Cleansing and detoxing are hot topics in the healthy lifestyle world right now. As a society, I believe we are becoming more health aware and so there is an increased demand for products that will help people lead healthier lifestyles. There is also a huge weightloss culture alongside this desire for health and so, cleansing and detoxing is certainly growing in popularity.
Detoxes come in many forms: you can find cleansing supplements, juice cleanses, detox teas and cleansing meals plans on the market today. But are these products any good for you?
I'm not a health expert in any shape or form. Beyond a short nutrition course I took last year, my knowledge of what is genuinely healthy and genuinely not is very limited - so please do take this article as an opinion. However, today I wanted to share my thoughts on whether partaking in a cleanse or detox process is something that is actually needed.
The arguments in favour of detoxing are strong. The culture we live in makes it very easy to be unhealthy. We have incredibly easy access to fast food, sugary drinks and ready meals containing numerous questionable ingredients. As a result, the majority of us lead a lifestyle that could definitely be a little healthier. On top of the food we eat, we also have to contend with air pollution and the probability that the products we use on a daily basis, such as skincare and personal hygeine products, may also contain chemicals that have the potential to cause harm.
In order to combat these issues, one may partake in a cleanse. By increasing the amount of fruit, vegetables and wholefoods you eat, you can start to combat the increased exposure to toxicity we have in today's world.
Those against the idea of cleansing and detoxing often argue that our body removes toxins by itself via organs such as our kidney and liver. Because our body is designed in such a way, it is silly to buy products or embark upon programmes designed to cleanse and detox.
Personally, I am inclined to think products like detox teas are a bit of a fad - nothing is ever going to be a substitute for eating a healthy, balanced diet and your organs literally do the detox process for you - no food or drink will do it for you. That being said, I do quite like the idea of cleansing - why not make it as easy as possible for your organs to do their job?
My own diet is quite horrendous - it is seriously lacking in fruit and vegetables. When I take part in a detox programme, I turn this on its head. I base my meals upon fruit and vegetables and make a good effort to either decrease or remove the amount of sugar, processed food and other things that give me grief - for example, dairy, which really agitates my IBS and acne. How can this be a bad thing? While my overall goal is to eat relatively balanced diet most of the time, there are sometimes occasions where this does not happen and it really helps me to get back on track by doing a cleanse/detox programme for a short period.
I sometimes like to support my "detox" with herbals teas - I really like the Detox and Cleanse blends by Pukka. In the past, I have used the Renew Life First Cleanse Supplement. While I was taking these tablets, my skin cleared up and looked its absolute best. It's because of this that I think sometimes our self-detoxing/cleansing bodies might need a little extra help!
Of course, there's always a line to be drawn. As I mentioned before, there's NO subsitute for just eating a healthy, balanced diet. Drinking special teas and taking tablets while still stuffing your face with food that makes you ill is not going to increase your health! I am also wary of cleanses where you consume only liquid - I find it hard to believe you get all the nutrients and calories you need to function on those. But, if you want to feel better, going down the route of cutting back on certain things while increasing others - I say go for it.
As always, if you do have any serious health concerns or you're worried about how good a so-called "health product" actually is for you, the best move is to ask your doctor or a nutritional professional.