Every day we are bombarded with commercials and advertisements that tout the health benefits of…
A Look At Body Detoxification
What is Detox?
Detoxification or, detox for short, is simply the body’s way of eliminating the wastes it produces and the toxins it ingests. Our bodily wastes, including those produced during cell activity, and toxins can harm our body unless they are flushed out. Other toxins are chemicals that we are exposed to via our environment, the food we eat and the water we drink. Our bodies have a natural system for removing these poisons, and it’s comprised by our kidneys, lungs, skin, blood, lymphatic system, and intestines.
A detox diet assists your body in flushing toxins and in effect, performs a reboot of your body. There are several different types of detox diets, but the general principles are:
- Reduce the amounts of chemicals which you consume. This can be accomplished by eating organic food, for example.
- Focus on foods which provide the vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients which your body needs in order to detoxify.
- Emphasize fiber-rich foods, and purified water to increase the frequency of urination and bowel movements.
- Some detox diets involve juicing, while others allow some solid food such as fruits and vegetables.
Mental and Physical Detox
The mind and body share a powerful bond. Detoxing your body will also benefit your emotional well-being. Once your body has released it’s accumulated toxins, you will being to sleep better, have more energy, and see an increase in your mental clarity. In order to reap the maximum benefits from a physical detox, you may want to incorporate elements of a mental detox.
Detoxing your mind can include:
- Maintaining a regular routine
- Incorporating meditation into your day
- Practicing good sleep hygiene to ensure you’re getting enough quality sleep
- Being mindful of your feelings
- Journaling or art therapy
- Counting your blessings
- Socializing with friends or family who are a source of positivity
This list is a good beginning but if you have mental blocks or find that you have an inability to relax, you may benefit from counseling to help you move forward and into a more positive frame of mind.
Make these actions a habit, incorporate them into your routine in order to reap the benefits. Most habits become ingrained after 21-days, so keep at it and you’ll find that they become second nature.
Why Do You Need to Detox?
There is research which suggests that the chemicals we ingest through food, water, and the environment become deposited in our fat cells. This can include toxins such as pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, chemicals from household cleaners, detergents, and food additives, heavy metals, drugs, and cigarette smoke.
These are products which we buy daily from our local so it makes you think what else stores are selling. Products big chain markets are selling products which contain even more toxins so it’s worth checking the labels each and every time. These accumulated toxins can weaken our immune system leading to an increase in illness. They may also cause nutritional deficiencies since our bodies are working overtime trying to eliminate these poisons. This can manifest in indigestion, tiredness, headaches, poor skin, muscle aches, chronic pain, and hormonal imbalances.
The Western diet is also full of processed foods which contain large amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats. This has led to an obesity epidemic. Remember that toxins become deposited in fat cells, therefore the more fat you have, and the more toxins you have stored in your body! In addition to our poor diet, our lifestyles can also contribute to poor health.
Long-term stress is harmful not just in terms of your mental health. Your body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline while under stress. Long-term exposure to these hormones as seen in chronic stress will put you at increased risk for digestive problems, high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and memory impairment.
All these factors illustrate the need for a detox. Allowing the body to expel these harmful substances gives you the opportunity for a fresh start. Now your new habits will allow you to improve your health.
How To Detox
A one-size fits all approach doesn’t apply when it comes to a detox diet. What works well for you, may not work for someone else. However, there are some basic guidelines which can apply to most healthy people.
Choose Organic Food When Possible
One of the easiest things to do is to eat the right foods so that you are putting fewer toxins into your body to begin with. Decrease the toxins you consume by avoiding processed foods, and choosing organic food whenever possible. If organic foods aren’t available, make sure to thoroughly wash your produce so you eliminate as much of the pesticide residue as possible. It isn’t necessary to purchase special products to clean your produce, simple water is fine. There are however a few things to remember:
- Start by buying produce which is free of bruises, mold, or other blemishes.
- Always store perishable produce in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after handling fresh produce.
- Always wash your produce before you peel it or slice it. If you don’t, you can transfer contaminants from your knife to the fruit or vegetable.
