Are Detox Diets really working?

What is detox dieting?

Detoxification of the body is not a new concept, though the hype of Gwyneth Paltrow has made it as a popular fad, especially among women who put almost everything on stake to get some glow and shed some pounds. Well, the premise of detoxification of body or to say detox diet started in Ancient Egypt and Greek culture where the idea of autointoxication was prevalent in the society. It is based on the humoral theory of health where four humors themselves can decay and produce toxins and thus harm the body to the maximum. In the present context, body cleansing is a resurgence, considered it in alternative medicine.

Detoxification is an umbrella concept where along with dieting other practices such as fasting, chelation therapy, colon cleansing etc. are also practised.

Our diets contain lost of contamination such as flavor enhancers, food colorings, preservatives etc. and a detox diet claims to get rid of all those ingredients that are considered as contamination. It can be an extremely limited set of foods (juice and water only) or eliminating certain types of food from the diet or even taking food high in fiber. These foods claim to burn the accumulated, stored fats and release fat stored toxins into the blood, which eventually pass through skin, urine, faces etc.

How does detoxification work?

Detoxification is principally meant to clean the blood, eliminating impurities from the blood in the liver. Certain ingredients in food eliminate toxins through kidneys (urine), intestines (stool)m lymph, skin (sweat) and lungs. Our daily lifestyle and food habit have compromised our system so contamination can’t properly filter.

Some people fast to detox the body. In Hindu culture in specific religion ceremonies, people fast, though these are purely for religious purpose in way fasting helps to keep them healthy. It gives rest to the digestive organs and stimulates the liver.

A detox diet can also improve circulation of blood and refuelling the body with healthy nutrients.

How do you know you need a detox diet?

There is no specific symptom for a detox diet after all detoxification is not a prescription, but ideally, everyone at least detoxes their body once a year. Nevertheless, always keep your doctor in the loop while you take some extreme dietary plan, especially for nursing mothers, children, chronic degenerative diseases and others.

If you feel low and suffer from fatigue for a long time, you can consult your doctor for a detoxification diet. Some common symptoms are:

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Sluggish elimination
  • Irritated skin
  • Allergies
  • Low-grade infections
  • Puffy eye or bags under the eyes
  • Bloating
  • Menstrual problems
  • Mental confusion

What you can and what you can’t eat in detox diet

It depends on your physical nature and of course, your preference. Do not try to adapt anything that your body repulses, so you can adopt many detox diets including fasting, drinking liquids, juice diet or diet on fruits and vegetables. Detox diets are short diets, typically from a week to 10 days.

Many people don’t feel good when they are hungry or nutrient-poor diets. You must aware of the potential side-effects of long term low-calorie/low-nutrient diets such as low blood sugar, muscle ache, fatigue, lightheaded, nausea etc. if detoxification appeals, you can always take diets on fruits and vegetables. Or you can adopt a diet based on whole foods without a lot of processing with occasional lean protein.

10 ways to detoxify your body with any specialized diet

  • Eat plenty of fiber including organically-grown fresh fruits and green vegetables. Some vegetables such as radishes, artichokes, spirulina, seaweed have a good amount of antioxidant property.
  • To keep your liver healthy and strong, eat the dandelion root, burdock, milk thistle and drink green tea.
  • Take the optimum level of vitamin C, which produces glutathione that eliminates toxins from your body.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Practice deep breathing for at least 10 minutes a day to allow oxygen to circulate in your system.
  • Think positive and live a stress-free life.

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