by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Health Columnist
Published in Health on 17th December, 2018
These days, there are many who are seeking to cleanse toxins and other unwanted substances from their bodies. Sometimes it's thought of as a simple "spring cleaning" type of event for the body, while others use the detoxification to aid in the process of weight loss. It really varies from person to person!
Here, we're going to take a look into what a detox diet is and how it's done, among many other things that are important to know before you get started. From helpful foods to the tips you need to ensure success, we've got it all!
As a disclaimer, please keep in mind that the author is not a nutritionist or medical professional. It's always a good idea to do a little bit of your own added research before trying out a new diet!
Let's dig in!
A detox diet is one that is considered to be ideal for releasing the toxins from the body. There are many who believe that while the body typically does a good job of handling toxins, there may just be too many in the foods we consume today for the body to handle efficiently.
Consequently, detox diets are designed to assist in giving the body and easier time cleaning away these toxins, usually by avoiding adding too many more as well as consuming things that can work to clear toxins away alongside the natural processes of the body.
It can also include consuming things that are known to provide a boost to the kidneys and liver, to allow them to continue working well. There are several different kinds of detox diets that can be used, and each offers different guidelines and benefits for those who engage in it for the sake of toxin removal and weight loss.
Some find that detox diets mainly help to clear away toxins. However, as a result of this clearing, the effort put into weight loss can be greeted with a higher level of success. Some use detox diets to help with dropping some weight more quickly than they might through other means.
Still others seek to boost the health of their body overall by consuming things that are good for the liver, kidneys and other organs that are key for handling toxins and digesting food. There are a number of reasons why people find detox diets appealing.
Many who make use of detoxification do so because they believe it helps to eliminate the toxins from the body that may build up. In addition, they find that it can provide a boost in their weight loss efforts, or can allow then to drop a few pounds more quickly. This is often due to the thought that the toxins in many of the foods we consume can stall our weight loss efforts.
These methods are often used by those who feel uncomfortable about the chemicals we consume more and more frequently. Some also believe that it provides more health to the body, by allowing those chemicals to be cleaned out from time to time.
For those who are interested in doing a detox diet, there are some important aspects to consider. It can be a good idea to talk to a doctor or nutritionist before you get started, especially if you have health conditions like diabetes, or other situations that involve the kinds of foods you consume.
Furthermore, while many can find that it does help them to lose a few pounds quickly, they can also find that weight is easily put back on once they stop the detox. Consequently, it's a good idea to be careful about how you use this tool.
There are a few types of detox diets out there, which can be useful for those with different needs. Here, we're going to take a look at the varieties as well as what they have to offer those involved.
For some, detoxing involves fasting. This essentially means drinking only water for a set period of time. In some cases, fasting can be a religious or spiritual experience as well as one that provides the body with a kind of reset.
In rarer cases, people who are fasting may abstain from drinking as well. It's really going to vary from person to person. Some can also choose to make use of something known as "intermittent fasting" for the purposes of their weight loss endeavors.
During the period of detox, some will turn to either drinks alone or something like juices to keep them from getting too hungry. By sipping on drinks throughout the day, they strive to keep their bodies satisfied while still refraining from eating.
Often, these juices are made up from recipes users find or create themselves, involving fruits and vegetables. It also functions as a way of giving the body healthy calorie intake, though it can be an extremely strict and difficult method to stick to. Luckily, this often only lasts for about a week or so until the detox is considered complete.
More commonly, people are choosing a strict, clean eating diet for detoxification rather than avoiding food altogether. This involves eating very healthy foods like organic seafood and beef, lentils and beans, vegetables and more, providing healthy meals for the body to detox without the feelings of starvation.
This kind of natural detoxification is more gentle on the body, as it doesn't result in the body feeling starved, but instead is able to enjoy healthy foods. What's most important in this method is sticking to the recommended foods, as they are though to contain fewer of the unwanted chemicals that you're trying to get rid of.
Some choose to avoid fasting or only drinking liquids, and instead turn to foods that are highly healthy. It's somewhat similar to going on strict diet for a short period of time. This method can be a bit easier on the body than others, because you're not giving up food altogether.