- Hold the fruit or vegetable under cool running tap water and rub it gently as you wash it. Use a vegetable brush for washing firm produce such as squash or watermelons.
- Produce with uneven surfaces, such as cauliflower and broccoli, should be soaked for 1 to 2 minutes in cold water to remove contaminants from the nooks and crannies.
- Discard the outer leaves of your greens, and ensure you are separating the leaves and holding them under cold, running water to remove dirt and debris.
- Use a clean cloth or paper towel to dry the produce before using it.
There are different detoxifying diets so it’s easy to find the one which suits you best.
- Raw, alkaline diet: This is a temporary cleanse which consists of raw vegetables, raw nuts, and sprouts. It is extremely effective at detoxing the colon and liver.
- Juice fast: This diet entails drinking only the juice of fruit, vegetables, or a combination of both.
- Water fast: Some people find that drinking only water allows them to reboot their body. This is a drastic approach that has drawbacks, so you need to be sure that you seek medical guidance. This is not a good option for anyone with health issues or on medication.
Keeping hydrated is important for maintaining your body. You should consumer water which is free of any impurities which you can either purchase or which you can access from your own tap and run through a filter.
But why stick with plain water? There are numerous things you can add to your daily water intake which will help cleanse the body. Adding lemon or lime juice to your water will not only please your taste buds, it will also supercharge your detox! Lemon juice mimics the digestive juices found in your stomach, so it tricks your liver into producing bile which keeps your digestive process running smoothly. Studies have also found that the citric acid in lemon juice protects liver function and prevents free radical damage, improving the liver’s natural ability to detoxify the body.
There are many commercial detox teas on the market, but you can make your own teas by boiling the leaves of herbs. Here are some of the popular ones:
- Milk thistle is the top herb for liver health. It’s found in supplement form, but drinking it as a tea is also a good way to make sure you’re supporting your cleanse. It works by strengthening the walls of your liver cells, which in turn reduces inflammation and keeps your liver function in peak form.
- Dandelion root helps to relieve liver congestion by promoting the production of bile.
- Chicory stimulates bile production as well, but as the added benefit of providing inulin – an important prebiotic which helps maintain your digestive flora.
- Burdock root’s healing powers hail all the way to the beginning of Ayurvedic medicine. It is used to stimulate bile and detoxify the blood.
Brewing any one of these herbs, or a combination of two or more, and sipping the tea throughout the day will boost your body’s ability to cleanse and keep you properly hydrated.
Planning ahead will increase your success. Remember, this is a big change for your body. And the reason many people quit their detox program is because they aren’t properly prepared. Here are some of the most common pitfalls:
Cleansing your body can produce some uncomfortable physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and an overall feeling of malaise. Phase out caffeine, sugar, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, and heavy salt intake in the week leading up to your detox program. Weaning yourself off caffeine slowly will help you avoid those annoying caffeine withdrawal headaches! Switch to lower caffeine drinks and eventually cut it out altogether.
Not having the right food available
You may have your detox diet plan but if you don’t have the foods at home, or if you have to peel and juice fruit and vegetables when you get home from work, you may just decide to grab a quick meal on the go. Plan your meals for the week so you’re more likely to stick to your diet. Do as much meal prep as possible in advance. Buy prewashed, peeled, and prepared produce for your meal or juicing.
Having a hectic work schedule
So, you’ve decided to start your cleanse this week and you’ve shopped and made all the necessary preparations. Then you find out it’s going to be an especially stressful week at work. Should you just postpone your detox again? Don’t put yourself in this position. You want your detox to be as stress-free as possible, especially during the first few days while you’re acclimating yourself. Plan to start your plan on a Friday. This will allow you much needed rest and relaxation during the crucial beginning of your diet.
Planning for post-detox
Remember, the real work starts after your cleanse. Knowing what to eat will ensure you keep the weight off and continue to reap the benefits of detoxing. Reverting to your old habits will only get you back to your former self: tired, bloated, and unhealthy.
Take advantage of your new found energy and implement long-term changes to ensure that your results are permanent. Have your post-detox diet plan mapped out so you can transition from cleanse to healthy eating without interruption.
