Is "Spring Cleaning" Your Body Ever a Good Idea?
The idea of detoxifying your body may be appealing, and heaps of commercial products crowd the market to tap into this desire. A google search for "detox diet products" brought up 2,220,000 results in less than a second.
"Detox diet" is a loose term, which may include everything from water fasting to juice fasting to eating restricted amounts of specified foods. These diets may last anywhere from a day to weeks, or even longer. Some involve prescribing profitable supplements and other products, while others rely on home remedies.
One thing pretty much all these diets have in common is their vague claims. For example, you may be promised you'll "get rid of toxins" (which toxins?) or "cleanse your body" (of what, and has rigorous science shows this is true?). The hope is you won't ask too many critical questions.
There are three main reasons why you might be interested in a detox diet. One is valid, one is iffy, and one is potentially downright dangerous. I've called these reasons:
- Kickstart change;
- Draw a line; and
- Obliterate the past