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Detoxing – does it make sense?

The idea is to get all the toxins out of your body by living on fruit and vegetable juices for a few days and avoiding particular foodstuffs. Lots of people swear by these detox diets and feel healthier and more vital afterwards. What’s the idea behind this health trend?

Green smoothies and juices – that’s probably what most people think of first when they hear the word “detox”. These diets claim to rid the body of pollutants and toxins and enhance general wellbeing. Normally you have to avoid particular foodstuffs – in some cases you may have to go without solid food of any kind while you're on the diet. Many people expect to improve their skin tone, boost their energy levels and strengthen their immune system. But what’s the real effect of these detox diets on the body?

From a scientific viewpoint, detoxing is controversial. It’s based on the idea that we expose our bodies to pollutants not only by eating the wrong foods and consuming addictive substances but also by absorbing pollutants from chemicals in the air, in the water and in our food. Many experts, however, think that a healthy body is perfectly able to cleanse itself and that detoxing is therefore superfluous. But, if you want to try it out, they don’t advise against it because, according to the experts, short-term changes in diet are not harmful. Eating mostly fruit and vegetables and avoiding particular foodstuffs can even help to make both your diet and your lifestyle healthier in the long term.

This is how it works
Many people begin a detox diet by taking Epsom salts to evacuate their bowels on the evening of the day before they plan to start. However, that's not for everyone and it's not essential. On the first day of the diet proper, start the day with a glass of lukewarm water with lemon juice, which will stimulate the metabolism. During the time you spend on the diet you will eat raw fruit and vegetables, soups, juices and smoothies. They don't all have to be green: other colours are permitted! Water and tea are also allowed. Massages and visits to spas and saunas also often form part of the process.

In order to prevent any negative nutritional side-effects, the diet should last no longer than one week. Be aware that at the beginning you may have less energy than usual, and feeling hungry may make you irritable. Although the body should get used to the change of diet, it is not advisable to start a diet of this kind if you are under a lot of pressure or have a cold.

Don’t confuse detoxing with fasting
If you intend to lose weight by detoxing, your success will be short-lived. Although the body will lose weight as a result of the reduced calorie intake, there is sure to be a rebound afterwards. All-juice diets and going without food are not a sound basis for long-term weight loss.

Contribution to your wellbeing
SWICA supports your personal commitment by making contributions from the COMPLETA PRAEVENTA and OPTIMA supplementary insurance plans towards memberships for thermal baths and swimming pools. You can find out more about these SWICA products here.