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Detox Diets and Cleanses; Do They Really Work?

Detox Diets and Cleanses; Do They Really Work?
By Barbara Ross

TP 201907 NUTRITION 07 2It鈥檚 the age of 鈥渃lean beauty鈥 and 鈥渃lean health鈥. People are more concerned than ever about what they put on their faces and what is included in the food they consume. And it is not just with people who already have health issues. A clean diet is in fact more of a trend among the youth.


For the same reason, a very popular diet concept that is catching up both among the millennials, as well as the baby boomers all over the world, is a detox diet. There are a number of people who swear by this method to remove toxins and cleanse their body, to reveal a fresh and healthy digestive system.

TP 201907 NUTRITION 01But does it really work?

Is it an authenticated way of cleaning the system?

What does a detox diet technically involve?

Let鈥檚 look at the answers to all these common questions and more. In the wake of a booming diet concept, it would be worthwhile to gain some knowledge on the subject.



TP 201907 NUTRITION 04What exactly is a detox diet?


Detox diets essentially claim to eliminate harmful toxins from your body and clean your blood. However, there is no scientific evidence to prove how they do this or whether they even do this.

These diets are usually short term plans that prescribe the intake of certain foods and the complete elimination of certain other foods.

A typical detox diet usually involves fasting for a period of time, followed by a stringent diet of fruits and vegetables only. Fruit juices and water are also allowed. Advanced detox diets may also involve intake of herbs, herbal teas and supplements. Sometimes, prescribed colon cleanses and enemas are also consumed, which makes help in emptying out the intestines.




TP 201907 NUTRITION 02How does a detox diet work?


Detox diets are known to target the body in different ways. The fasting period allows the digestive organs to rest. The fruits and vegetables further stimulate the liver to eliminate toxins through excretory means like sweat and faeces. The nutrients from the unprocessed foods also help improve blood circulation and also improve overall health.

Such detox diets are often advised for people with digestive problems or other health issues like obesity, bloating, auto-immune diseases and inflammation. Sometimes they are also recommended just to eliminate toxins absorbed by the body from the environment or from processed foods, such as pollutants, harmful metals and synthetic chemicals.

However, as mentioned before, there is no scientific evidence to support the fact that a detox diet helps in the process.

TP 201907 NUTRITION 05Are detox diets effective?


Many people are reported to have felt more energetic and focused after their detox diet. However, truth be told, there is little evidence to prove the fact that the diet actually helps in removing any of the toxins. The liver and the kidneys do possess a natural ability to remove harmful toxins from the body to a certain extent. Hence, the human body is capable of cleansing itself naturally through sweat, urine, etc.

There are however certain other more harmful chemical compounds that cannot be effectively removed naturally by the system, such as persistent organic pollutants (POP) and phthalates.

Detox diets generally involve completely elimination of highly processed foods and foods that contain added sugar or solid fats. Avoiding these types of high-calorie foods for a few days will benefit the body in many ways. This probably explains why people feel healthier after their detox diet. For the same reason, you could follow only the elimination part, as well, if you wish to improve your digestion.




TP 201907 NUTRITION 08Suffice it to say, that detox diets are not proven to be effective in the elimination of toxins. However, they do have obvious benefits of avoiding processed foods and consuming natural fruits and vegetables. Hence, rather than eating healthy just for a few days, you could adopt healthy food habits and improve your lifestyle from a general perspective.

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