Ready, Set, Detox?

Are you shopping around for the best diet to detoxify your body? Have you been wondering how one detox plan is different from the next? Would you like to know how to go about this? To detoxify correctly, a great first step is to understand all the language related to the diet. This includes identifying its limits in terms of what it can do for you and what it cannot.

To understand whether a plan is best for you or not, begins with your reason for wanting to go through it. Do you want to shed off excess pounds? Are you looking to stay fit? Do you want to purify yourself? Whatever your reason is, ensure its clear from the get go. There are various detox diets you can use. They range from 3, 5 to 7-day plans.

Even though they are all touted as excellent, not all of them result in weight loss. In addition to that, without all the necessary information, it may not be an easy job to find out what is best for you.

How Does The Detoxification Process Work?

Essentially, in a detox your body carries out the purification process. It is the physiological or medicinal elimination of toxic waste material. The liver is the major organ responsible for the task. It removes toxic substances such as free radicals. Apart from the liver, other organs such as kidneys, lungs, skin, digestive system and the lymphatic system are involved in detoxification. When any of these systems are compromised, you may be affected as the process does not occur as it should.

On the other hand, adaptor diet lasts for a specific period. During this time, you withdraw from certain food substances after their long-term use. When you remove these toxins and consume healthy nutrients instead, you protect yourself from disease. Currently, there are four most common ways you can detoxify yourself. These include Metabolic, Drug, Alcohol and Alternative medicine.

What Are Detox Diets?

They refer to short term diets that eliminate contaminants and certain foods in an attempt at purification. This is done in a modified fasting method to eradicate toxic buildup. There are a variety of diets that differ depending on the time it takes to complete the diet, and what you can or can’t consume.  

The detox diets founded on the belief that, you ingest a lot of chemicals through the air, the beverages you drink and the food you eat. The chemicals can end up deposited in your body and the cumulative chemical load may result in disease. This is referred to as “the body burden.”Some of these chemicals translate to toxins in the body. They include food, additives, pesticides, drugs, household cleaners, pollution and cigarette smoke. They are associated with hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies and impaired immune function.

In all detoxes, there is a list of recommended foods, and those that you should avoid. This is based on the specific diet. When selecting a diet, choose one that offers you basic nutritional support. Avoid indulging in a diet that places you in starvation mode. Some diets allow an easy-to-digest diet, while others recommend only juices.

Whatever detoxing plan you select, expect to increase the frequency of urination, in addition to bowel movements. You will significantly reduce the amount of chemicals you consume by eating more organic food. To enhance the detox process, you will maximize your vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake.

When It’s Not For You

In your quest to identify the best detox diet, remember, the diet is not for everyone. It is important to consult your doctor or any other healthcare provider before beginning it. It is believed that the diet may worsen existing conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease.

If you are a pregnant or breastfeeding mother, do not attempt the diet. It is also not recommended for the elderly, teens and children. For them, the extreme changes associated with this diet can result in dizziness, fainting or a coma. This is because these diets severely affect your blood sugar and electrolyte balance.

If after starting it you experience symptoms such as indigestion, muscle pain, fatigue, cough, or poor sleep, see a doctor. These might indicate an underlying problem which may need to be addressed.

What to Eat

Fresh Fruits – When you consume them, you give yourself the essential nourishment a detox diet needs to function well. Fruits support digestion, provide energy and help you fight off disease. They have fewer calories, are rich in fiber and most are ready to eat. The more the variety you can consume, the better.

Raw Vegetables – They are considered nutrient-dense foods. This is because they are rich in minerals, vitamins and contain less calories. They are also high in phytochemicals. To obtain a higher energy density, consume them in their natural state, rather than cooked. For a wide range of vitamins and minerals, select 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. For best results, at each meal, fill half of your plate with a selection of brightly colored vegetables.

Whole Grains – Complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, wild or brown rice are great for a detox diet. Others include amaranth, tapioca, winter squash, arrowroots, teff and sweet potato. Consume them in small portions and earlier in the day. Ensure the whole grains you consume are salt-free and free from sauces. It is advisable to take unrefined whole grains more than any other type.

Please know that some people do not do well with grains. Note how you feel and if you are gluten sensitive be cautious or do not intake grains with gluten.

Nuts and Seeds – Seeds, raw nuts, nut and seed butter are great options to consume during a detox. Obtain your fat allowance from avocados and coconuts. Examples of seeds you can enjoy include flax seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, chia and Pumpkin. The nuts include cashew nuts, macadamias, almonds, walnuts, hazelnut, Brazil nut, pine nut, pecans and pistachios.  Some studies say that cashews may increase inflammation but I personally have not noted that.

Nuts and seeds contain essential fatty acids which are good for healthy brain and heart function. When you cook with oil, consider using oil made from these seeds or nuts. In case you cook with oil in your detox diet, go for olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil in limited amounts. Whatever oil you use must be unrefined, cold-pressed, and high-quality.

