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Should You Try Detoxing? Here Are the Pros and Cons

You've probably heard of detoxing and cleanses, and the supposed health benefits that come with them, and because of this you may be tempted to try it out. The idea behind these detoxes is to remove the toxins from your body and ultimately give your digestive system break by not consuming soluble food. These foods are then replaced by juices, either cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices or lemon water and ginger. The length of the cleanse usually depends on the person but can last anywhere from one day to two weeks.

But here’s what you should know first.


1. So, are these healthy and do they actually benefit your body? Let’s first start by explaining that your body actually naturally detoxes itself, and according to reports, there is no evidence suggesting that detoxes do a better job than your body does normally.

2. These juices don’t have many calories so you will be following a very low-calorie diet, and after completing it you may feel as though you have lost weight. This is usually water weight, and if you go back to eating normally there is a good chance that you will soon put any of the weight you lost back on (depending on what food you transition to).

3. The low-calories will also leave you with less energy and possibly affect your metabolic rate as well as your blood glucose levels. And if you were incredibly hungry during your detox it’s possible that you may start eating more to satisfy those cravings.

4. Your body may find it hard to adjust to the change in diet (for most detoxes you’re meant to start eating clean a few days before at least) and this could result in an upset stomach and bloating.

5. In addition to the aforementioned cons, these detoxes are marketed in such a way that they have become a big “health” trend, and they are often pricey.


1. Are there any pros? Well, the simple answer is yes, but it’s not quite that straightforward. You are going to benefit from the vitamins and minerals you’re ingesting because of the vegetable and fruit drinks. It can also help you get back on track and start a new, cleaner and better way of eating.

2. If you slowly reintroduce healthy foods you may be less likely to binge on the junk that you were eating prior to your detox. It’s possible that the cravings you had for sugar, caffeine, or salt will also have been eliminated.

The obvious pro here is that you would have been able to end your bad eating habits.

3. Some people feel as though these detoxes help them achieve mental clarity, and often feel amazing (more energy and happier) after a short cleanse.

Here's the take away: If you are pregnant, a teenager, or have pre-existing health conditions you should not detox. For the rest, it’s important to do your research, listen to your body, and understand the potential risks involved with doing a detox or cleanse. Also, never do detoxes for extended amounts of time.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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