Alcohol puts a strain on your liver which is your powerhouse in your body’s natural detoxifying system, so it must be avoided during any cleanse. However, there have been studies which have found that moderate amounts of wine can be beneficial for heart health. If you enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages, you may be able to include them in a healthy diet once your detox is complete.
Do you think you can’t live without your morning coffee? Caffeine is the most commonly used addictive substance and helps increase alertness. Unfortunately, it can also raise blood pressure and overstimulate the body. These are two things which you want to avoid during a cleanse.
You should also reduce caffeine intake slowly. This approach will prevent those annoying caffeine “withdrawal” headaches. You can go back to consuming caffeine once you complete your detox. However, you may find that you are much more alert and energetic since your body is functioning at a higher level. You probably won’t need as many cups of coffee to get going in the morning!
Most detox diets don’t include protein. Juicing and raw foods diets focus on non-animal sources of nutrition and protein is non-existent or consumed in extremely small amounts.
Our bodies require adequate protein in order to build and maintain a healthy body. A diet too low in protein will cause your body to take protein from your muscles in order to meet its needs. However, your detox plan is a short term diet for the purpose of cleansing the body. As long as you are healthy, you can abstain from protein.
Once you’ve completed your detox you can incorporate protein in to your diet again. Choose higher quality proteing sources such as eggs, wild fish, grass feed beef, and hormone free poultry. The average serving should be about the size of a deck of cards, so you don’t need much meet in order to fulfill your daily requirements.
If you are vegan, you can meet your protein requirement by balancing incomplete proteins. Incomplete sources of protein contain only some of the amino acids we require, so you can eat grains and legumes for example, and create a “complete” protein. Rice and beans, pasta or rice and vegetables, are just some examples of common dishes which vegans eat in order to get enough protein without consuming animal products.
Before You Begin
There are many ways to detox including forms of fasting: intermittent fasting, water fasting or a juicing fast, a raw food protocol, and specially designed protein powders used in combination with water and juices. The key is to find what will work best for you. Some of the things you should consider before choosing a detox method are:
- How much time will it take? If the plan is too complicated and requires a lot of prep work then it may not be a good fit for you. A better alternative might be purchasing a ready to go detox plan from a naturopath or other health professional.
- What is your overall health like? As with any diet, you should seek medical advice before beginning a detox program, especially if you have any health issues. Your doctor can help you determine which plan will work best for you.
- What is your lifestyle like? If your life is demanding, then a water fast is probably not for you. Choose a less drastic plan which will allow you to maintain enough energy to go about your daily life.
Preparation is the key to a successful detox. Research, ask your medical professional lots of questions, and have a game plan before you begin. Do your shopping beforehand to ensure you have everything you need before you start your detox. Are you juicing? Then make sure your juicer is working properly. You don’t want to pull it out on the first day of your juice fast, only to find out that you need to run out and buy a new one!
What else will make the process easier? Unless you’ll only be consuming water, you may prefer to follow a specific plan which includes the types of food and the portions you should be consuming.
Health Benefits Of Detox
Most of us not only want to look good and we want to feel good as well. We’re also staying active way longer than previous generations did, so we want the energy and good health to continue to enjoy sports, travel, and other activities. That’s way rebooting your body through detox is a great way to rid your body of toxins while kick-starting healthy eating habits and exercise.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Your body will eliminate harmful substances from your body. Ridding your body of toxins will improve your overall health in the long term, and increase your energy, clear your skin, and release water weight in the short term.
- Improved digestion, especially on a juice fast, will positively impact every aspect of your well-being. Your body will be able to release toxins faster and utilize more of the nutrients in your food.
- Reduced cravings. You will find that you rarely crave salty, fatty, or sugary sweet foods. Your body is now satisfied with fresh, healthy foods which allows you to continue on a weight loss or weight maintenance program.
- Weight loss. You will probably experience an immediate weight loss of a few pounds of water weight. This is a great incentive to continue losing weight by following your detox with a healthy weight loss program and the addition of exercise.
