Cleanses and Detoxes: NO MORE!

Written by Rachel Bailey | Reviewed by Emily Fultz, MS, RD, LDN

Have you ever tried a gut cleanse? How’d that go for you? I am here to tell you it may not be necessary to buy another gut cleanse again in your life. This could save you money and the time you would be spending running to the bathroom, so listen in. 

First let’s talk about some of the cleanses. 

Juice Cleanse: 

This cleanse lasts anywhere from a day to longer than 2 weeks. The idea behind this detox is to give your gut a rest, get rid of toxins, and get in lots of micronutrients. Fruits and veggies are packed with micronutrients that are awesome for your health! If you enjoy juicing different fruits and veggies together for a refreshing and nutrient dense drink, I say go for it! What I would advise against is taking out any major food group. Your body needs protein and fats to function properly. Do not deprive your body of these nutrients. It is also difficult to get enough calories in for the day on liquid alone. Continue to eat a well balanced meal and if you would like, add in a fresh juice to increase the vitamins and minerals in your diet. If there is a diet that tells you to take out a whole macronutrient, let’s stay away. 

Internal shower: 

This is a hot trend right now. If you have not heard this, it is 8-10 oz of water that you put a couple tablespoons of chia seeds into. You let the seed soak for a couple minutes, so the chia seeds start to absorb the water. Chia seeds are high in insoluble fiber. The seeds absorb water which adds bulk to your stool to soften it for an easy out. Where we need to be careful with this is the amount of fiber that we are consuming in a short amount of time. Having too much fiber can cause symptoms of bloating, constipation, gas, and diarrhea. This could do exactly the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. This is all highly dependent on how hydrated you are before drinking. When starting to incorporate fiber into the diet it is smart to start slow and work up to higher amounts so that your body can adjust to this new input. We will talk more on fiber later.  

Detox teas/laxatives:

These products should not be used unless recommended in the correct amount by a doctor. There are many side effects that come with using laxatives and they have not been proven to work in long term weight loss. Some of the risk factors include dehydration, imbalance in electrolytes, and chronic constipation. 

Sometimes we do not give our body enough credit. Our bodies naturally detoxify themselves through your digestive tract by pooping, and through your liver, and kidneys. So, the question is how we can support these organs well. Here are a few tips that could support your gut well. 

  • Eat regular meals. Eating more frequently in smaller amounts can be easier on your stomach than large amounts all at once. 
  • Drink enough water. Stay hydrated so that your body can be functioning at its best.  
  • Eat meals with at least 3 colors. Getting more nutrients will increase healthfulness as well as allow your body to get used to eating a variety of foods. 
  • Incorporate Fiber into the diet slowly. Trust me and do not do this too quickly. Fiber is an awesome tool that should not be abused. Fiber can help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar but if too much is taken can cause bloating and cramping.  

If you are still having trouble, reach out to your doctor and registered dietitian to talk with them about finding the root cause behind your gut issues.

One Comment on “Cleanses and Detoxes: NO MORE!

  1. Pingback: Social Media, Body Image, and Diet – Nutrition Counseling

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