Not so long ago lemon detoxes were all the rage, and even now they’re still quite popular, especially among women. I suppose we’re all moving on to greener pastures now with the paleo movement, among other things. Every now and then though, I still get asked what my opinion is of the lemon detox diet.
My opinion is simply this: This is not a detox. It really isn’t… let me explain why…
DETOXIFICATION DOESN’T ONLY OCCUR IN THE LIVER
Your liver is a great organ, my favourite organ in fact. He’s a great guy and all, but certainly not the only one responsible for detoxification. A hell of a lot of detoxification goes on in the digestive tract, kidneys, and even your skin and lymphatic system. A lemon detox really doesn’t address any of these organs. There is actually a ‘lemon detox diet’ that I have heard about which requires you to mostly fast as well as drink a sugary syrup made of maple syrup and palm sugar. Sure, maple syrup and palm sugar are ‘healthier’ alternatives to white table sugar, but at the end of the day, they’re still sugar! Why on earth anyone would think drinking nothing but a syrupy drink with no other food is a good idea really is beyond me.
DETOXIFICATION REQUIRES MANY NUTRIENTS WHICH LEMON DETOX LACKS
The process of detoxification in the liver, gut, and kidneys especially, requires a fair amount of nutrients for all the delicious chemical reactions which go on for the processes to occur. Your gut needs to be functioning adequately which requires you to be eating a balanced diet – restricting or avoiding refined sugars, alcohol and any food to which you are intolerant. A good quality probiotic always helps with gut detoxification as well.
Your liver requires B vitamins, magnesium, iron, antioxidants, zinc, protein, vitamins C, E and D and loads of sulphur-rich foods such as onion, garlic, leek, spinach, and asparagus.
Having a lemon detox diet that requires fasting and consuming a drink that is mostly sugar really wouldn’t be benefiting the liver at all. In fact, the sugar content is feeding any undesirable bacteria in the digestive tract; the absolute opposite of what you are trying to achieve in proper detoxification.
Bottom line… JERF! Just. Eat. Real. Food.
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