Your skin is your largest organ and along with hair and nails can tell a lot about the condition of your overall health. Toxins, hormonal changes, too much direct sun without sunscreen, smoking, and many other factors can lead to dry, sallow skin.
Detoxifying your system will purge your body and your skin is one of the first places that you’ll begin to see the changes. Don’t be alarmed if you break out a few days into your cleanse. This is normal as your body releases toxins. However, soon after, you will begin to see an improvement in your skin.
A deep cleansing facial will remove impurities just below the surface of your skin and will reveal your new, glowing skin. Make sure that you are using daily sunscreen and moisturize in accordance with your skin type to keep your skin healthy.
Your kidneys, liver, bladder, and bowels work together to allow your body to excrete waste products and any toxins which you may have ingested. A detox diet is designed to support your organs in this process and allow them to work at peak efficiency over a short period of time.
Your liver is also responsible for for storing glycogen. This is extra glucose that your body keeps in reserve for use in an emergency. Any excess sugar, protein, and fat are stored in fat cells. Keeping your liver in peak condition is not only essential for good health, it is imperative for effective weight loss. A healthy liver will not easily give up it’s glycogen, instead it forces the body to turn to its fat cells first and burn them as energy. That’s why a proper detox will lead to weight loss.
Our kidneys also process many things mainly liquids and can be seriously damaged by toxins. Did you know that your kidneys filter nearly 200 liters of fluid every day? If these waste products and toxins were allowed to accumulate in the body, you would become ill very quickly and eventually die. A detox will support your kidneys and ensure that they are working at full capacity.
Your small and large intestines are responsible for digesting solid foods and dealing with the solid wastes. We are also learning more about the incredible collection of viruses, bacteria, and fungi known as your gut biome. That’s why your intestines are so much more than just a vehicle for moving solid waste out of the body. They are also essential to maintaining a healthy immune system and nervous system! And the single most important factor in keeping your bowels healthy is your diet. Drinking plenty of water, eating fiber, and ingesting pre and probiotics are the keys to maintaining the proper balance of good bacteria in your gut.
Who doesn’t want to feel more energetic? Your energy levels are affected by both your diet and your mental state. Toxins overload the body and also cause a decline in physical well-being. And finally all of these things can lead to chronic insomnia or not getting enough restful sleep. So, it becomes a vicious cycle. You’re stressed and feel poorly which means you don’t sleep well, which leads to feel more stress and more poorly!
Detoxing can reset your mental and physical states. The toxins are purged, and your organs get a much needed rest. This creates a new cycle – a positive one! You feel less stress, you have more energy, and you achieve restful, restorative sleep.
Improved Alkaline Levels
Keeping your pH balanced is important because either extreme is harmful to the body. A juice fast will help bring your body back to the ideal pH level where it can function at it’s best. The other benefits of improved alkaline levels include healthier skin, better digestion, deeper, restful sleep, reduction in yeast overgrowth, and more energy.
Ability to Deal with Cravings Easily
Food cravings can derail your efforts at eating healthier and losing weight, because the foods we usually crave don’t tend to be the healthy, low-calorie food we should be eating. Most comfort foods tend to be high in carbohydrates, fat, sugar or sodium. It can be so frustrating, especially if you’ve made real headway only to fall off the wagon.
It may sound counter-intuitive but fasting helps curb cravings. It’s true. Many people react to processed foods in the way an addict reacts to their drug of choice. Fasting helps you purge your body of these residual toxins and enables you to start over. A juice fast, on the other hand, helps you deal with these urges by delivering high quality nutrients to your body. Once your body is properly hydrated and nourished, it tends to stop signaling that it needs quick energy in the form of simple sugars and carbs.
You can also achieve stress relief from doing a detox. There is a major mind-body connection where physical health and mental health are intertwined. So say you are sick with something, you will find your mood also goes down. If you feel really good emotionally and not overly anxious, you will have more energy.
There are also several ways to augment your detox diet. Spa treatments such as lymphatic massage, saunas, and seaweed wraps can help remove impurities from the body and are physically relaxing. Practicing deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can calm your mind and increase your overall feeling of tranquility.
