Detox, short for detoxification, is the body's natural, ongoing process of neutralizing and eliminating toxins. Toxins are substances that can potentially harm the body tissues, such as waste products that result from normal cell activity (like ammonia, lactic acid, and homocysteine) and chemicals that we are exposed to through our environment, food, and water. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood, and lymphatic systems work together to transform toxins into less harmful compounds and excrete them from the body.
What is a Detox Diet?
Although detox is known for treatment of alcohol or drug dependence, the term is also used to refer to a short-term diet that proponents claim can facilitate toxin removal and promote weight loss.
Although there are many different types of detox diets, they generally follow the same principles:
- Minimize the amount of chemicals ingested (for example, by eating organic food).
- Emphasize foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification.
- Emphasize foods, such as fibre-rich foods and water, which increase the frequency of bowel movements and urination.
What you can eat and should not, depends on the particular detox diet. Some involve juicing or drinking liquids. Others allow some foods, such as fruits and vegetables, or include a broader range of foods.