What is a Detox Diet? Weight Loss and Cleansing Information
Related articles on detoxification
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
Are you considering detoxing but are confused by all the ads for detox diets and cleanse programs? This article addresses some important detoxification information that may be useful.
There are definitely foods which are cleansing and detoxing in nature. Raw fruits and veggies are naturally cleansing and detoxing, as well as supportive to the entire digestive and eliminatory system. In fact, raw foodism is a practice of eating all or almost all your foods in a raw state and I believe it’s one of the healthiest ways to live. If there were to be an eating regimen that I’d consider a detox diet, raw foodism would probably come closest to fitting that bill.
There are also foods that lend themselves to clogging up the system with waste and/or toxins. Foods made with refined sugar or white flour are unhealthy for the digestive and eliminatory system.
Even though there are foods that fall into both the cleansing and the clogging categories, there is no single detox diet. Rather, there are many detox programs, some of which are called a detox diet, but most of which focus on a one to three-week cleanse regimen designed to remove toxins, chemicals, heavy metals and old waste from the body.
Most who advocate cleansing see it as more of a lifestyle choic that is about health and not weight loss. The term detox diet kind of ties into the weight loss movement and even though cleansing can definitely take off pounds, especially in the abdominal area, it is not considered a weight loss program in and of itself. Other healthy lifestyle choices must always accompany detoxification regimens for the to make a lasting effect in a person’s life.
Factors in undergoing a detox diet:
Calorie restriction is considered beneficial during a detox. Although not everyone can or should fast while detoxing, it is best to reduce the stress and work on the digestive and eliminatory system while cleansing by calorie restiction. Who should use caution when fasting: diabetics and menustrating women
Processed foods and fried foods should also be avoided when detoxing and really, just avoided for better health in general. Frying in anything other than coconut oil results in a very unhealthy mutation of fat called oxidized fat so limiting fried foods is a really good idea.
Meats, unless organic, contain chemicals, antibiotics and possibly steroids. Also, the way cattle and chickens are processed leads to the fight or flight adrenal release just before death, which pumps adrenalin into the tissues. This is not healthy meat to eat.
Certain types of fish can be toxic, such as tuna which can contain too much mercury to eat on a regular basis (cilantro helps chelate out mercury, by the way. you can eat it fresh or use a cilantro tincture), while other fish (such as wild salmon) are considered perfect for a detox diet or, rather, what you eat while detoxing if not fasting or juice fasting. I have some concerns about strictly juice fasting, due to the very high sugar content, and think it is good to add veggie juices to the mix. Cabbage is particularly cleansing and carrot juice quite good during a cleanse.
Drinking more water is vital during a detox or cleanse. Most people don’t drink enough water on a daily basis anyway but when the body is dumping toxins, the kidneys, colon and skin (our biggest eliminatory organ) all need even more water to help keep the waste moving and avoid a healing crisis or unnecessary discomfort while cleansing. I recommend alkaline water because of it’s beneficial effect on ph levels. When detoxing, it is generally suggested that caffeine, alcohol, white flour products, refined sugar products, meats and processed foods be foregone.
Internal cleanses abound!
Some are specific to one organ, like a colon cleanse, liver cleanse or kidney cleanse, while others are more comprehensive and address all the major systems including blood purification, parasites, heavy metals and the lymph system. As a general rule, the more comprehensive the cleanse, the more chance for a healing crisis and the more important is is to schedule time off from work for the first day or two, to give your body ample time to rest while the detoxification begins.
One of the more popular cleanses out there is the master cleanse, also called the lemonade detox diet. guide to the lemonade diet
Some are based on sound herbal, ayurvedic, homeopathic or nutritional guidelines and others are just plain bunk. It pays to compare cleanses before deciding on which one if best for you.