Did you know that the human body is quite complex? It is constantly working for us day and night. One of the things that we can do to ensure our body remains healthy is to make the right food choices and lead an active lifestyle.
But we have all heard that we need to DETOX our body from time to time, after days of binge eating, or right after holidays. We are told to believe that detoxification is required to flush out toxins from our body, and there are tons of so called ‘detox diets’ making rounds on the internet these days.
So do we really need to detox? Do detox diets actually work?
Don’t worry, I am not going to tell you to follow a fancy diet routine or an unreasonable plan. Let’s dig a little deeper to find out.
First, we need to understand that our various body organs are doing their job around the clock. Our kidneys, liver and intestines are real superstars in the process of detoxification.
To be a little more precise – The kidneys are small, bean-shaped organs that collects all the waste. They work to remove toxins and waste from your body in the form of urine. Your liver deals with your bloodstream to do pretty much the same thing. The small intestine breaks down food, then helps your bloodstream absorb the nutrients. After that, your large intestine processes any leftover waste and helps transform it into stool.
So while these fancy and restrictive detox diets full of green juices and smoothies may provide an extra dose of vitamins and minerals, they starve and deprive you of balanced diet, and there is no evidence that these directly help flush toxins out of the body.
So should you go on a detox diet or not?
The answer is No, you can’t detox your body artificially. It is a myth. But the good news is that there are certain dietary and lifestyle modifications that can help support and enhance the body’s natural detoxification process in a healthy and sustainable way.
If you follow these tips, you can help detox your body every single day.
1. Set your eating window
When you eat your meal is as important as what you eat. I recommend setting a time-based eating pattern, where you eat within an 8 hour of window during the day, and fast for 16 hours.
The time intervals of fasting and eating can vary for different people. So experiment and see what works well for you. Most importantly, do not starve yourself, just try to find the right balance.
2. Consume raw and fermented food daily
You should add fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily diet, and also include fermented items like curd, idli, dhokla, kanji, kefir and pickles. This helps with formation of good bacteria leading to improved gut health that promotes healthy elimination.
3. Watch your intake of fat-soluble vitamins
Fat soluble vitamins come from fats. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are essential for the body, but because these are stored in the liver for long periods of time, they can pose a greater risk for toxicity when consumed in excess.
If you are a normal healthy individual and eating a well-balanced diet, the chances of toxicity are low. But taking vitamin supplements that contain high amounts of vitamins A, D, E and K may lead to toxicity.
4. Focus on plant-based diet
If you are a non-vegetarian, make sure to add plant-based foods to you diet as well. A non-vegetarian diet has the most toxins and it is essential to limit its intake if our goal is to help our liver relax.
So focus on having a proper balanced ratio of plant based and animal source foods.
5. Avoid Processed/Refined foods
Say No to vegetable oils, white sugar, refined flour, or any other kind of highly processed or packaged items. It has absolutely no advantage because most of the nutrients and fibers are removed from it and what you get is ‘empty calories’.
This can drastically increase the chances of many diseases including obesity, diabetes and heart problems, which affects the organs responsible for detoxifying, such as your liver and kidneys.
6. Remember to stay hydrated
It is important to remain hydrated to support healthy body functions. Include concoctions of jeera or ajwain water or different types of infused waters to keep your body on a hydration mode.
Drinking infused water throughout the day will further help the natural process of detoxification. Most importantly, water allows your body’s detoxification system to remove waste products from your blood.
7. Focus on sleep
Sleeping allows your brain to reorganize and recharge itself, as well as remove toxic waste byproducts that have accumulated throughout the day.
If you are sleep deprived, your body does not get the time to perform those functions, and toxins can build up and affect several aspects of your health.
8. Get active
I don’t think I really need to explain the benefits of exercising :), but the point here is that regular physical activity is known to reduce inflammation which allows your body’s detoxication system to work properly.
So keep moving, and do not lead a sedentary lifestyle.
If you follow these tips, it will not only support your body’s internal detoxification system, but will help build a strong immune system, reduce your food cravings, boost your energy levels and make you feel overall healthier.
So enjoy a balanced diet and develop healthy eating habits, and your body will reward you by detoxifying around the clock.