DETOX DIET: Cleanse Your Body
Everyday each one of us is exposed to all kinds of toxins and harmful
substances that could be aggravating to our health.
Toxins are in the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe �
practically everywhere. Toxins can include perfume, cigarette smoke, pesticides,
alcohol, mercury, oral contraceptives, food additives, and cleaning supplies.
So if these toxins are everywhere around us, how do we get rid of them and keep
The answer apparently lies in a detox diet.
What is detox?
You can rest assured that when someone says anything toxic is bad for you, it is
true. The word detoxification, or simply detox, refers to the natural, ongoing
process of neutralizing and eliminating potentially harmful compounds, called
toxins, from the body.
By adopting a detox diet of natural foods, veggies, and lots of water, you can
help your body cleanse itself of toxins, which are the number one cause of
diseases and illnesses.
Now, you might have heard of experts saying that your body does not need any
help detoxifying itself. After all, the body comes complete with all the
essential faculties to perform that function. But while this is true, it is also
true that we ingest an enormous number of chemicals daily through, food, water,
and the environment.
These chemicals can accumulate in our bodily organs, preventing them from
functioning properly and leaving us vulnerable to sickness. The toxic burden or
the buildup can overwhelm the natural capacity of the body to detoxify and may
lead to hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiency, and inefficient metabolism.
At first, the signs are not easily noticeable. It could be something as subtle
as fatigue or poor skin, which you may attribute to too much coffee but too
little sleep. Over time, there may be pain and then diseases set in.
Cleanse Your Body the Natural Way
The ultimate goal of detox diet is to promote the excretion of stored toxins
through the organs of elimination: the skin, intestines, liver, lungs, kidneys,
and the lymphatic system.
As a type of diet, it calls for a change in consumption habits in an effort to
detoxify the body by removing toxins and other contaminants. In so doing, you
improve your health, energy, resistance to disease, mental state, and digestion
on top of aiding you in weight loss.
There are several methods used to modify the diet for the purpose of
detoxification. These methods include:
� Fasting � includes water fasting and juice fasting
� Increased consumption of fish such as salmon
� Combining foods
� Restricting calorie intake
� Herbal detox
In any of these methods, the emphasis is on fruits and vegetables which ought to
compose a majority of your food intake. On top of that, you are also usually
limited to unprocessed and non-GM (Genetically Modified) foods.
Fruits and vegetables are known to contain high amounts of antioxidants, which
are substances found only in plants and can help fight against disease-causing
free radicals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the vitamins A,
C, and E are actually forms of antioxidants that are vital for health.
For years now, scientists have touted antioxidants as the answer to all sorts of
diseases, even aging. From preventing heart disease to slowing down degenerative
diseases, to stopping cancer, to reducing blood pressure � you name it and
everything points right back to antioxidants.
The human body is incapable of producing its own concentration of antioxidants.
For this reason, we depend solely on our diet in order to get the store of
antioxidants we need to combat diseases. Antioxidants protect the body from
harmful, excess free radicals, sweeping them up before they can cause damage.
The best way to lay an antioxidant-rich foundation that�s inhospitable to toxins
and free radicals is through a combination of whole foods. With antioxidant
supplements still far from the high expectations of the scientific community,
you can in the meantime turn to the more reliable source of these helpful
compounds, which are antioxidant foods. A detox diet is a way for you to cleanse
your body of toxins by consuming lots of antioxidants from fruits and
Before You Start
Before you decide to go on a detox diet, it is important that you consult your
nutritionist or dietician first. He or she can advise you on what methods of
detox best suit you.
Moreover, it could be that the symptoms you believe to be a result of toxins in
your body, such as fatigue or sleepiness, could be signs of a more serious
A detox diet will not be able to cure any illness or disease you might be
suffering and may even serve to aggravate your condition because of the
nutrition change that is likely to result from the diet.
The Detox Diet Plan
After consulting your doctor or nutritionist and getting his or her advice on
what detox diet method to take, it is time for you to get really started. But
first, a little background information and some precautions won�t hurt.
That said, here is a list of foods that are allowed while on a detox diet:
� Fresh Fruits
Emphasis should be on fresh. Avoid processed fruits, even fruit juices, as these
may also contain chemicals and other artificial substances.
There is virtually no limit to the fresh fruits you can enjoy. The only
exception is grapefruit which contains a compound, called naringin, that can
significantly inhibit liver detox enzymes. Instead, eat a lot of berries, such
as strawberries and cranberry, as these contain high amounts of antioxidants.
� Fresh Vegetables
Again, make sure that these are fresh and, as much as possible, non-GM. All
fresh vegetables are to be enjoyed, except for corn which can be an allergenic
food. Broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, onions, garlic, artichokes,
beets, red and green vegetables are good detox foods.
Most people have no problem digesting rice. Select brown or basmati rice. You
may also indulge in the occasional rice cakes, rice crackers, and rice pasta.
� Other Grains
If you are concerned about the high carbohydrate content of rice, you may try
other grains. Quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat are good substitutes. You
can find them at any health food store.
Beans are highly recommended. In a recent study by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA), more than 100 foods were measured for antioxidant levels and
found that beans occupy the top spot in the vegetable category.
Try split yellow and green peas and lentils, which are easy to digest and
require less soaking time. You may also try kidney beans, pinto beans, mung
beans, garbanzo beans (otherwise known as chickpeas) and adzuki beans.
� Nuts and Seeds
Sprinkle nuts, seeds, and nut butters over meals for added flavor. Make
sure, however, that the nuts are fresh and unsalted. Your choices include
flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, and
walnuts. Peanuts should be avoided.
There has been criticism to the consumption of fish in a detox diet since,
according to experts, fish meat contains several substances that may be
considered as toxic. However, fish also contains several minerals and nutrients
that are good for the liver, the primary detoxifying organ of the body.
Therefore, it is not so much as avoiding fish altogether but enjoying it
Recommended: extra virgin olive oil.
This includes vegetable salt, sea salt, vinegar, naturally fermented soy sauce
or tamari. Also culinary herbs or spices and limited amounts of honey.
� Herbal Tea
Non-caffeinated herbal teas. Green tea, although it contains caffeine, is
allowed. Black tea, oolong, and red tea are discouraged.
� Other Beverages
Water, lemon water, 100% natural fruit and vegetable juices, rice milk.
In addition to choosing from the above food list, it is also important that you
observe the following detox practices:
� Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
� Dilute fruit juices with water.
� You should enjoy each meal. Don�t eat too fast. Take
your time chewing the food thoroughly.
As for foods to avoid, take note of the following:
Avoid artificial sweeteners and refined sugars, including mixtures containing
any of either � sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, brown sugar, and turbinado.
� Dairy Products
This includes milk, eggs, butter, and cheese.
Wheat and products containing wheat.
A type of protein found in a few grains, including barley, oats, rye, spelt, and
kamut. Some people are sensitive to gluten. If you are one of these people, then
avoid gluten and all gluten-containing foods.
Corn and all corn products.
Avoid beverages that contain caffeine, including coffee and black tea. For
coffee, both regular and decaffeinated are highly discouraged. Green tea,
however, is allowed and should be enjoyed as an alternative to coffee.
� Other Foods to Avoid
Includes yeast, alcohol, food additives and preservatives, chocolate, and high
A detox diet is a lifetime diet. It is unlike other diets where the whole
regimen lasts only for a few weeks. You are constantly exposed to all kinds of
toxins as you carry about your daily routine. In order to keep yourself healthy
and protect yourself against the harmful effects of toxins, you have to maintain
a diet that is not only free of toxins but can also help you get rid of those
toxins that you inevitably take in
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