“Let food be thy medicine” – Hippocrates
In my recent article To detox, or not to detox I detailed some of the reasons that our bodies benefit from a detox diet. In this article I will go a bit further and give you an idea of what to expect and how to go about it.
The list of benefit claims of a detox diet are many, increased energy, vitality and cognitive function to name a few, however you may not feel this at first. As the toxins begin to move through your body it may cause lethargy, bouts of irritability, bowel disturbances, excess sweating, poor body odour and breath. These are temporary and usually only experienced mildly and for a short duration around the 3 to 6 day mark. This is the effect of the toxins leaving the body. They are felt differently at varying degrees by each individual. Shortly after the passing of the symptoms, energy levels, general health and wellbeing may improve.
Step 1 – remove all harmful food and liquids from the diet.
- Trans fats, commonly found in margarine and packaged baked goods.
- Petrochemical residues, can affect any foods that utilise fertilisers and pesticides in their farming, try for organic food where possible.
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), this affects any foods that are burned, such as barbequed or charbroiled meats.
- Water contaminated with metals/chemicals, using some basic water filters will be of benefit.
Limit also the obvious poor dietary choices such as alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and most processed food or drink.
Step 2 – add foods that assist in the body’s natural detoxification process.
- Follow basic healthy eating practices, keep it balanced and simple.
- Buy organic food where possible due to its inherent low toxic nature.
- Focus on green leafy vegetables, organic nuts and seeds, these will increase key phytochemicals and nutrients for the detox process.
- Use milk alternatives (nut or rice), lean proteins, natural oils (olive, coconut and avocado).
- Don’t forget to hydrate!! Avoid the sugar drinks, try some healthier alternatives that contain natural probiotics and nutrients, such as Kombucha, Kefir and lots of filtered water.
- Aim to increase raw vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits; this will add to your dietary fibre intake and help move things through your body.
Step 3 – maintain this process. A length of 4 weeks is a good target.
There is no clean cut length of time required for the perfect detox. The longer you can maintain a healthier lifestyle the better, but every bit helps, so don’t give up trying! This is a very simple overview of a very intricate process, always seek professional advice where uncertain, and remember to listen to your body.
For more advice and tips come and visit us in store.
Detoxification is an ongoing natural bodily process. Although many people may benefit from following a “detox diet” for a period, giving your body the right tools on a daily basis to do its job properly is key to sustained good health. Always remember that prevention is better than the cure, and if you want a better, healthier body then start by putting the right fuel in it.
Author: Aaron Adams (Nutritionist)
Aaron has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition and Food Studies) from Deakin Unversity in Victoria and is the Assistant Manager at Let's be Natural.