In the present-day world, the usage of processed foods and consumption of unwanted materials is incredibly high. People tend to prefer processed food more than fresh. Hence, the human body encounters numerous toxins in one form or another.
Toxins are the undesirable materials received by our bodies, such as heavy metals, pollutants, and chemicals. With all the junk food, a majority consumes a considerable amount of toxins each day. So, how does one cleanse away the toxins?
Well, detoxification is the bodily process, whereby the impurities in one’s blood gets removed or eliminated by the liver.
Although your body is very much capable of dealing with the toxins, you can surely augment or speed up the process. But how?
There are multiple ways, though experts have discovered an array of foods that can help detox your body.
In today’s article, we will evaluate the foods that help detox your body in detail. Let’s dive in!
Detoxification with Food – The Concept
At times, some poisonous and dangerous substances called toxins may accumulate in the human body. The removal of these substances physiologically or via medications refers to the process of detoxification.
In earlier times, cases of detoxification got only dealt with medications at hospitals and clinics.
And depending on the severity and type of toxicity, the professionals at hospitals helped the patient recover through appropriate drugs and therapies.
Today, the term detoxification instead translates to all the DIY self-care projects and procedures that aim to wash away the accumulated toxins.
The programs intend to eradicate toxins that cause or may trigger the following:
- Digestive Distress/ Bloating
- Joint Pain
- Anxiety, etc.
A majority of the issues mentioned above get produced by the consumption of unhealthy and inappropriate food generates an imbalance in salt and sugar levels in the body. Thus, harming the body instead of benefiting it.
For that very reason, a detox diet has gained much popularity in recent years. Health-conscious individuals are eagerly adopting the body cleansing diet.
But what exactly does this diet comprise? Let’s find out!
The Best Foods To Detox your Body
As of yet, no dietician or doctor, however, designed a universal formula for the detox diet. There are several plans that you can modify as per your will. However, it depends on your taste and the availability of the eatable in your vicinity.
The following is a complete breakdown of significant sections of a detox diet and which foods should get consumed to avail of full bodily rehabilitation.
Note that you can devise a diet of yours, picking foods from every section, or begin with just one initially.
1. Animal Protein
It is natural to think that by avoiding animal protein sources, like beef, your body will be able to detoxify efficiently. However, it is a big misconception that permeates the loosely-defined concept of detoxification in our society.
Proteins are the basic building blocks of our bodies, and apart from muscle formation, the nutrient plays a crucial role in all the bodily processes.
So, the minimal or zero intakes of protein during detoxification can cause excessive weight loss.
Also, your body will not attain the energy required to carry out detoxification.
Even more, the proteins help in flushing out the toxins from the body. Without sufficient protein, the toxins will build up and create other issues.
Here are a few animal protein sources that will ensure an ample nutrient supply during the process of detoxification.
- Wild game, such as quail
- Wild-caught fish, such as salmon and sardines
Whichever animal protein source you choose, make sure that it is organic, high-quality, and has the least toxicity.
Try to avoid animal protein sources that might have encountered inappropriate farming techniques (growth hormones) and heavy metals.
Choose wild-caught fishes and wild game as they have the least chances of heavy metals and chemicals.
A wide variety of green, nutritious vegetables are used in salads, which represents their detoxifying properties. The purpose of consuming a salad (comprising of cooked and uncooked vegetables) is to:
- Gain loads of nutrients
- Lose excess weight
- Rid yourself of unhealthy carbs
- Improve muscle and heart performance
- For a better Gastrointestinal health
- To feel healthier
And hence, the vegetables are one of the primary elements of a detox diet. Scientifically, vegetables comprise phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring chemicals in plants. These chemicals help boost immune health, lower the cancer risk and cardiovascular disease.
It protect against neurodegenerative diseases, protect cells against damage, and what not.
It’s best to include more and more vegetables in your meals to cleanse your liver and protect your body. Best plants for detoxification include almost all leafy, sea, and cruciferous vegetables.
- Green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, Curly kale, Beetroot, and others provide chlorophyll to the body, which removes toxins from the bloodstream and also protects the liver by neutralizing heavy metals.
- Sea Vegetables are inclusive of Dulse, Nori, Arame, Wakame, Hijiki, Kelp that are rich in antioxidants lower the risk of estrogen-related cancers and other severe health issues.
- Cruciferous Vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts provide sulfur compounds that better the health of the liver. And they also are a good source of glucosinate, which produces detoxifying enzymes in the liver.
Other vegetables include sweet potatoes, zucchini, cucumber, okra, garlic, onion, etc. It’s best to avoid canned vegetables and consume all three vegetables in their natural, raw form, only washed and cut for easy swallowing. For a bit of flavor, you can add a few salad sauces and seasonings or cook them slightly.
