Detox Diets

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

detox diet foods

A Detox Diet (also called a cleansing diet) aims to remove toxins and poisons from your body.

The idea of a good detox diet is to eat pure and natural foods that will aid the function of the skin, lymph, kidneys, and liver to eliminate these toxins.

All foods that hinder the regime should be avoided.

Detox diets are controversial and risky. Some experts believe there is inadequate evidence to support the claims made. Many detox diets have quite severe restrictions, and should be embarked upon with great care.

The Basic Detox Diet

With a detox diet the following items are RECOMMENDED:

  • Organic food and drink (no pesticides or fungicides).
  • Whole unprocessed foods (grains, nuts, seeds, etc).
  • High mix of vegetables and fruit.
  • 2 liters of plain water per day.
Certain herbs such as Psyllium seed, Licorice root, Yucca root, Milk thistle seed, Gentian root, are often recommended to aid the detoxifying process.

With a detox diet the following items should be AVOIDED:

  • Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and drugs.
  • Processed and refined foods.
  • Added sugars and artificial sweeteners.
  • Certain supplements (due to the amount of additives).

Non-Diet Elements

Most detox diet regimes are holistic in outlook. It is important to address other areas of stress in your life, and examine lifestyle as a whole. Adequate sleep is extremely important.

You need to be aware of these risks

  • Many detox diets may be nutritionally insufficient. This can be compounded due to frequent bowel movements.
  • Poor nutrition can lead to muscle loss, fatigue, and irritability.
  • Some may have allergic reactions to herbs recommended for the detox.
  • Long-term weight loss isn’t likely.

Most experts believe that the body is quite capable of cleaning itself (provided you follow a generally healthy diet, with exercise and adequate sleep). However many natural health practitioners believe that our polluted environment has left us toxic, and our bodies need a little help.

Make sure you receive the right guidance and support before attempting detox diets, and never attempt the detox longer than the specified duration.

Popular Detox Diets Available

Master Cleanse / Lemonade DietThe most popular short-term detox due to substantial media coverage.
10 Day Detox DietDr. Mark Hyman’s plan to lower insulin levels for rapid weight loss.
Clean in 14 DaysA gentle approach to cleansing based on unprocessed plant-based foods.
Fallacy of a CalorieOffers a 3 day juice cleanse and a 30 Day Detox that’s designed to restore gut flora and health.
Beauty Detox Solution Outlines a method of eating that cleanses the body to promote optimal beauty and improved general health. For those interested in a gentle approach that can be maintained as a long-term lifestyle.

Is It Worth It?

A detox diet can be a good way top jumpstart weight loss or reset bad eating habits, but after the detox a healthy calorie controlled eating plan must be put into practice.

Otherwise all of the potential benefits achieved by the detox or cleanse will have been in vain.

Your body is designed to remove toxins and impurities, but can only do so when it isn’t being bombarded by processed food chemicals, pesticides, and environmental toxins.

A consistent and clean whole foods diet is the best way reduce toxins and to continually detoxify the body from impurities.

References:

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: December 3, 2014. Disclaimer
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