Welcome to 2018! And welcome to Detox-season. It’s that time of the year when every email in your inbox has suggestions on the best ways to detox from the holidays, your gym has a signup for the ultimate detox sweat-sesh, and every other friend you speak to is doing a juice cleanse for the month. Everyone wants to get rid of the toxins in their body.
If, like us, you’ve gone a little too heavy on the booze, sweets, and cheese over the past few months, then it’s normal to start thinking about how to restart your system. And the beginning of the year is a great time to mentally start anew. But we wondered if there’s any actual science behind the detox thing. Is detoxing actually real?
Toxins Are Real, But Different Than You Think
In terms of the need to detoxify, our body does actually accumulate toxins. The latest CDC report of human chemical exposure found quite a few dangerous chemicals that can accumulate in our bodies' blood, urine, and tissue. Chemicals like arsenic, acrylamide, perchlorate, and many more linger in our bodies as we simply exist in the world. They can build up when you breath in secondhand cigarette smoke, use secretly unsafe skincare and haircare products, and even are around certain building materials.
Your Organs, Your Health
We rely on our kidneys and liver to filter out these toxins so that we can excrete them through urine, stool, or bile. When your kidney and liver are functioning properly, they do this very well. It’s when they aren’t functioning at their best that problems can arise, and your body really does start accumulating toxins.
The most effective way to detox, then, is to make sure your kidney and liver are in tip-top, fighting shape. Studies show that eating well- giving your organs essential vitamins and nutrients, working out, and avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol and sugar- is the very best way to do this.
Just Detox, No Matter the Toxin
Of course, most cleanses and detoxes you read about aren't meant to target your arsenic, acrylamide, and perchlorate buildup. They're usually referring to toxins that come from eating french fries, champagne, and candy. From a scientific standpoint, calling those things toxins is kind of BS. But, by stressing an emphasis on healthy eating and exercise, you're removing those same french fries, candy, and alcohol that stress out your liver and kidney, and boosting their efficiency. Then they can do a better job of removing the actual toxins that accumulate in your body during any season, holiday, or no holiday. So, while a lot of the cleanses and detoxing your hear about are maybe targeting the wrong things, they will still essentially create the same result.
If you want to take January as your chance to start fresh, then go ahead and throw out the twizzlers and tequila, and dive into some kale! In fact, why not take it a step further, and switch over to clean household products and paraben and PEG free haircare and skincare, to reduce toxin exposure? Either way, let's all get rid of those toxins, even if we're not always talking about the same things.