How to Detox Naturally (Without Crapping Your Pants)
Detox is a term commonly thrown around in the world of weightloss, but what exactly does detoxing mean? Well, I'll tell you one thing, it sure as hell does not mean taking some over-the-counter pill labeled "detox" that is full of God-knows-what and makes you shit six ways from Sunday.
Detox simply means to remove toxins from the body. Guess what? Everyone's body is designed to clean out toxins all by itself with a magical little thing called the liver.
Of course, we don't need to go around making our livers work harder than they already do. So I'm not knocking the detox diet. I just want you to rethink what it means. To me it simply means limiting our intake of toxic substances to begin with, and in turn filling our bodies with nutrients to help them work as best they can. Here are some simple ways to detox naturally.
Limit your intake of unhealthy food/drinks like alcohol, tobacco, sugar, pre-packaged foods, processed meats, additives and preservatives, etc. Other than the obvious things like alcohol, you basically want to avoid foods that aren't 100% natural; processed foods are harder for your body to digest and can cause tissue damage, which basically makes you age faster and can lead to disease. And I don't care how much a food product is enriched with vitamins...if it is processed, your body is not going to absorb those vitamins as well, and the damage it can cause to your body is not worth the added nutrients. You might as well be eating junk food.
Forget the food pyramid. We've been trained to fill up on good carbs and fiber from grains, but we can actually get a huge source of those, along with many vitamins and minerals from vegetables. With the no-carb diet fads, some dieters have increased their intake of wheat and other grains in order to avoid white breads and pasta. However wheat, soy flour, corn meal and other grains can be just as hard on our bodies. If you really want to detox, limit your breads and grains altogether and focus on veggies, particularly the leafy green variety.
Limit your meat intake. Now, I know, a lot of nutritionists claim lean meats can be a healthy source of protien, but most meats contain preservatives, hormones and antibiotics that greatly contribute to diseases. Unless you're eating organic, grass-fed meat, skip the beef and poultry at least during your detox diet. You can at least go pesco-vegetarian, avoiding beef and poultry but still eating seafood. A lot of seafood, like whitefish and shrimp are low in calories and very high in protein. If you really start to crave a hunk of meat, go for meatier seafood, like salmon and mahi-mahi. Just make sure you avoid toxins in seafood. Follow a chart for mercury levels in seafood.
Don't cut out the fat. Eat the right kind of fat. Obviously you want to avoid fat on a detox diet, but don't eliminate them all. Saturated fats and trans fats are harmful, but you still need fats found in plant oils like olive oil, canola oil and sunflower oil. The unsaturated fats in these oils actually help to reduce cholesterol, help your body absorb nutrients, and some can lower your blood pressure or risk of stroke, etc. You can find more info about healthy and unhealthy fats on the mayoclinic.com.
Load up on healthy carbs. So you're avoiding meat and you've cut back on unhealthy carbs, so what else can you eat other than fruits and veggies? Beans, lentils, chickpeas and quinoa are all low-fat, low-cal, and high protein and fiber foods that go great with veggies. Quinoa is similar to a grain in texture, but it is actually a seed, so it is perfect for the gluten-free or vegan diet. Use it in place of rice.
Drink green tea with ginger. I'm sure you've all heard by now how great green tea is for your health. It is packed with antioxidants that will help your body guard against the toxins you can't avoid, like environmental toxins. Take it up a notch with fresh ginger root. You can get it in the produce section of most grocery stores. Peel a small piece and boil it with your tea water. The ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and will help counteract the inflammation caused by toxins.
Drink lots and lots and lots of water. It will boost your energy and get things moving if you know what I mean.