Cleansing detox diets have become increasingly popular as a quick weight-loss method for improved health. A detox involves eliminating the toxins that accumulate daily in our bodies from what we eat and drink, our environment and the chemicals we use. These toxins build up in the body and contribute to poor energy levels, weight gain and an increased risk of serious health diseases. However, detox diets may be harmful to your health without the supervision of a physician and if conducted long term. Consider implementing aspects of a cleansing detox diet as a transition into a healthy lifestyle.
Conduct a healthy detox diet only in the short term. Most cleanses range between three to 10 days. Longer diet plans should be under the consultation of a medical professional who can determine your dietary needs. A main goal of a cleanse is to establish a healthier digestive system, giving it time to rest and recover from having to digest high fat and sugary foods. However, if conducted for long periods, there is a risk of decreasing the supply of healthy bacteria in the gut needed for normal digestive processes.
A healthy cleanse generally involves consuming plenty of fluids. Water aids in the elimination of waste products, pushing food through the digestive tract. This helps prevent constipation as well as decreasing stomach bloat and water retention. Drink 8 to 10 cups of water daily or more, depending on your activity level and needs. In addition to water, prepared vegetable juices and smoothies are also a main focus of many detoxes as these drinks provide essential nutrients to improve your health.
Fruits and Vegetables
A cleansing diet should have fresh fruits and vegetables as its foundation. Fruits and vegetables are rich in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for normal body functions, hormonal balance, skin health and the reproductive system. Many, such as artichokes, broccoli and berries, are also rich in antioxidants which help prevent certain cancers and the risk of heart disease. Produce is also a source of dietary fiber which helps fill you up and stabilize blood sugar, which prevents hunger and food cravings.
A cleansing detox diet should contain sources of fiber to help eliminate waste and toxins. Dietary fiber is an essential nutrient that aids in the regulation of the digestive system, moving food through the intestinal tract and bulking up stools. It is the part of plant foods that is not digested or absorbed in the gut, meaning that it passes through to help flush the body without adding excess calories or fat. Healthy high-fiber foods to include in a detox are fruits with the skin such as apples and pears; vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and carrots; and whole-grain foods including whole-wheat bread and rolled oats.
- Mayo Clinic: Detox Diets: Do They Work? Do Detox Diets Offer Any Health Benefits?
- Detox For The Rest Of Us: Safe and Easy Plans To Cleanse Your Body, Boost Your Metabolism, Lose Weight, and Feel Great!; Carole Jacobs; 2010
- Detox Cleansing Diet: Detox Cleansing Diet
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.