We all may be guilty of consuming too much food and drink during the holidays – and with the New Year approaching, you may feel it’s time to detox your body.
But is a detoxification diet really necessary?
“Our bodies (naturally) detox all the time,” Chris Kilham, the Medicine Hunter, told FoxNews.com. “If we didn’t, we’d die.”
Kilham explained that after the holidays – or whenever a person induldges in too much of a bad thing, like food or alcohol – it’s the liver and intestines that suffer the most. Some people even develop a fatty liver, he said.
“Eat more fruits, like apples, which have powerful antioxidants and pectin – and that cleanses the digestive system. Who doesn't like apples?"
- Chris Kilham, The Medicine Hunter
“When was the last time you heard someone say, ‘I ate too much salad over the holidays?’” he said. “We take in less fiber and more fatty foods.”
So, the New Year is an optimal time to get rid of the ‘junk’ residing in your liver and digestive tract. You can start cleansing your system by drinking more water, Kilham said.
“Water is our friend; we’re made up of more than 70 percent of water,” he added. “Drink plenty of pure, clean water.”
Kilham said another way to detox is to drink dandelion root tea.
“It’s one of those herbal things that works, and it tastes pleasant,” he said. “It helps the liver get rid of impurities and excess fats.”
And what about the detox diets you see advertised on TV – are they worth it?
Kilham said some of those diets, the ones with herbal cleansers and fiber, might be good for cleaning out your body once in a while; but he wouldn’t recommend it on a regular basis. As always, you should check with your doctor before starting any new health regimen.
“My opinion is that if you go lighter – say, you’ve had too much vodka, and you want to clean yourself out – drink more fruit and vegetable juices,” Kilham said. “Eat more fruits, like apples, which have powerful antioxidants and pectin – and that cleanses the digestive system. Who doesn’t like apples? Eat one or two a day; that’s a good way to cleanse.”
Sometimes people vow to start taking more vitamins in the New Year, which Kilham said is a resolution that usually fades by February – but small amounts of vitamin C can also help the body detoxify.
Kilham said if you stick to herbs and fiber for one to two weeks, you’ll likely feel lighter and more energetic. Then, you can go back to your regular diet. Just be sure to include more leafy greens.