• Nina

Do You Need It: Detox Tea (The Answer is No - Put Your Money Down)

Welcome to today’s Do You Need It! The series where we take a minute to think ~ you’re waiting at the checkout counter ready to drop your cash, but should you really spend your money on this, or should you put your card back in your wallet?

ginger tea white mug ivy

You’re feeling a little icky, bloated, a little down on yourself, and you decide to spend the next hour laying in bed scrolling through Instagram. You come across a picture of your favorite influencer in a bikini posing with a little box of tea, which she claims is the reason why her tummy looks so flat, and her outlook is so good. She has amazing energy and a new-found confidence, all thanks to this delicious tea she started drinking a few weeks ago. You scowl at your phone, thinking “yeah, right.” But you find yourself clicking on the link in her bio. There’s actually a really great deal on this tea right now, and if it’ll actually help, the amount they’re asking for in return isn’t even that much...sure, you’ll buy the tea. Maybe it’ll do something. Maybe you’ll lose five lbs.

Turn around. Do not pass go. Cut it out. Put your phone down. Do not do this.

Let’s talk about detoxing

Man, you haven’t done a detox since that juice cleanse six months ago. Your body is probably just full of junk and toxins from the processed food you’ve ingested since then. Guess it’s time to flush that all out and do another detox. Right? Right. Actually no. Your body “detoxes” itself every single day; that’s what your liver and kidneys are for. Unless there is some underlying medical condition preventing proper function (in which case you should absolutely consult a medical doctor before attempting to address the issue on your own), your body doesn’t really need help doing this, especially from some questionable “detoxifying” ingredients or foods. On a detox-diet or cleanse, you will probably lose a bit of weight, but then immediately gain it back once your body starts functioning as normal again, because the lbs you lost were primarily water-weight.

How do detox teas work?

Laxatives. The primary function of detox teas isn’t to boost your metabolism or burn fat away; it’s to push out whatever is in your intestines. You’ll lose weight, and lo, it works. The effects of these laxatives can be extremely uncomfortable: diarrhea, stomach cramps and pains, nausea, jitters and possibly a jumbled sleep-cycle. Vomiting can occur in more serious instances. Not only is this extremely unpleasant, but it just isn’t going to give you the results your favorite influencer claims; again, you are not burning fat away by drinking these teas, and though it might temporarily take care of your bloating, it’s not going to be a long-lasting solution.

Still feeling bloated and icky? Make a lifestyle change.

Rather than eating junky food every day and doing an extreme bowel-purge once in a while to keep your body healthy, make an overall diet change to keep you feeling functional and well throughout the week.

Stay hydrated

Drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your system. Keeping your body hydrated and “well-oiled” with water helps it to complete its natural “detox” process and flush the things you don’t need out of your system. Absolutely everything in life goes better when you’re drinking water. Carry a reusable bottle around with you and sip on it all day long, set a reminder for yourself to get a glass of water every couple of hours, drink a glass of water every time you eat something - do whatever you need to do to naturally incorporate water into your day. Breed your own habits.

Phase out some processed foods

Try to avoid fueling your body with junk-y foods; fast food, store-bought snacks loaded with oils, preservatives and flavorings, donuts, white bread, bacon, candy, etc. are difficult for the body to process and use. Try making your own snacks and treats at home, make the switch to whole grains, and eat satisfying meals so you’re less likely to be wooed by the candy bars sitting at the checkout counter while you’re paying for your coffee. A lot of that stuff is just not really, well, food. It might be edible, but it’s not doing anything positive for your body. I’m not telling you to abandon everything you love and enjoy, just try to phase out some processed foods that have no place being a consistent player in your diet. And, keep in mind:

Talk to a doctor if you think you may be experiencing food intolerance

If you're experiencing some frequent tummy-turmoil, it may not be because you need a "detox;" you may have an intolerance, allergy, or other gastrointestinal sensitivity. Consult a medical professional for advice on what steps to take next; they may run tests and-or guide you through an elimination diet to help determine the cause of your belly-battle and how you can start conjuring some peace.

Everything is better for you when you make it yourself

Do you want peanut butter cups? Grab some cupcake liners, melt some chocolate, mix together peanut butter and powdered sugar, put it all together in the fridge and you’ve got peanut butter cups, and you know exactly what went into them. Home-cooked food is always going to be better for you than the version you can purchase at the store, because you get to control what goes into it. Inevitably, you’ll be using fewer oils, sweeteners, and preservatives in your own foods than you see in the foods you’d get on the go. Almost anyone who’s worked in a restaurant (particularly, American restaurants) can tell you that even their food is chock-full of oil and sugar that you’re better off not knowing about. If you want to give your body the best, feed yourself.

Don’t buy detox teas, just take care of yourself on a regular basis. It takes the body about three weeks to adjust to a new way of eating; that’s not a very long time. Gradually remove the foods that are dragging you down, and incorporate foods that make you feel amazing. That way, you’ll be less tempted by the idea of flushing yourself out over the toilet (and paying a pretty penny for it).




Have you ever tried a detox diet or tea? Share your experience in the comments!

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