Nowadays, the term detox refers to many diets that promote toxin removal and weight loss.
Detox diets usually last from one day to one month and involve periods of fasting, strict diets of fruits, vegetables, water and fruit juices. Many people use supplements, teas, herbs, or colon cleanses as well. Some of these diets are even too extreme, consuming only laxative tea, warm water, maple syrup, a liquid concoction of lemon juice, and cayenne pepper for ten days.
With so many detox types and options nowadays, the most effective type is the one that reduces sugary, processed, and high-fat foods, and replaces them with fruits and veggies.
Body detoxification has been practiced in ancient civilizations as well, using leeches or bloodletting to remove the toxins from the body, according to Conscious Lifestyle. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system which included a cleansing practice known as panchakarma, that used herbs, oils, and sweating for body purification.
Detox diets are supposed to help flush out the toxins from our system, although our body has its natural detox system to get rid of toxic substances through liver, urine, sweat, and feces. However, you can help the process by switching up your diet and lifestyle into a healthier one. Aim for clean eating as it’s the healthiest method of detoxifying and getting your body back on track.
But note that when it comes to detox, don’t focus only on the physical removal of toxins. Focus on the emotional aspects, as they might need a cleanse and release as well, says Conscious Lifestyle. The quality and quantity of sleep, social networks, stress, all these contribute to toxin accumulation. Work on cleansing the spirit and mind, in addition to our body.
Our way of detoxifying involves taking care of our body with healthy and nutritious foods, staying healthy and reducing any disease risk.
How to get rid of toxin
Drink plenty of water
Always stay hydrated! Water helps move the lymph and support kidney detoxification, so you should aim to drink up to three liters per day. To avoid more toxins, look for properly filtered water. Fresh vegetable juice and herbal detox teas are a good addition as well, but ideally, you’ll make your own brew by mixing Dandelion root and nettle, calendula, cleavers, burdock, and red clover. Add one teaspoon of dried herbs in a cup of water and let it steep for five minutes, then strain it.
Eat healthy foods
Aim for cruciferous vegetables, garlic, berries, and spices like turmeric, as it helps your body detoxify through its detoxification pathways. Our body’s detoxification pathways inside the liver cells need protein to function properly, so whenever possible, pick organic plant foods and the highest-quality animal foods. Make it a habit at least twice a year to include in your diet all essentials to help your liver and organs detoxify, says MaxLiving. These diets can last two to three weeks, and during those days include in your diet as much nutrients and protein as you can.
Other foods to include in your diet plan:
- Fruits: Whether they’re fresh, frozen, dried or canned, fruits should be included in your diet plan. They are a great source of fiber and are high in water content.
- Vegetables: They provide a wide range of fiber and phytochemicals. Again, you can have them fresh, frozen, or canned in water, as long as you don’t add salt. If you can’t get organic plant foods, at least go for pesticide-ridden veggies and fruits.
- Herbs and spices: Add more flavor to your food with some herbs and spices, says Dr. Axe. They do more than add flavor as they have many properties against inflammation, boost your immune system, etc. This includes seasonings like basil, paprika, cumin, and parsley.
- Legumes: Dried or canned, don’t neglect legumes like kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and many others. They’re a great source of fiber, in addition to many amino acid precursors.
- Fish: It’s not a decent diet plan without fish. Consume fresh fish like mackerel, cod, salmon, trout, plaice, tuna, crab, red mullet, and many others.
You might also want to read: Detox Diet Menu: Clean Eating Plan
Healthy mind, healthy body
It’s not enough detoxing your body when your mind is a mess. With 15 minutes of meditation per day, relax and detox your mind as well. If you’re not sure how mediation works, you can try belly breathing, according to Body & Soul. Place your hands on the lower belly and breath in through the nose, slowly counting to 3 or 4 counts. Breath out just as slowly and let your belly drop.
Get enough sleep
A few years ago, scientists detected a brain detoxification process called glymphatic system – a process which happens while we’re asleep, says MaxLiving. Lack of sleep will impair the glymphatic system, according to Andy R. Eugene and Jolanta Masiak, and will accumulate more toxins. Therefore, if you want to completely detoxify your body, don’t neglect a good night’s sleep.
Avoid programs promoting extreme changes in lifestyle
Beware of the programs that call for drastic lifestyle changes, and specific set of rules about eating, according to mindbodygreen. They are very unrealistic, especially for people who work and frequently socialize because they can’t exactly keep track of every meal they have. Be gentle with your body and note that many programs recommend colonics during cleanses that sometimes come with side effects. For every possible change in your lifestyle, make sure to talk to your doctor first.
In addition to performing the abovementioned practices, it’s good to go out in the sun and get some fresh air. Instead of fearing the toxin exposure, it’s better to take control of our health and find safe ways of keeping our body vital. Also, remember that fad diets are not a good long-term solution, instead, ALWAYS aim for healthy eating.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.