Detoxification has been getting a lot of attention in recent years. While our bodies are probably not as polluted as some make them out to be, they could probably benefit from a good cleansing.
If you follow a typical American diet, for example, you are taking in all sorts of chemicals that make their way into commonly consumed foods, and then there are environmental factors.
There are many ways to detox, and not all of them involve totally giving up food or consuming complicated concoctions. The ultimate goal is to give your digestive system a rest so that your body can put more of its energy toward supporting the parts that are responsible for cleansing, such as the liver.
It is possible to accomplish this while still eating normal food but to achieve optimal benefit you must adhere to the plan carefully. If you are looking to do a cleanse, but do not want to resort to more extreme measures, here are some guidelines for a detox diet.
About a week before you plan to start your diet, you want to slowly cut back on certain foods. Totally eliminating them may lead to difficult withdrawal symptoms that can make the cleanse very unpleasant.
These foods and drinks include meat, dairy, eggs, coffee, alcohol, salt, sugar. If you just want to jump right in, that is okay too, but know that the effects may be more intense.
What to Eat and Drink
When it comes to what to eat and drink on this type of diet, some may recommend just fruits and vegetables, while other diets include grains, nuts, seeds, oils and various types of beverages. The best choice ultimately depends on you.
Grains have been getting a lot of bad press lately, and you may want to experiment to see if eliminating them makes any difference in how you feel. If you do include grains, stick with whole gluten-free ones such as brown rice, amaranth, millet and buckwheat.
When it comes to fruits, stick to fresh, possibly frozen. Eat dried fruit sparingly since they are high in sugar. For optimal effectiveness, choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. Some diets call for avoiding corn since it can be acidic.
Drink plenty of water throughout the cleanse to stay hydrated and optimize toxin removal. If your diet expands beyond fruits and vegetables, you can also consume ‘’milk’’ drinks made from rice, coconut or almonds
Typically, you would eat just fruit for breakfast, while lunch and dinner are a combination of fruits and vegetables—with the focus being on the vegetables. Including an avocado (which is a fruit) in the morning meal may help you feel more satisfied due to its high fat content.
Beyond the Diet
A successful cleanse is about more than just the food. To encourage healthy circulation, exercise regularly; dry brushing and switching water temperature from hot to cold can also get the blood flowing.
Promoting healthy elimination is also important—this diet includes plenty of fiber, so that should not be an issue; if you do not drink enough water, however, you may experience constipation.
Herbal laxatives may also help, as can colonics, and there are many home colon cleansing kit accessories available. Taking probiotics can optimize digestion. Stress reduction techniques are important as well.