What to Avoid

Wheat and Gluten – Avoid any grains containing wheat such as bread, crackers, pasta, bagels and breakfast cereals. These products are made from wheat or contain some amount of wheat. Apart from wheat, you should avoid other gluten-containing foods. These include rye, wheat germ or bran, barley, couscous, semolina, bulgur, farina and triticale. For at least a week, eliminate these from your diet and consume alternate grains.

Beverages – Almost every detox diet you select requires you to avoid any caffeine-containing beverages. These include energy drinks, coffee and soft drinks.

Sugar and Sweeteners – Eliminate any type of refined sugar, whether it is white or brown. In addition to that, avoid high-fructose corn syrup and any artificial sweeteners. Even natural sweeteners such as honey, jams, and compotes should be used sparingly.  See our other article all about sugar detox here!

Condiments and Other Items – Eliminate condiments such as Ketchup, regular chocolate made from sugar and dairy, and barbeque or steak sauce. Keep away from non-dairy creamers, and spreads or salad dressings that do not contain any of the allowed ingredients. Shortening, food additives, margarine and food preservatives are also in this list.

Dairy Products and Eggs – Stay away from milk and any dairy products such as cheese, butter, sour cream and ice cream. Eggs are also a no-no in a detox diet. This includes their products such as mayonnaise.

Fish and Seafood – Eliminate shellfish from your diet. Avoid swordfish, king mackerel, bluefish, tilefish, grouper, orange roughy, and mackerel. This is because they contain moderate to high levels of mercury.  Also avoid all farm raised fish due to chemicals and antibiotics.

Meat – Meats such as beef, sausages, veal, hot dogs, pork, canned meats, deli meats and cold cuts should not be part of your diet.

The Lemon Detox Diet

It is also called the Master Cleanse or the Maple Syrup Diet. It was developed by Stanley Burroughs, author of the book The Master Cleaner. This diet pledges to cleanse your body and eliminate your cravings for tobacco, alcohol and junk food. It destroys any free radicals present.

It is a 14-day detox diet that works quite well.  It can result in weight loss, is easy, and takes less time than other plans. It not only increases your metabolism rate, it also clears the digestive tract, eradicates excess fat and offers energy.

In this time period, you cannot take any solid food. The food interferes with this drink’s impact. You are only allowed to take this detox drink made from lemonade and a mix of other ingredients. In addition to that, drink at least 2 liters of water per day. The drink can be prepared using this recipe.

For 1 glass you need:

  • 25 ml Pure Water
  • 20ml Organic Maple syrup
  • 20-30 ml lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and it is ready to drink. Only use pure water because any impurities may cause side effects. You can use it cold or warm. When using it warm, only heat it naturally in a pan instead of using a microwave.

Side Effects to Expect

As you settle for the detox diet of your choice, it is important to remember that there might be some side effects. The type of consequences you experience depend on the specific plan you are following and the period of time, you have been on it. Because you are eliminating contaminants and other harmful waste products, expect to feel different.  

Skin rashes are not uncommon. This is the results of the body releasing toxins through the skin.  It will clear up over time.

The most common side effect of any detox diet is a headache.  It starts a short while after you begin the diet and may be as a result of caffeine withdrawal. Other general effects include changes in sleep, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, aches and pains, bad breath, fatigue and intestinal discomfort. Since most plans recommend drinking a lot of water, you should expect to urinate frequently.

As your body attempts to release toxins in any way possible, you may pass gas frequently. When you are on the liquid diet, you may feel dizzy, hungry and weak. Alternatively, you may have low energy or low blood sugar. You may also feel lightheaded. In addition to these symptoms, you may also go on an emotional roller coaster. You may be irritable, depressed and anxious.  

Some of these diets can result in loss of electrolytes and dehydration, especially if the plan lasts for a prolonged period. Since most diets omit animal products, you may become protein deficient and lack calcium.

Detox Soaks

You can consider a detox bath to support a quicker removal of toxins.

Here is one option:

  1.  Add ½ a cup of freshly grated ginger or a rounded teaspoon of ginger powder in hot or warm bath water
  2. Soak for 15-20 minutes.
  3. The ginger bath will make you sweat profusely for at least an hour afterwards, so wear a bathrobe or sweat clothes.  Some find this uncomfortable but as long as you drink extra, extra water after the bath, you will be good.

Another simple option:  I have used this one effectively as well.

  1. ¼ to ½ cup of  Epsom salt
  2. ¼ to ½ cup Baking Soda
  3. ¼ to ½ cup Sea or Himalayan salt
  4. ¼  cup ginger or apple cider vinegar (not both)

You can also minimize the side effects associated with these diets by shortening the period time you engage in a detox. Also, if you notice any new symptoms or experience a worsening of existing symptoms, consult a doctor or any other qualified health professional.


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Author: Esateys Stuchiner

Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.

Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.

Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.

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