The Basics of Detoxifying Your Body

It seems everyone these days is hopping on the body cleanse and detox bandwagon. It's true that many cultures around the world have been practicing this for centuries. What's important is for anyone looking to go on these types of diets fully educate themselves on the healthy and unhealthy ways to detox. The truth is there are principles of detox diets that can help you learn how to eat clean and rid your body of toxins. Here 5 basic steps you can take. 

Technically, any toxin is a poison produced through biological processes. Many man made chemicals are also considered toxins. Air pollutants like ozone and nitrogen dioxide have been linked to a range of health problems. 

However, undergoing an internal cleanse isn't going to help your body rid of all toxins any faster or more effectively. The body is well equipped to get rid of toxins all on its own.

If you have a well-balanced diet, and eat from all the recommended food groups (remember your plate needs to have all the colors) then a cleanse probably isn't necessary. Cleansing doesn't always equal losing weight. It's a process to clean the body of toxins but not necessarily burning fat.

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1. Liquids: The more the better. Filtered water, herbal teas (many include milk thistle, burdock root or dandelion to help the liver and kidneys), green tea, green drinks (wheat grass, spirulina) are some of the best options. You can also drink fresh pressed vegetable juice (carrot, beet, celery, cucumber, cabbage, parsley, ginger, greens), vegeatable broth or aloe vera juice which helps clean your intestines. 

2. Healthy grains: Eat brown rice, wild, wehani, or red rice. Other healthy option are quinoa, oats, buckwheat, millet or sprouted grain (wheat-free)

3. Plant and Animal-based Protein: Fresh small white fish, wild salmon, lentils, split peas, chickpeas, black, kidney, white or pinto beans are a great option.

4. Dairy substitutes: Rice, almond or even hazelnut milk but avoid soy milk. 

 

5. Nuts and seeds: Raw or dry roasted walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds or nut butters are a great option and help keep you full. They also have no added oils or sugars

6. 9 servings of veggies per day: Yes that's right, 9. Veggies should include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, onion, burdock root, turnips, rutabaga, leeks and dark leafy greens like kale, collards or watercress. Other good choices are field greens like arugula, organic mesclun, romaine, red and green leaf lettuce. 

7. Fruits: Seasonal, organic fruits are the best choice always. 

8. Healthy fats: Avocado, nuts, flazseed, olive oil, and fish oil are the optimal fats you should eat during a detox. 

9. No sweeteners are in strict detox diets. But if you do need to use them sparingly, you can try brown rice syrup, fruit sweetener, maple syrup, agave nectar or stevia.