Some research suggests that harmful substances we’re exposed to from our environment (like the BPA in plastics, for example) may play a role in diseases like obesity and diabetes. However, there’s no evidence that commercial detox products like teas, juice cleanses, and special restrictive diets can effectively remove them.
The all-powerful secret to detoxing? Your body’s natural filters, also known as your liver and kidneys. The thought that special detox formulas travel from your digestive tract to your muscles, fat, and skin to seek out toxins, like alcohol or drugs, and flush them from your body is a myth, says Delbridge.
Plus, most detox cleanses involve drastic calorie restriction, which can be bad news for your waistline. When your body senses that it’s starving, your metabolism slows, so it will hold on to those foods tighter when you do start eating normally again, making it likely that you’ll just gain back any weight you lost to begin with, explains Delbridge.
Try this: The best way to support your body’s natural detox pathways is through food. First, you need to drink enough water, so your kidneys can properly flush out unneeded chemicals, says Susan Payrovi, M.D., an integrative medicine practitioner at Stanford University’s Medical Center.
In addition to your favorite slab of meat, adding in plant-based proteins, like beans and lentils, can help support your liver function, she adds. Load up on at least five servings each day of colorful vegetables and fruits, too. They’re high in antioxidants, which may help your body process unwanted substances, she says.