The idea of detoxing the body is very trendy right now. It’s true our diets and environment are full of things that can hurt our body. The most popular detox drink appears to be the ubiquitous lemon water. But does lemon water detox you?
You can’t be on Pinterest without seeing hundreds of pins about detox and detoxification. You see beautiful jars of water with gorgeous fruit floating inside. How many pictures of soothing cups of hot lemon water are out there? (I don’t know about Pinterest but there are over a million results on Google.)
But seriously, does lemon water detox you?
What does it detox? What is is removing? Is there enough lemon in your cup to actually do anything?
As far as I can tell, there is no real evidence of the detoxification benefit to these DIY detox recipes.
If they help you drink more water—cool. Go for it. If it provides a relaxing moment to your day when you feel good about taking care of yourself—awesome. Go for it.
I wish that detoxing your body was as easy as drinking a little lemon water every day. I’d totally go for that plan. But adding something to your body to undo something else you are putting in your body just doesn’t make sense to me.
Looking for a Quick Fix?
In general, people are looking for magical, non medical cures for issues that are probably food-created and related.
Here’s the problem with that. There just are no supplements or detox waters that are going to undo the damage that poor eating habits do. What we eat makes a huge difference in the long-term quality of our lives.
So, what About Cleanses?
Cleanses are also kind of trendy. It seems like a great idea. Drink nothing but a master cleanse drink (often lemony) for a few days and voila, you are good to go. You clear the gunk out of your system quickly (or at least it feels like it). Again, this just doesn’t make sense to me in the long run. It seems like you are just torturing yourself for a few days for no good reason.
I like to eat, so to be honest, I’ve never done a cleanse. I believe that the body, on being fed a diet of real food will do what it needs to do. The digestive system is designed to naturally remove toxins and can do so unless it is overloaded.
The key is to not overload it in the first place!
What to Do Instead of Cleanses or Detoxing?
Don’t eat or drink toxins!
The answer is simple and hard at the same time. It’s simple. Just don’t eat or drink toxins in the first place. Or don’t eat as many toxins. But it’s hard in that we are so used to eating and drinking toxic food. In fact, it’s incredible that so many toxins are considered food in the first place. And these toxic foods are addicting!
Eat real food.
Eat basic real food. Real food for me is meat, eggs, vegetables, and fruit. I also include lots of healthy fats. Other people include beans, grains, and/or dairy on their list. The great thing about the human body is that it is relatively forgiving. The body really tries to keep you at a healthy weight, tries to remove toxins, and tries to keep you supplied with plenty of energy.
Yet, as we all know, there is only so much it can do and damage accrues over the years. While it might appear in your 20’s and 30’s that you can get away with eating and drinking anything, that’s not true. Bad eating does catch up with you eventually.
You don’t have to be perfect
None of us are perfect in our eating. We all have our guilty pleasures and our body can handle moderate amounts of this as long as we are giving it pretty good nutrition otherwise.
But years of poor eating can add up to significant damage that no detox drink can fix. An occasional piece of candy or snack can be handled by your body. Daily doses of processed foods, sodas, and other junk foods become too much for the body and then you see food-related diseases, skin damage, and even emotional problems.
Just look around and see how people are aging. It’s not very pretty. And this is more than an aesthetic issue. The body has the ability to be fit, active, and energetic at any age. That’s my goal for sure. And I’m not depending on a trendy drink to get me there.
But if You Really Want a Detox Recipe…
Just kidding. While I don’t believe there is any magic drink or supplement that will take the toxins out of you, I do love adding nutrients to my diet. Since I’m not a big salad eater, I enjoy this green smoothie. And this one.
Eat good food and trust your body to do what it was made to do—take care of you!
I love reading your comments and hearing how you are living your Think Big Life. I welcome you to join the conversation below.
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Good nutrition is VITAL to good health and skin at any age. Remove sugar and add the right kinds of fat and you will see a difference. I can not stress this enough.
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.