If our bodies were unable to process and remove these substances, most modern Westerners would be dead at a young age. Somehow, we’ve been tricked into believing that there are miracle ingredients out there which will actively draw anything bad from our bodies, will ‘kick-start’ our livers and metabolism, and will ‘spring clean’ our insides.
Medically, this is a nonsense. When a UK-based group of scientists put together a questionnaire relating to 15 different ‘detox’ products, asking manufacturers to explain what they meant by detoxification, not a single one of the parties asked could either properly define the term nor name the toxins their products were attacking. Bottom line: it’s what you don’t eat and drink that helps you, not what you do.
A total fast is a different story: a short break from everything you chuck into your body (bar water), can definitely work wonders. But a five-day juice ‘fast’? Hilarious. You’ve basically removed some nutritionally valuable foods, found a way to get the rest into your body without chewing (always a bad idea), and if fruits are involved, you’ve retained a whack of sugar, plus with certain fruits you’ve given your liver (where fructose is metabolised) a whole lot more work to do. But I guess the water option seems less sexy.
On that note, the real benefits of detox might be best revealed in lifestyle site Well+Good’s post on beetroot (apparently a detox dream): “Added bonus: beet recipes are exceptionally photogenic, which means they’ll give your Instagram new life, too”. Yup, as with everything nowadays, detox doesn’t work if nobody’s looking.