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Detoxes: A Look at This On-Going Wellness Trend


Now more than ever, people are becoming increasingly aware of methods to improve their physical well-being. One word that frequently gets tossed around by fitness and wellness enthusiasts is “detoxing.” This practice claims certain food products and chemicals can stimulate toxins to leave the body, whether by improving your circulation or enhancing your metabolism.

People who advocate for detoxes believe that there are various toxins in the air, water and food you consume. According to them, these various toxins can damage your DNA, interfere with your hormonal balance and impair your body’s other functions. Over 75 percent of naturopathic doctors in the country used various detoxification techniques to treat their patients of toxins.

However, many health and medical experts have questioned the validity of detoxes of all kinds. Some research has pointed out the many harmful effects of detoxing, especially when recommended by people without real medical training.

The following are examples of detoxes that people may use to try to improve their well-being.

Juicing Detoxes

Juicing doesn’t mean purchasing pureed fruit and adding it to your glass of water. It means using a juicing machine to extract the liquid contents of fruit or vegetables. Juicing detoxes often tout that their methods increase people’s consumption of these nutritional food, which health experts say Americans aren’t eating enough of.

However, juicing machines can prevent you from getting the most nutrients out of fruits. This is because some whole fruits, like apples, contain their nutrients and minerals in their skin. Juicing machines often discard the skin and pulp of fruits. This means you may not be getting the full antioxidant load or insoluble fibers it has to offer. Eating a balanced diet with enough fruits and vegetables can replicate the benefits of a juicing detox with no harmful effects.

Food Detoxing

Some detoxing techniques recommend that you eat more of a certain type of food or become more selective with what you eat rather than rely on fruit or vegetable juice. Some detox diets espouse the higher quality of all natural or organic foods, which sometimes overlap with vegan or vegetarian diets. There is scientific research that supports that dietary fibers found in whole grains, vegetables and fruits can help your body flush out toxins. Some diets even suggest eating strange food, like charcoal ice cream, to absorb them instead.

However, some detox diets just call for rigorous fasting, which can be very dangerous especially if you have preexisting conditions like diabetes. The key to successful and healthy dietary detoxes is to consult with licensed medical professionals and nutrition experts before and during your food detox. Their advice and input will be invaluable in ensuring you remain healthy throughout, instead of exacerbating or causing any illness.

Foot Detoxing

Other detoxes claim they can leech out imbalances in your body through your feet. Two main types of foot detoxing are commercially available to consumers: foot pads and foot baths. Foot pads look like adhesive bandages with special chemicals that you attach to the soles of your feet. According to manufacturers, these pads will suck out the toxins from your body. Foot baths often claim they can induce your body to expel toxins from your feet through electric or ionic stimulation.

However, both these detox methods have been labeled as false. A foot pad manufacturer was even charged by the Federal Trade Commission because they falsely advertised the benefits of their product. Meanwhile, researchers have discovered that detoxing foot baths rely on chemical trickery to make it look like their products work.

Oxygen Detoxing

Other detoxing companies and fads point to the rejuvenating power of oxygen for their services. Oxygen is a crucial material needed by the body to continue functioning. Your body’s cells quickly deteriorate and decay when they don’t get an adequate amount of oxygen through your bloodstream. Your cognitive functions can get impaired if you don’t breathe in enough it. Detox companies use concentrated oxygenated air, usually containing between 85 to 95 percent pure oxygen, to allegedly enhance your bodily functions. The oxygen is delivered through a nasal tube or a respiratory mask.

Although concentrated oxygen can be used to treat respiratory illnesses like emphysema, there’s little to no evidence that suggest your body works better when you inhale more of it. There are few risks to inhaling more oxygen than normal through a mask. However, it is illegal to use an oxygen tank if you’re not prescribed to do so by a physician.

Detoxing may be a popular buzzword in wellness, but many of the methods advertised by its advocates often turn out to be fallacious or ineffective. Rather than waste your resources and time using untested or false methods to achieve wellness, focus on holistic approaches such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and watching what you consume instead.

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