The Lowdown on Detoxing

Updated: Oct 25

What is it? Should you do it? Will it work?

juice liver cleanse

What is detoxing and why do we need it?

Detoxing is the process of removing toxins and wastes from the body in order for our body to function better. The most common way to detox is with a juice diet. Usually 3-5 days is an ideal amount of time. You should always have an 80% vegetable to fruit ratio in your juices so that you maintain a good blood sugar balance. It is actually a great way to help us reset our digestion, boost the immune system, excrete excess hormones and reduce the toxic load we have inside us.

Do our livers need help to get rid of toxins?

Our liver has over 500 functions in the body and removing toxins and waste products is one of them. If we put extra burden on the liver with high levels of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, sugar, preservatives, pollution and chemicals, we are making our poor liver work even harder!

How do we detox safely, and is there a time limit?

The best way to detox safely is by choosing a week when you have time to slow down as the first few days can be tough. Low energy, headaches, hungry and low mood are to be expected, but after day 3 you should start to feel much better.

If you've not detoxed before, don't be expecting to run around doing your normal job, doing a HIIT class, meeting friends for dinner and spending hours at the shops. The first few days will take some getting used to and your blood sugar will drop so you will have less energy than normal.

Use the time to detox your mind as well. Slow down, relax, let the stress hormones in your bloodstream reduce by deep breathing, meditation, gentle walks, long baths, reading and going to bed just that little bit earlier.

Aim to have 4-5 juices per day that are 500ml, as well as plenty of water or herbal tea. A detox is all about flushing out the system so along with low energy, you can be expect to be going to the toilet a lot!

Do we need supplements to help us detox or is it more about what we eat? If supplements can help, which are the best ones?

Using natural methods are always best however supplements can be useful in giving the liver a helping hand. It’s always advisable to seek guidance from a medical professional.

Many prescription medications are metabolised in the liver and if you start to increase the liver's ability to detoxify this can either speed up or slow down the metabolism of the medication which will impact how the medication can work. Be especially careful if you are on any heart medication, cholesterol or diabetes drugs.

If you’re not on any medication, a great supplement to help with liver detoxification is the herb milk thistle. A tincture form is better than a tablet, but always ask for guidance from your practitioner if this is the best option for you.

How do we know if we’ve taken it too far?