Weight loss is probably the single most common reason people try detox. Losing weight can be very important for health reasons, and can also boost your self-esteem. While a detox diet alone isn’t going to rid you of all your excess weight, it can reboot your system and motivate you to continue eating mindfully, choosing healthy foods, and incorporating an exercise program into your life.
Natural Detoxifying Foods
There are a number of foods which naturally detoxify the body. Most of them are readily available and should be included as part of your post-detox diet. Some of these foods include:
- Juices, Smoothies, and Infused Water
- Leafy Greens
- Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts
- Green Tea
- Chlorella (An algae)
- Spinella (An algae)
Lemons are an amazing detoxifier and have the added benefit of adding a bit of flavor to your water or tea. Lemons are great sources of vitamin C, potassium, and copper. Other benefits include:
- Improved digestion
- Helps prevent kidney stones
- Enhances mood
Leafy greens ,such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are excellent sources of vitamins C, D, K, and calcium and iron. In general, the darker green leafs have more nutrients. Juicing greens is a great way to support your body’s detoxifying process. Or if you prefer, include them in your smoothies or salads.
Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are powerhouse vegetables. They’re high in fiber, high in nutrition, low in carbohydrates and calories. They can be eaten raw, added to smoothies and cooked, so they’re extremely versatile. Meaning you won’t get bored of eating your veggies! In fact cauliflower is often used as a substitute for potatoes and rice, since they are much lower in carbs.
Avocados are loaded with good fats which help lower unhealthy levels of LDL. They’re nutrient-dense containing vitamins C,K,B,E, as well as lutein and potassium. If you don’t care for the taste, incorporate them into your smoothies. They will add a wonderful creaminess to the texture and you won’t notice the taste if you combine them with berries.
Eggs & Cheese
Eggs and cheese aren’t normally part of a detox diet since the emphasis is on easy to digest foods, and because so many people have sensitivities to dairy and eggs. However, they’re an excellent source of protein and can be added to your post-detox plan as part of a sensible diet.
In a way, you can say an apple a day does keep the doctor away. Apples are high in soluble fiber and are a great way to naturally sweeten food so you can stay away from refined sugars. They make good additions to many juices because they can added a little sweetness and a nice flavor to bland greens or not-so-tasty vegetables.
Tea is beneficial, but studies have shown the most benefit from green tea. It has antioxidants which help fight off cancer and prevent it. It is the base of a lot of detox drinks and weight loss teas.
There are tremendous benefits to juicing so it makes sense that one very popular method of detoxing is by consuming only fruit and vegetable juices. There are several factors to take into consideration. When you think of fruit juice, you may think of the traditional options of orange, apple, and grape juices. However, in order to keep blood sugar balanced, most juicing protocals call for only small quantities of orange and grape juice since they can be high in sugar.
Finding a healthy blend which tastes good isn’t as difficult as it might seem. As we mentioned, oranges, apples, and grapes are sweet, as are carrots. They complement stronger vegetable flavors such as kale, which can be bitter.
Some healthy and delicious fruit and vegetables combinations include:
Celery – the green goddess
Believe it or not, celery juice is all the rage! Popularized by Anthony William, the “Medical Medium”, people are drinking up to 16 ounces of celery juice every morning. Celery contains powerful antioxidants which help regulate blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and help the body excrete toxins.
If drinking a whole glass of celery juice doesn’t appeal to you, here’s a recipe which will allow you to get the benefits of celery juice, along with the nutrients and great taste of apples and pears, and the hydrating properties of cucumbers.
- Juice the following:
- 3 Stalks of celery
- 1Green apple
- 1 Pear
- 1 Cucumer
- Add a handful of parsley for added detoxifying benefits
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory. This juice also includes carrots which are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and lemon.
- 2 Apples (your choice)
- 5 Carrots
- One piece of ginger (about ½ inch)
- ¼ lemon (you may remove the peel if you find it bitter – but the peel contains a lot of good stuff!)
Making your own juices is the healthiest option, but there are some store bought juices which can work well in a pinch. Just check the labels so you know exactly what you’re getting. Some commercial juices are high in sugar which is something you want to avoid while detoxing.