Apart from vegetables, the fruits also comprise of phytonutrients that are naturally occurring compounds. Although there are several types of phytonutrients, the most common ones found in fruits include carotenoids, indoles, flavonoids, and Coumarin.
The main functions of phytonutrients in the human body are:
- Phytonutrients act as antioxidants and protect cells against damage.
- They reduce the risk of cancer, heart diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.
- They also act as anti-bacterial agents and promote better health.
- Phytonutrients help promote a healthier immune system and hormonal development.
Considering the functions of phytonutrients, it is no wonder why fruits form a prominent component of detox diets
But, from the vast assortment of fruits, which one should you eat to help the detoxification process? Here are some of the examples.
- Lemons consist of a compound called D-Limonene that activates the enzymes in the liver that helps in the transformation of toxins into harmless substances. Hence, augmenting the detoxification process. Apart from that, the lemons are rich in vitamin C and help in relieving gastric problems.
- Berries: The consumption of berries greatly assists the detoxification process, especially in the brain, by inhibiting the growth of a protein that hinders the natural brain detox. They also have antioxidant properties, such as blueberries and strawberries.
- Apples contain a compound called Pectin that helps in removing heavy metals and food additives from the body. Apart from that, the apples comprise of numerous vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
4. Breads & Grains
A majority of people are habitual of consuming refined bread and grains daily. However, these carbohydrate sources lose much of their nutrients in the refining procedure. So, when helping your body’s detoxification process, it’s better to opt for whole grains and bread.
A few examples of whole grains and bread includes:
- Brown rice
- Sprouted grain bread
With more fiber, whole grains and carbohydrate sources promote good gastrointestinal health. Also, the whole grains and bread lower the risk of heart-related problems significantly. Whole grains also comprise of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Consumption of whole grains also reduces chronic inflammation and the chances of obesity.
5. Legumes and Beans
The legumes and beans have a large concentration of fiber, which lowers cholesterol and cleanses the intestines. Thus, improving the natural detoxification in your body. Here are a few examples of legumes and beans:
- Kidney beans
- Fava beans
Apart from that, they offer numerous essential minerals that include manganese, iron, and magnesium. According to a 2014 study, the legumes also stabilizes the blood sugar levels. Legumes and beans also elevate heart as well as digestive health.
As a trend that rapidly gained popularity amongst fitness enthusiasts, the detox drinks are one of the most preferred methods of detoxifying the body.
Almost every detox drinks comprise water as its base ingredient. Thus, these drinks not only help us flush out the toxins and better our digestive tract’s performance.
But also, improve circulation, skin and hair health, and overall health. These even help to lose weight. The following are some commonly preferred detox drinks:
- Orange-Carrot Ginger Detox
- Cucumber Lemon Mint Detox Drink
- Pomegranate Juice
- Honey Lemon Ginger Tea
- Fruit Infused Tea
- Haldi-based Detox Tea
- Grapefruit and Apple Cider Vinegar Fat Flush Water
- Lemon Coconut Water
The name of each drink represents its primary and secondary ingredients. Apart from these, you can even try out detox smoothies.
The additional base ingredient of a smoothie includes small amounts of unsweetened yogurt, milk, fruits, vegetables, all blended together.
Above and overall, to detox your body, you must consume over eight glasses of water every 24 hours!
Foods To Avoid When Detoxing the Body
When adopting a detox diet, you must not only focus on the addition of foodstuff but should also equal attention to the elimination of the foods that worsen your health.
The following are some edibles that you should begin avoiding. And slowly, omit their intake substantially.
1. Processed Foods
Packaged, frozen, and processed foods often consist of artificial ingredients like petrochemicals and other harmful compounds that may increase toxicity in the liver.
The high quantity of processed sugar in these foods hinders the function of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Thus, slowing down the detoxification process.
In addition to that, the elevated amount of salt in these foods cause a disturbance in blood pressure.
2. Fats & Oils
Although oils like flaxseed oil, fish oil, and olive oil get recommended for a detox diet, some oils remain strictly prohibited like hydrogenated fats and oils. Margarine, butter, and mayonnaise should also get avoided.
From quite a young age, we’ve all considered dairy products as an elemental part of a healthy diet. As the word goes about, the more the intake, the better the health. The reality happens to be quite the opposite of that, though.
Excessive intake of dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and milk can increase acidity in the body. These are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol that can clog the arteries, which can lead to cardiovascular diseased and even prostate cancer.
For clarification, the dairy products are of little to no benefit to bones in terms of growth and repair. In place of them, you can opt for hazelnut milk, rice, almonds, and other dairy substitutes.
Now that you have learned about the foods that help detox your body, start your detox diet with better components. Do not forget about the primary purpose of a detox diet that is to boost the actual detoxification carried out by your body. Happy detox dieting!