Food Are…
Superfoods or functional foods, fortifying foods, antioxidants-rich foods or anti-inflammatory foods. Prebiotic and probiotic foods also fall in this category.
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