Packed with green goodness, this combination of juices makes about 50 ounces of juice and is great for those busy days when you want to have plenty of juice on hand.
- 3 Cucumbers
- 3 Green Gala Apples
- 2 Stalks of Celery
- ½ Lemon or lime (with or without peel)
- Adding a small piece of ginger will add heat and will help reduce inflammation.
Infused water is a nice alternative to plain water. Take slices of fruits and vegetables and add them to your water and keep in the refrigerator until cold. Now your water has absorbed some of the flavor (and nutrients) of what you just added. Some delicious infusions to try are berries with mint leaves, cucumber, lemon slices, and orange slices.
Turmeric has been used in Asia for centuries as both a spice and a medicine. It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. It is a bright yellow color and is often used in Indian cooking to give a yellow color to the curry. Another common use is in a drink called golden milk which is popularly used as a tonic in India and other countries. Like garlic, it boosts your circulatory system as well which helps when you are doing a detox.
Turmeric’s main compound is called curcumin has been linked to many health benefits for the brain, for depression, and even for potentially helping in patients with Alzheimer’s. Patients with arthritis also benefit from using this spice. It may take some getting used to the taste of it, and too much can cause some minor upsets in the digestive system, so use as directed for a detox.
Ginger is also another spice that has been used for medicinal purposes in Eastern medicine for centuries. Like turmeric, it is very spicy, and you may want to introduce it slowly over time to get used to it. A common detox tea combines ginger, turmeric, and lemon because of their powerful detox properties. You can add ginger to almost any one of your juices and it will add flavor and a little heat.
Chlorella & Sprirunella
The algae Chlorella and Sprirunella are closely related. Both work well on heavy metals when used as a detox. They are also high in B vitamins which are essential for the function of many organs and which help improve energy. They can be found in pill form or can be added to juices or smoothies. They are also beneficial in removing impurities from the skin when used as wraps. Remember, your skin is the largest organ in the body’s waste elimination system!
Foods are not the only tools you have in detox; there are herbs, roots, spices, and even fungi which can be used to detox. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Red Burdock Root
- Common Nettle
- Aloe Vera
- Barley Grass
- Black Walnut
- Celery Seed
- Chaga Mushrooms
Some of them are used as herbal teas or tinctures. Others can be used as spices for your food, and others can be added to juices or smoothies.
Coriander (Cilantro) is popular in Mexican and Thai foods. Some people do not like it because they find it tastes like soap to them. However, if you have never tried it before start with a Mexican dish and see if you like it. Coriander works to detoxify much as parsley does. It’s often taken as a tea, but can also be juiced, or added to food. Burdock, Dandelion, and Common Nettle are also commonly used as herbal detox teas.
Garlic is a bulb-shaped vegetable you usually use as a spice. It is one of the oldest known ingredients used by mankind in many folk medicine remedies. It can be found in powdered form or fresh. For use in a detox plan and for greater health benefits over long term use, fresh garlic is recommended. In addition to helping the body to detox, garlic has been shown to have a great deal of benefit for the heart. It boosts liver function as well which is why it is a good choice to help you detox. In addition to crushing it and adding it to your food, you can also drink it as a tea.
It’s very strong so do not be surprised if you develop an odor in your mouth if you use a lot of it. Chewing fresh parsley often helps reduce the strong odor and will freshen your breath.
Aloe Vera has been used for at least 4,000 years for medicinal uses. It has benefits both for detox and for overall health and can be mixed in with your juice or water with a bit of lemon daily in small doses. Consuming large amounts of aloe vera can lead to diarrhea and gastrointestinal discomfort. It can also your blood sugar so consult your doctor is you are diabetic or suffer from hypoglycemia.
Barley grass is similar to wheatgrass though is slightly higher in protein content. Barley is considered a super food because it is contains a large concentration of vitamins and minerals, and is an excellent source of chlorophyll. Barley grass is also rich in fiber which is beneficial to your diet, since most people don’t consume enough fiber even if they eat fruits and vegetables daily.
