Supporters of cleanses claim they improve health by “cleansing” the bowel and removing toxins from the body. Cleanses supposedly promote intestinal health, boost energy and immunity, and start weight loss. Cleanses are often in the form of an herbal, food or medicinal supplement, and may sometimes be referred to as a Detox Diet.
There is no scientific evidence to show that cleanses maintain or improve bowel health, prevent colon cancer or promote weight loss. In fact, our intestines, lungs, liver and kidneys are always working together to remove waste and toxins from the body. Cleansing diets can be harmful and have unpleasant side effects like cramping or bloating. They may also cause more serious side effects such as dehydration, low blood sugar, or vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet with lots of fibre and water will help keep your bowel healthy and regular, and help you feel good and stay healthy. Foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and seeds are good sources of fibre. Remember, when you start adding more fibre to your diet, add it slowly and drink lots of fluids, like water.
For credible sources of nutrition information, speak with a Registered Dietitian by calling EatRight Ontario toll-free at 1-800-660-5853. Visit the Health Unit’s website at healthunit.org, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter or call the Health Action Line at 1-800-660-5853.