Are you tired, fatigued, and feeling bloated? Then dare a new start now: Find out which detox form or dietary change suits you best to regain your old energy and strength.
Do you feel limp, tired, and bloated and your skin has completely lost its glow?
If you want to boost your metabolism and cleanse yourself of the toxins of the last few months, it is often recommended that you try a detox.
But what is actually behind the “detox trend”? And are detox cures necessary at all?
What is Detox?
The term “detox” comes from the English word “detoxification” and means to cleanse the body of the consequences of unhealthy nutrition, stress-related hormone “poisoning” and environmental pollutants.
Toxins can accumulate, for example, due to an unhealthy diet, alcohol, smoking, polluted air, or stress.
Our main detoxification organs are the liver, kidneys, intestines, skin, and lungs, which always ensure that the body cleanses itself of environmental toxins.
However, when the detoxification organs are overwhelmed or not fully functioning due to an illness, an adjusted diet and a few days of relief can do a lot of good.
Common warning signs: a sallow complexion, you feel listless and drained, and the body more susceptible to illness.
What are the detox methods?
Digestion and well-being are two central themes in Ayurvedic nutrition – according to the teachings, everyone’s health resides in the intestines.
To optimize intestinal function, Ayurveda focuses on digestive and especially plant-based foods that are cooked rather than eaten raw.
In addition, anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric, cumin, fennel, cardamom, black pepper, chili, and ginger provide support.
Well-functioning digestive processes are referred to as “Agni” (translated as “fire”). If the Agni is functioning, the hair and skin shine, because the body can optimally break down the food and transport many nutrients.
If the Agni is weakened, this is often a sign that the “Ama” is predominant. Ama is a metabolic residue that can burden the body. You feel listless and tired.
The 36-hour fasting is also known as “Alternate Day Fasting”. Here, a fasting day and a normal “eating day” alternate steadily.
It works as follows: 36 hours is renounced to a complete food intake. Best you begin starting from 18 o’clock of the Vortages with chamfering, then completely 24 hours to 6 o’clock on the following day. In the following 12 hours, everything may be eaten, regardless of the number of calories.
Scientists at the Karl Franzens University in Graz conducted various short- and long-term studies on 36-hour fasting. The result: the majority of subjects benefited from weight loss, better cholesterol, and high blood pressure levels. In addition, the belly fat decreased.
In addition, the scientists examined the immune system of 30 test subjects, since critics are convinced that a large calorie renunciation can lead to a nutrient deficiency. But here, too, it was shown that the immune system was completely strengthened.
However, the constant change between a normal day and a fasting day is very exhausting in the long run and can be additionally stressful for the body.
Better: Fast for 36 hours at least once a week or twice a month to relieve the gastrointestinal tract.
Alkaline fasting rebalances the acid-base balance that was previously disturbed by an excessive intake of acid-forming foods.
This works optimally with a diet of fresh and alkaline foods.
You mainly avoid meat, cheese, white flour, sweets, alcohol, nicotine, and coffee. By abstaining from such acid-forming foods, the acid-base balance stabilizes, whereby “detoxification” takes place.
Acid-based diets can also be used to counteract hyperacidity in the body.
Already before the chamfering, this food is omitted gradually, directly before the start then two relief days with a fruit and vegetable stand, in order to relieve the digestion.
In order not to burden the body unnecessarily, you should drink at least two liters per day – preferably still water or tea.
Detox cure with juices and smoothies
In this detox cure, you do completely without solid foods and instead consume water and juices made from fruits and vegetables. Due to their thick consistency, smoothies are filling and keep you full for a long time – so you don’t have to starve yourself while detoxing.
However, this type of detox has its price: there are many providers who charge more than 100 euros for a three-day juice cure.
Therefore, it is recommended to make the vegetable-based juices yourself and to take them alternately throughout the day with a home-cooked vegetable or miso broth.
By the way, you should not live exclusively on juices or smoothies for longer than three days, as the body will then start to draw energy from the muscles and you will lack important fats to keep your hormone balance.
When should you detox?
If the body is heavily loaded with environmental toxins, the first warning signs may indicate that it is time to detoxify, for example:
- sallow complexion
- dull hair
- increased susceptibility to infections
- digestive problems (for example, constipation or a constant feeling of fullness)
- weight gain
- Fungal infections
- Joint pain
Detox is always possible – and for your self-purification, you don’t need a specific season or a week in a wellness hotel or on an Ayurveda farm with a special cure program.
But make sure that you only start detoxing when you don’t have to perform at your best at work or in sports because common side effects of detoxing are temporary fatigue, listlessness, headaches, or low blood pressure.
What happens in the body during detoxing?
In principle, the body can rid itself of most toxins on its own. However, if the toxins get out of hand, an overload occurs. This happens especially when there are already complications in the liver and kidneys.
The idea behind Detox is to eliminate excess toxins via the intestines or the skin and to optimize these processes.
Detox affects metabolism and digestion, which is why the first few days also mean the biggest change.
If you completely forgo solid food, you may experience slight headaches or mood swings or feel weak and dizzy during the first few days.
After about three days, however, the habituation effect sets in and many people feel much more energy than before detoxing.
How does detoxing work?
In alkaline fasting, the intestines are emptied with Epsom salts or colonic irrigation on the first detox day.
The detox process in the body is then set in motion with as natural as possible, ripe vegetarian foods full of nutrients and vitamins; as a rule, a course of treatment lasts one to two weeks.
A detox cure with juices and smoothies, however, should not last longer than three days. As with fasting, there are three build-up days after the cure, until normal eating is allowed again.
Athletes should eat enough nutrients and include soups, smoothies, and light alkaline meals with vegetables, nuts, grains, and legumes.
Capsules, detox footbaths, or detox patches? These aids for the “detox cure” are intended to stimulate the metabolism and thus remove harmful substances from the body.
However, the liver and kidneys work so reliably in healthy people that hardly any harmful substances remain. So, why should the use of detox products make sense?
“Pure advertising strategy,” says the consumer advice center. In fact, many “detox” products contain ingredients that simply have to dehydrate – but not detoxifying – effects, such as juniper berries, nettle, green tea, horsetail, green oats, or dandelion.
However, the constant use of such “aids” in high doses can lead to increased excretion of certain minerals and weaken the effect of medications.
Detox for weight loss – does it work?
Toxins sit in fat cells and are released when the fat is broken down. Digestion and metabolism work at full speed.
With a cure, only liquid (juices and smoothies) can shrink up to one kilo per day.
However, if you want to lose weight, you should not take the detox cure as the method of choice, as this is more about gently ridding the body of toxins and not necessarily about losing weight.
It is also problematic that detox is equivalent to a zero diet, which is often followed by the yo-yo effect.
Also, detoxing in the form of juice cures does not teach you how to eat a balanced diet in order to live healthier and maintain your weight in the long term.
From a scientific point of view, the effect of Detox and the theory of acid-forming and alkaline-forming foods have not been proven so far.
“In a healthy human body, there is no accumulation of waste products and deposition of metabolic products. Substances that cannot be utilized are excreted via the intestines and kidneys,” clarifies the German Nutrition Society (DGE).
People who are mindful of their bodies and want to change their diet in the long term should rather look at Ayurvedic or predominantly plant-based, natural diets instead of detox cures.
However, detox cures are not fundamentally harmful. In the long run, however, detoxing can lead to a nutrient deficiency.
Especially athletes who depend on healthy fats and proteins will not be able to fully access their performance. Furthermore, muscle loss occurs, as the body has to draw the missing energy from the muscle and fat cells.