Black Walnuts are related to other walnut trees, but they tend to be far more difficult to use because their shells are harder to crack, and the nutmeat is smaller. They can encourage the movement of your bowels which is why they’re not only used in detox but to remover parasites such as ringworm. If you’re allergic to any of the nuts or legumes such as almonds (a nut), or peanuts (a legume) you should avoid it as it can cause an unwanted reaction. Be careful not to overeat black walnuts, or you could end becoming dehydrated from diarrhea.
Celery seeds come from the same plant as celery stalks you buy in the grocery store. They’ve been around and used for medicinal purposes since the time of the ancient Egyptians.
Celery is a natural diuretic which is the main way it helps with detox. There is also a lot of fiber in the plant. The seeds can be found in the spice aisle and can be added as a flavoring as well as brewed into a herbal tea. It’s a common ingredient in cole slaw, and you can prepare a healthy version of cole slaw with apple cider vinegar and celery seeds and incorporate it into a raw food detox. The stalks can also be an aid in weight loss after the detox is over. Put a little bit of natural peanut butter on them, and you have a healthy snack.
Like peanut butter, if you are allergic to celery, it is likely to be a serious, life-threatening type of allergy so test for that before adding a lot of celery seeds to your diet.
Chaga Mushrooms are often called the King of Plants by Chinese doctors. It has antioxidants and is rich in vitamins and minerals. In places like Russia and Europe, this mushroom was used for building up immunity for centuries. You can use it in a tea or capsule form now, though traditionally it was used in teas.
When Should You Go Herbal?
Herbs can help lower cholesterol and also offer tremendous anti-inflammatory benefits. You do need to check with your doctor to make sure it is not going to interfere with medications, especially if you are diabetic since many herbs do lower blood sugar.
Anyone can do a detox, and many of the foods and spices recommended for a healthier diet are naturally detoxifying agents. There are many reasons why fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges, lemons, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and kale are so highly recommended for health, and detox is just one of them.
What Do You Need To Do Before Detox?
Preparation and a plan are absolutely essential to ensure that you succeed in your detox. Once you have your plan in place, there are a few other considerations which will increase your odds of success.
1. Check Your Medications
There may be some medications that need tweaking or some modifications to the detox plan based on your specific health conditions. Make sure to discuss your plans with your doctor in order to stay safe. Remember natural doesn’t mean that there are no side effects or that it won’t cause adverse effects when used in combination with certain medications. For example, if you’re diabetic, some of these cleanses could interfere with your medications or insulin and may have to be adjusted accordingly.
Some foods and spices also interfere with the absorption of some medications. Not just by moving things quickly through your system as part of the detox, but also by causing your body to absorb your medication too quickly, too slowly, or not at all. You may find you are better off with a juice detox over some of the others. Or that you need to do it longer but with more real food included to keep your blood sugar working properly. Your doctor may recommend that you consult with a nutritionist if you have certain medical conditions or need to follow a certain type of diet.
2. Plan Your Detox
You need to set a specific timeline for your cleanse. You do not want to have it at a time when you will be out and about a great deal. It is far more gentle than the type of cleansing you have to do for several tests including a colonoscopy, but you will have to eliminate more wastes which means more frequent trips to the bathroom. So plan for a time when you are not having to work or attend your cousin’s wedding.
Another thing is to understand this is not a cure-all or a quick fix, it is a restart button and what happens before and after the detox are even more important than the detox itself. If you are eating a typical diet with at least 300 carbohydrates and a lot of fast food, you probably should first start with modifying your eating habits a fair bit and getting into regular exercise. Remember when you make a change to your body, it is a shock to the system, and the bigger the change, the bigger the shock.
3. Stock Your Kitchen
- Go through your kitchen and pantry and get rid of all the junk food you may have. Anything which is processed, high in sugar or sodium, high in calories, and void of nutritional value should go. Doing this at least a week before you start your detox, will allow you to start making modifications to your way of eating so you can adjust to the detox easier.
- Focus on eating whole fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, healthy facts, and slowly wean yourself of caffeine. Avoid refined sugars and added salt. If you crave sweets, use small amounts of honey or maple syrup which contain minerals and are easier on the body. Organic stevia is an alternative sugar which doesn’t add calories or play havoc with your blood sugar.
