As summer approaches with the end of school, prom season, and the beginning of wedding season, people are more inclined to try detox diets. Detoxification is a constant natural bodily function in which important nutrients are utilized and toxins are created in order to remove unnecessary waste products via excretion. If the amount of toxins stored exceeds the amount of toxins excreted, they will be stored in bone, soft tissue, and fat cells. This can predispose an individual to health risks, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and weight gain. Some reasons people partake in detox diets include: enhancing immune function, to remove toxins from the body, to prevent chronic disease, to increase energy, and to improve quality of life. The main reason people tend to go on detox diets is to speed up metabolism in order to lose weight quickly.
A lot of detox programs encourage individuals to remove processed foods and common allergens, such as dairy, gluten, eggs, and peanuts. Foods that are typically recommended during the detoxification process include: organically grown vegetables, fruit, whole non-gluten grains, nuts, seeds, and lean protein. Some programs encourage fasting, which can be dangerous due to the fact that it may suppress detoxification pathways in the body.
If you’re going to go on a detox diet, make sure you consult with that a certified health practitioner, such as an integrative and functional medicine dietitian, before beginning a detox program.
If you’re not interested in partaking in a strenuous detox program, here are some ways to encourage the natural detoxification process in the body:
- · Stay hydrated by drinking about eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day.
- · Eat five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
- · Consume adequate amounts of fiber each day from vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
- · Eat vegetables like berries, artichokes, garlic, onions, leeks, turmeric and milk thistle, and drink green tea.
- · In order to maintain optimum levels of glutathione, the body's master detoxification enzyme, adequate protein intake should be consumed.
- · Consider taking a multivitamin/multi mineral in order to make up for any vitamin and mineral deficiencies to enable the body's detoxification processes to function.
- · To manage toxins that are produced from microbes in the gut, eat naturally fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. Probiotics encourage proper function, as well.
- · N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a precursor to glutathione, is often recommended to support the body's natural detoxification activity.
- · Maintain bowel regularity.