It’s the phrase heard round the world come Monday morning, usually after a weekend spent downing a few too many margaritas and “recuperating” with greasy egg-and-cheese bagels and bacon-infused Bloody Marys: Man, I really need to detox. These words are usually followed up with a quick trip to our favorite juice shop and a pledge to never eat processed food again, and voila: like magic, the detox process has commenced. Right?
Well, not so much. And this misunderstanding of the term “detox” is exactly why Refinery29 decided to break it down for us. Because, while a good chunk of folks have uttered these exact words, it’s doubtful many could explain what they actually mean. Here, five key points from Refinery29’s piece to remember about the ubiquitous detox:
1. When we think of detoxification, most of us think of our livers (probably because they've taken a bit of a beating over the weekend), but it's important to remember the other organs of detoxification, as well: the skin, the kidneys and the colon. The skin eliminates toxins through sweat, meaning: exercise is crucial. The kidney and the colon filter toxins through blood, urine and waste, so it's important to make sure you're getting enough fiber and water during the detox process.
2. Detoxing is a nutrient-based process. Meaning: swearing off solid food in favor of juice for a few days might be more harmful than good if you aren't actually consuming the nutrients necessary to the detoxification process.
3. There are three phases of detoxification, and each phase requires different nutrients: during phase I, the body needs folate, Calcium, Vitamins B3, B6, B12, A, C and E. i.e. Lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains and organ meats. During phase II the body needs amino acids, glutamine, glycine, taurine and cysteine, all which from protein. Then, the body needs sulfur and selenium, which you can get from eggs, fish, brazil nuts, raw garlic, onions and cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
So, in short: Drinking the same batch of green juice for five days straight simply won't cut it.
4. If you want to detox successfully, you've got to give it your all. So, no smoke breaks and no happy hour chardonnays. While a glass of wine might seem harmless enough, introducing new toxins screws with the phases of the detoxification process.
5. Remember: your environment is important, too. And while some of us can't control the smog that hovers over us on our morning walk to work, there are some things we can avoid during the detox process: steer clear of BPAs found in plastic, toxic metals, VOCs found in some household products, paints, air fresheners and more.
You can check out the full article here.
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