Vegetables tend to be a very important part of the detox diet. They provide things like fiber and phytochemicals, which the body needs in order to function to the best of its ability. Furthermore, they tend to be very dense with nutrients and low in sugar, making them a great addition to any meal.
It's also recommended that you make use of organic vegetables whenever possible. It's unclear what pesticides may do in our bodies, and therefore generally a good idea to avoid them. If for some reason you cannot choose organic, then there are ways to find out which vegetables are likely to have the fewest pesticides on them.
Legumes are considered a healthy source of protein as well as healthy fiber, making them an excellent choice for the body. Things like lentils and beans are great additions to meals, and can often take the place of meat for those who elect not to consume it.
Fruits are also a healthy choice for those seeking to detox. They contain many vitamins and minerals that are great for the body, as well as healthy sources of sugar that won't have as many negative effects on the body as foods containing added sugar.
While in the detox period, it's important to make use of healthy oils and fats for the best possible results. These include things like coconut oil and olive oil, which tend to be healthier than other options out there. Furthermore, it's a good idea to find organic forms of these products.
Protein is also said to be quite important for the process. Consuming seafood that has been wild-caught, as well at beef that is grass-fed and organic can help the liver with the detoxification. These kinds of protein sources can also help to avoid the chemicals that can become entwined in typical meat sources today.
Things like flax and sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds can all be healthy sources of fat and other nutrients that are great for the body. They also provide fiber that is essential to our bodily functions, and worth consuming in moderation.
There are some aspects aside from the diet itself to consider, which can help you to keep your bodily functions balanced in a better way overall. Take a look at the following tips, and make use of them as you go through the detox for the best results.
Healthy gut bacteria and normal functions are key to helping the body in digesting foods appropriately and effectively. Foods that support the digestive system are great for helping everything to continue working smoothly. If you're unsure how to best support your digestive system, make sure to talk to a doctor.
Healthy foods are extremely important in keeping your immune system strong. In addition, things like keeping stress to a minimum, getting plenty of sleep and maintaining your hygiene are all ways that you can help to keep your immune system in good shape, allowing it to fight off illnesses more easily.
There are more things than just foods that contain unwanted chemicals. Avoiding substances like building materials, household cleaners, plastics and other items that are known to contain chemicals is important. You can find resources online that include the items best to avoid for the sake of keeping toxins out of the body.
Many are aware that exercise is key for physical health, but it's also worth noting that the sweat generated by physical movement may also assist in sweating out toxins as well as burning fat. Things like high-intensity interval training, hot yoga and similar kinds of workouts are useful.
Sleep is a necessary addition to a happy life, and it keeps our bodies and minds functioning well. It's recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. While it might seem like you can get away with less, it can bring negative effects to the body.
As mentioned earlier in the article, healthy foods are a great way to keep the body functioning well. Things like spices, berries, vegetables and garlic can really provide a lot to the body overall, even in ways we may not know fully just yet. A balanced diet is so important!
Inflammation can be a problem in the body, resulting in aches and pains as well as other issues. Fatty acids, omega-3s and seafood that is wild-caught can all be helpful in keeping inflammation to a minimum. You can also use other nutrients like fish oil, curcumin and more.
Generally, it's considered a good idea to detox about twice a year. People often choose to do a detox in spring, which can be a fuller detox. You may also choose to do one that is either formal, or a shorter, lighter version in the fall. It really depends on the method you're following.
Hydration is important whether you're doing a detox or not. Make sure to drink plenty of clean water, as it helps with keeping your body working well. It's also much better for the liver and kidneys than things like soda, juice or alcohol overall.
As with starting any diet that may require you to cut out foods, or cease consuming solid food for a period of time, it's important to make sure that you're going through the process in a safe way. After all, you're seeking benefits for your body, not to cause it more damage.
Because of this, it's a good idea to talk to a nutritionist or doctor before you get started, so that they can help you to determine whether or not a detox diet is the right choice for you, as well as how to go about it safely. That way, you can take care of your body in the most efficient ways.