- A few days before your detox, make sure you have all the tools you need, as well as the food you will be eating. Have a written plan or guideline for your meals so that eating becomes easy and routine.
- Make sure that your family is on board. Unfortunately, not all family members are supportive. But if you take the time to explain everything to them, and make it clear just how important this is to you, you will have a greater change of gaining their support.
- Post-detox is crucial as well. Your detox is just a reset, it isn’t going to magically melt away the pounds you need to lose, or repair the damage you’ve done to your body over the years. This is the beginning of taking charge of your health and well-being and having a healthy meal plan that you can transition into will make it easier to maintain and build on the progress you’ve made. If you’ve been on a water fast, a juice fast, or a low-calorie detox, you should ease your way into eating regular portions since your body has to get used to eating again.
- Regular exercise is important as well, but if you’ve been sedentary in the past, or you’re recovering from an intense, low-calorie detox, gentle exercise is the way to go. Stretching, walks, gentle yoga, and tai chi are all good options.
4. Change Your Habits
You’ve successfully detoxed but this is the beginning, not the end of your journey to better health. Now, it’s time to incorporate healthy habits into your everyday life. Having a healthy meal plan or diet post-detox is important. Adding regular exercise is also key. But making these two changes isn’t easy, that’s why they have to become second nature. In order to get into the habit of eating well and exercising, you have to maintain the proper environment. That means not keeping certain foods in the house, and always having a supply of healthy alternatives.
Eliminating bad habits and creating new, healthy ones sounds difficult but it’s absolutely achievable. The brain is extremely adaptable, and can it can be trained to switch gears and ingrain new habits and purge old ones. Think of this process as a detox for your brain! Here is how you can retrain your brain:
Your reasons for the change
Being mindful of the reasons you want to change your life is important. Was it a health scare that became a wake-up call? Are you tired of feeling “tired”? Do you want to be able to keep up with your children? Write your reasons down and review them every day and then start writing about your progress. Perhaps your blood pressure has gone down 10 points, or you’ve lost 10 pounds. Maybe you can now play catch with your son without feeling winded. Focusing on the why and your progress are powerful ways to maintain your motivation and stay the course.
Commit to your new habits for at least 3 to 4 weeks. This is the amount of time it takes the brain to make new connections and make your actions automatic.
Eating and exercising at the same time allows the body to use this repetition as “cues” to help it create a new habit.
Focus on one new habit at a time; don’t overwhelm yourself (or your brain!) And then build on the momentum. For example, if your goal is to exercise for 45 minutes daily, then start by exercising for 15 minutes daily, and work your way up to 45 minutes.
Use the power of the “group”
Peer pressure is often thought of as something negative, but it can be quite positive if used in the right way. Joining a group of like-minded individuals provides us with support, feedback, and even helps if we need it. We feel like we’re part of something bigger and we’re more motivated to succeed.
Allow yourself to fail
Have you ever “cheated” on a diet and then gone totally off the rails because of it? Don’t chuck all your hard-earned success over one moment of weakness. Your journey is not a straight line, it zigs and zags until you find the right rhythm.
Keep junk food out of the house, throw out your cigarettes if you’re trying to quit smoking, whatever is a source of temptation, it needs to go
Detoxing your body can provide numerous benefits for your health. It’s the ideal reboot to jumpstart your weight-loss efforts or a healthy way of eating. Although your body’s skin, intestines, liver, and kidneys remove waste and toxins from your body, any number of conditions or situations can cause any one of them to slow down. Whether it’s stress, hormones, insufficient nutritional support, your body may need help in ridding itself of poisons.
There are numerous approaches which assist the body in detoxing, whether it’s fasting, the addition of herbs and spices, or eating raw foods, there are benefits to each one of them. Researching each method and discussing your options with your physician will ensure that you find the right detox for you.
Once you commit to this life change, make sure you have a plan in place and that you make all the necessary preparations to ensure that you will successfully complete your program. Then you’ll be able to continue your journey to better living by taking control of your health.