Detox has become a buzz word in many health circles. Its popularity has led to a rise in products and procedures designed to cleanse toxins from the body, restore health, improve energy and digestion and ward off disease. It is true that detox can accomplish all of these things, but it is equally important that detox is done safely and gently. Taking exotic supplements, starving yourself for days on end and drinking glass after glass of surgery fruit and vegetable juices isn’t the safest or even the healthiest way to detox. The rule to remember is that your body is designed to detox naturally. If you provide it with the right ingredients to stimulate detox, your body will take care of the rest. The best news is that you don’t have to do anything extreme, and everything you need is likely to be found at the local grocery store.
The Wrong Way to Incorporate Detox
Before talking about the best way to detox it is important to understand the real purpose of detox as part of a healthy lifestyle. A focused detox can be a great way to give the body a jumpstart and make a clean slate upon which a healthier diet and lifestyle can be built. A detox isn’t designed to be an excuse for eating a consistently unhealthy diet. While a detox can be beneficial regardless of diet or lifestyle, it fits best inside a lifestyle that is already focused on being healthy.
One of the most common questions related to detox is length. In reality, your body is constantly detoxifying, and most of the foods used to stimulate detox are things you can incorporate into your diet on a daily basis. In essence, the goal of a healthy diet and lifestyle is to always be detoxifying. That said, a focused detox eliminates all other foods except those used for the detox itself. That form of detox is being covered here.
Most people just starting out will want to choose a relatively short detox length. Three to five days is all that is ever necessary for a healthy detox. Forget the weeks or months of fasting or subsisting only on water or juice. Prolonged fasting, even with healthier and more complete foods, is unnecessary, and it may deprive the body of important nutrients, such as protein, which are needed for good health.
Making Super Smoothies
The best detox system is done with primarily plant-based smoothie drinks. A person abstains from all other food for the three-to-five-day period and drinks only water and other certain drinks. A focus on liquids helps to flush toxins from the body more quickly, and it gives the digestive system time to rest.
There is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to incorporating various foods in smoothies. A person may work with a nutritionist or other detox expert to design a set of recipes that will work best for them, there are also many recipes to find online. It is important to follow a few basic rules.
The most important rule is that only whole and fresh foods should be used, and they should be organic. Anything else is just adding toxins to the body instead of promoting their elimination. Don’t cut any corners when it comes to food choices. The only possible exception is that frozen fruits and vegetables may be used instead of fresh, but they should still be organic.
It is also important to incorporate a few foods that may not be readily obvious. Flax seed powder, coconut oil and almond butter are star ingredients that shouldn’t be neglected. These ingredients provide fiber, protein and fat, all of which will help the body feel full and provide a balance of nutrients. Starvation is not the answer to detox. While a person may be slightly hungrier than usual during a focused detox, they shouldn’t feel like they’re starving.
Tea and Lemon Water
A simple drink to boost detoxifying power during a focused detox and at any other time is green tea and lemon. The tea is best consumed in the morning, while lemon infused water can be drunk throughout the day. Both ingredients have many antioxidants and nutrients to support energy, and green tea has a modest amount of caffeine compared to coffee, giving a boost without going over the top.
Increasing your overall water intake is important. The body needs more liquids in order to flush toxins safely. Aim to drink lemon water throughout the day, and drink an extra glass in the morning.
When a person’s gut flora are properly in balance, the body’s ability to detoxify and absorb vital nutrients is greatly increased. Probiotic supplements are the best way to help this process during a focused detox. Take one probiotic supplement in the morning upon waking and before the breakfast smoothie.
Detox does not have to be something that is loathed or feared. When a detox is done correctly, it should result in feeling relieved and energetic not hungry and lethargic. A safe detox that focuses on plant-based foods and incorporates a wide variety of nutrient-packed smoothies can be done at any age, fitness or health level. There is basically no medical risk associated with balanced, food-based detox, and it works with the body’s natural systems.