Detox: cleansing after overindulging

Detox has become a buzzword lately. Everyone wants to cleanse or detoxify their body in order to have more energy and boost their immune system. But does it really work?


Lara Brunner

Detoxing is not the same as fasting. In order to detox your body, you don't necessarily have to forego solid food. However, what these two methods have in common is the elimination of stimulants.

During a detox regimen, the body should be cleansed of harmful substances (toxins and free radicals). The body’s own detoxification system, in which the liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, skin and lymphatic system work in unison, already cleanses the body quite effectively. It doesn’t usually need any help. For this reason, a detox regimen is instead intended to be a break for the body.

There’s no need to turn to specific detox products to cleanse your body. 

By following these rules, you will sufficiently boost the body’s ability to detox itself:

  • Eat a sensible, healthy diet. Avoid coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, sweets and other snacks, ready meals, sausage and meat, hydrogenated fats, milk and cheese. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
  • Stay hydrated. The recommendation is 2 to 2.5 litres per day. Opt for water, herbal tea and fresh fruit juices.
  • Make sure you stay active, preferably in the fresh air. Even short periods of activity are beneficial. Take the stairs instead of the lift or get off the tram one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid stress. Indulge in a massage, relaxing bath or try some yoga.

Ideally, such a detox regimen lasts 5 to 15 days. But even just a weekend or individual days of detox help promote the body’s natural detoxification process.

Conscious eating

These healthy meals are great for detoxing your body:

Breakfast: Make a smoothie. It will satisfy you and it contains lots of nutrients. You can combine any fruits and vegetables that you choose. If it’s too thick, add water or coconut water. 

Lunch: Eat a delicious salad. Here, too, you can combine any ingredients you wish: lettuce, spinach leaves, carrots, cucumbers, avocado, etc.

Dinner: If you feel like eating a hot meal for dinner, make a vegetable soup.

How our detoxification organs work:

  • The liver: It is mainly responsible for metabolic processes. It neutralises exogenous substances and makes them excretable. Larger substances are excreted through the gallbladder.
  • The kidneys: They are the main excretion organs for toxic substances. They pass small substances into the urine for excretion. They also cleanse the blood.
  • The intestines: They are the brain of our stomach. They analyse what our food consists of and excrete indigestible substances.
  • The skin: The body excretes certain substances such as mercury, ammonia and uric acid through the perspiratory glands.
  • The lungs: The body eliminates carbon dioxide (CO2) by exhaling. It also releases alcohol during respiration.

Further information

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