Does a Weekend Detox Work?
Many vitamin companies now offer a quick fix way of detoxifying your body, rather than following a long term strict health plan. These products are not surprisingly very popular and promote improved general health. Weekend detox plans, or short detox programmes can sometimes be interpreted as a break from an unhealthy lifestyle. This can be a shock to the body, and you might experience unpleasant side effects such as diarrhoea and headaches during the detox.
Many of these products contain vitamins and herbs that help to support our natural detoxification process. The body actually detoxifies itself naturally. We naturally cleanse our system of toxins through the liver, colon, kidneys, skin, lungs and lymphatic system. We are continually consuming toxins through the air we breathe, food, free radicals, medication, alcohol and natural metabolic processes in the body. Fried foods, pesticides in fruits and vegetables and the over consumption of animal fats can compound the amount of toxins that we are exposed to.
Our natural detox processes usually neutralise these toxins, but problems can arise when the body is overloaded with toxins, or after a bout of illness. Chronic conditions such as migraines, irregular periods or constipation can also lead to a build-up of toxins. If you have had a period of excessive alcohol intake or an unhealthy diet, a quick fix detox can leave you with a number of side effects. You should not be surprised to have diarrhoea, headaches, fatigue and drowsiness. A possible reason for the unpleasant side effects is that the detox remedies stimulate our natural cleansing organs and can eliminate small amounts of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals are replaced by the following a healthy diet whilst on the detox programme.
These side effects can be minimised by drinking plenty of water, and following a simple diet of organic fruits and vegetables. During the detox, you should aim to drink two litres of water a day. Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach (approx 2 hours after a meal).
Certain foods and drinks should be avoided during the detox programme, as they counteract the cleansing action. Coffee, alcohol, caffeinated drinks and regular tea should be avoided as they all cause dehydration and add more work to the liver. Herbal teas are ok to drink. Refined sugar and salt should also be avoided, as well as wheat and dairy foods. You should avoid meat during the detox, as it requires more work to be digested.
Overall, I believe that a “weekend detox” can be beneficial to health. The main concern that I have is that people may view it as a quick fix, or a break from the normal life style of excessive drinking and unhealthy diet. This view of a detox can put the body into a state of shock and result in some nasty side effects, such as diarrhoea, indigestion and headaches. The more toxins that you accumulate, the harder your body has to work to neutralise them.
A regular “weekend detox” can improve your digestive system, energy levels, skin and hair health and reduce general aches and pains. It is inevitable that we will accumulate a certain amount of toxins, so a regular detox is an ideal opportunity to re-balance the body.