Is Raw Food Detox Real?

We hear it all the time:

“Detox your body!”

“7 Day Detox Cleanse”

“Clean Your Liver”

But is detox a real thing?  Or is it just hype?


Detox in Scientific Literature

Detox is a medical term often used in drug rehabilitation as “the metabolic process by which toxins are changed into less toxic or more readily excretable substances.”  It basically describes the process that the body goes through in order to eliminate a toxic substance from the body.

Marketers have jumped on the detox bandwagon and coined the term to basically mean cleaning the body or certain organs, as though you would clean your house.  But this term is far from accurate.

Although many of the substances we ingest in our daily lives can cause harm or damage to the organs or cells, they aren’t consumed in toxic amounts; toxic meaning “acting […] or having the effect of a poison.”  Although there could be some damage, a poison is defined as “a substance with an inherent property that tends to destroy life or impair health.”  

It’s important also to highlight the fact that any substance could be poisonous, but the toxic effect of a substance is also dose-dependent, meaning it depends on how much you consume.  Table salt can be fatal in large doses, but sodium is an essential nutrient of the body.  


Detox and Elimination

Elimination is occurring all the time.  It happens while we sleep and while we exercise, and it even happens when we’re sitting watching tv.  It happens in the various organs of elimination, namely the liver, kidneys, skin, lungs and the gut.

Detoxification, in its medical term, does not define the regular elimination that occurs daily with manageable substances that are not in poisonous amounts.

Rapid detoxification of people who have used very toxic drugs uses medication in order to manage the removal of the toxic substance from the body.  But this is hardly the case when you are on a raw diet.


Detox Symptoms

As I’ve stated in my blog about salt, the kidneys only eliminate salt or potassium at a time, meaning, if you have taken in excess salt, your body will retain potassium while you excrete the sodium.  This can cause instances of hyperkalemia – the buildup of potassium in the bloodstream.

For this reason, if you begin a raw food diet while still having a lot of salt in your system, you could very well experience symptoms of hyperkalemia, those being:

  • fatigue or weakness
  • a feeling of numbness or tingling
  • nausea or vomiting
  • problems breathing
  • chest pain
  • palpitations or skipped heartbeats

However, symptoms associated with “detox” in the medical drug detoxification are referred to as withdrawal symptoms, and are different depending on the drug that is in question.


What Does Happen on a Raw Food Diet?

What will actually happen when you are on a raw food diet is that you will be supplying your body with the necessary environment for healing.  I talk about this in length in Raw Food 101, but basically, the cells of your body prefer to keep a certain balance of electrolytes, and this balance could even be what can repair your cells when they are in a damaged state.

You will be eliminating unnecessary substances, such as excess sodium, excess fat, and whatever else you have been eating that is unhelpful to your cells, and you won’t be replacing them any more.

The more you can heal the various cells of your body, the more efficient your body will become.  Basically, you will be supplying your body with the environment that it needs in order to restore damaged tissue back to its proper configuration.

Raw food is not a “detox” program.  It is simply the food which provides the internal environment necessary for health.


If you’d like to learn more about restoring your body to the perfect health using raw food and how to structure your diet properly in order to ensure you are getting complete nutrition from your food, be sure to check out the course I offer here!


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