Our bodies were not meant to absorb the myriad of toxins, chemicals and additives that we are exposed to on daily basis. Doing a detox or cleansing program based on whole foods, juices and plenty of water can help you clear out these accumulated toxins from your system. A healthy detox plan can help you drop excess weight, increase your energy and restore your health.
If you’ve made the decision to go through a detoxification program, you should make every effort to avoid foods which can hinder the process. Any cleanse or detox will likely fail if your body remains overloaded by a continual onslaught of hard-to-handle substances. It is very important that during your detox diet you eliminate the following offenders:
Avoid table sugar and other added sugars. Added sugars inhibit your body’s ability to produce certain enzymes needed in the detoxification process. High fructose corn syrup should be especially avoided. Studies indicate that its chemical structure encourage overeating and triggers the liver to pump more triglycerides into the bloodstream raising your risk for heart disease.
Even small amounts of alcohol put a heavy detoxification burden on your body, especially your liver. During your detox, avoid drinking any alcohol to give your liver a much needed break.
Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Equal and Splenda are chemically manufactured sweeteners which have been shown to create toxicity in the liver. Avoid artificial sweeteners (yes, that means diet sodas too!) at all costs during and after your detox or cleanse.
Avoid drinking more than one cup of coffee a day during your detox. If you find this is impossible, gradually cut down on the number of cups by mixing in decaffeinated coffee during the first few days until you are weaned off completely or down to just one cup a day.
Our bodies were designed to be weaned of milk as children and as a result many of us are lactose intolerant as adults (about 65 percent of the human population has some level of lactose intolerance after infancy). Even if you are not lactose intolerant, digesting dairy products places a heavy burden on our body’s detoxification system, so avoid consuming milk, cheese or other dairy products during your detox.
Avoid eating anything that contains MSG (monosodium glutamate), also known as modified food starch, carrageenan, glutamic acid and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. MSG is one of the worst food additives on the market. Although the FDA claims that consuming MSG is safe, many other experts say otherwise. MSG is an excitotoxin which means it overexcites your cells to the point of cell damage or even cell death. It is known widely as an additive to Chinese foods, but it is also often found in packaged foods such canned meats, canned soups, crackers, frozen dinners, salad dressings, seasoning packets and much more.
Don’t eat packaged foods such as such as cereals, sodas, canned soups, cookies and crackers. Most processed foods are laden with sweeteners, salts, artificial flavors, factory-created fats and preservatives, and stripped of healthy nutrients.
Pesticides Residues on Food
Although it is nearly impossible to avoid all exposure to pesticides, there are several things you can do to limit the amount you ingest through your food:
– Thoroughly wash your fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating them
– Peel your fruits and vegetables
– Buy organic products wherever possible
With the rise of low-carb diets, the consumption of meat has increased. Too much animal protein, especially red meat, can lead to digestive and other health problems. When your body cannot break down red meat properly or you consume more red meat than your liver can handle, the toxic waste products build up in your system. Avoiding red meats during your detox will allow your body to divert its energy to eliminating toxins from the body.
Starches and Refined Carbs
Avoid eating refined carbohydrates and starchy vegetables like white rice, pasta, potatoes and white breads. Many studies show that people who eat refined grains have more heart attacks, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.
Avoid Trans fat during and after your detox. Trans fatty acids impede your body’s ability to burn fat, hinder detoxification, increase fatty deposits within the liver and thicken bile. Trans fats have been shown to be twice as dangerous for your heart as saturated fat.
Wheat and Gluten
You should avoid products containing wheat or gluten during your detox or cleanse. This should reduce the workload on the liver and help your digestion making it easier for your body to eliminate toxins.
Once you get these foods out of your system and begin to notice how good you feel eating clean nutrient-dense foods, chances are that you will not want to go back to you old habits.
I’ll talk about the best detox foods my next post.