What is a Liver Detox Diet?

Britt Archer

The idea behind detox diets is that potentially harmful toxins build up in the body. Food, drink and the environment bombard our bodies with these substances, which build up in the gastrointestinal system, skin, hair and liver. If the body doesn't get rid of them, fatigue, headaches, stomach upset and chronic diseases result. To keep ill effects from happening, some think that we must cleanse our bodies of the buildup of toxins, or “detox.” Although science doesn't totally support this theory, products and regimens to detoxify the body are produced for consumers who want to try them.

Drinking eight glasses of water throughout the day helps to detox the liver.
Drinking eight glasses of water throughout the day helps to detox the liver.

Liver detox diets vary in methodology, but almost all require a period of fasting followed by a strictly regimented diet. Most detoxes require followers to eat raw fruits and vegetables, while others, such as the cranberry juice detox, restrict their users to a certain type of juice or vegetable. Still other versions of the liver detox diet recommend the use of aids, such as detox pads or detox tea. Other holistic detox diets, such as the liver and colon detox diets, promote the use of aids like enemas. These aids are used on the premise of eliminating toxins as they enter the body and removing them from the body more quickly than would be expected otherwise.

Some detox diets restrict dieters to one particular food, such as juice.
Some detox diets restrict dieters to one particular food, such as juice.

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Supporters of the liver detox diet claim results vary from weight loss to increased energy to the prevention and cure of chronic illnesses. There is no scientific evidence to support the validity of body cleansing, though it is suggested that symptoms improve as a result of lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes that correlate to natural detox programs which can improve overall health include the consumption of more water and more healthful foods, as well as the exclusion of alcohol, caffeine and refined or processed food.

Common side effects of liver detox diet plans include gas, dehydration, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. These side effects are one in the same with the problems many people seek to treat by using detox diets. The longer you use a detox diet, the higher the likelihood of adverse side effects. If you are experiencing problems from a detox diet, speak to a healthcare provider immediately.

If you are considering embarking on a liver detox diet plan, you should consult your doctor or healthcare provider. A liver detox diet is not an appropriate choice for everyone and may cause extreme harm to people who have nutritional deficiencies, diabetes and heart conditions, among other things. There is no such thing as a safe detox for every person.

Liver detox diets help get rid of harmful toxins that build up in the organ.
Liver detox diets help get rid of harmful toxins that build up in the organ.

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