January means many things; new starts, goal setting and... ‘detoxing’. We see teas, juices and meal plans offering to flush our bodies clear of nasty toxins.

All this messaging can be really overwhelming, especially after Christmas, a time that is normally spent dipping in and out of the chocolate box and drinking bubbly for breakfast. We can be left feeling drawn into the idea that we must repent and live off pureed cucumbers for a few soul-destroying weeks.

You Can’t Detox Your Body

The truth is, you can’t actually detox your body. Or at least, not quite in the way some of these plans are suggesting. Some of the messages out there allude to a buildup of nasty toxins that result in our fatigue, hunger and general grogginess.

However, Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University recently stated in an article about detoxing that “If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention”.

What Detoxing Really Means

Detoxing is a genuine medical term, but it’s not about smashing through ten green smoothies a day. Detoxification treatments are medical procedures for dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol, or poisons.

Real detoxification takes place in hospitals when there are life-threatening circumstances.

The Truth

The reality is that our bodies are constantly being exposed to a variety of chemicals but, our bodies have evolved an amazing system of defenses to defend against, and remove unwanted substances.

Our skin, kidneys, lymphatic system, our gastrointestinal system, and most importantly, the liver make up our complex and sophisticated intrinsic detoxification system. They may not always work perfectly, but after a feast of Christmas food they’re pretty well-equipped to filter the bad from the good.

So What Should We Be Doing To Feel Better In The New Year?

It’s definitely true that drinking fresh juices, eating lots of fruit and vegetables and sipping on teas can make us feel fantastic. But we don’t need to embark on week-long plans to heal our bodies, most of the time they do a good enough job on their own.

As with everything, a balanced diet, regular exercise and plenty of water is our first class ticket to health.

Phew, we can remove the giant juicer from our Amazon basket now.

We’d love to hear from you about this, have you ever done a detox? What do you think about it all? Comment below or tweet us @sourcedbox.