The idea is to eat pure and natural foods that aid the functioning of the lymph, kidneys and liver, and avoid all foods that hinder the smooth functioning of the body. While on detox diet it is advised to eat more fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and cut down on junk food and processed foods. Caffeine and alcohol consumption is cut down. Therefore, detox diet also aids in weight loss.
However, there is not enough evidence to prove that detox diets work. Many detox diet plans are nutritionally insufficient. Poor nutrition can lead to muscle loss, fatigue and irritability. Detox diet for a short period of time is harmless, but long-term use of this diet plan can cause health complications.
How can Toxins Enter the Body?
Toxins can enter the body from the food we eat and the air we breathe. Eating unhealthy foods that are high in fat, sugar, salt, additives and preservatives paves the way for toxins to build up in the body. We ingest pesticides from fruits, vegetables and grains. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption, prescription drugs also result in accumulation of toxins in the body. Our body brings in toxins and then processes those toxins through organs like liver and kidneys, and eliminate them in the form of sweat, urine, and feces.
Harmful Effects of the Toxins
Toxins buildup in the body can be indicated by a number of symptoms such as bloating
, sinus congestion, indigestion, fatigue, headache, joint pain, weight gain, insomnia
, irritability, dull skin, constipation
, lowered immunity, cellulite formation and a general lack of wellbeing.
Impaired detoxification can cause a number of diseases such as fibromyalgia
, Parkinson's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome
, arthritis, allergies, thyroid dysfunction
and heart disease.
What is the Detox Diet Plan?
The idea of detox diet plan is to eliminate the accumulated toxins and cleanse the body. It is a general belief that most food items are contaminated by various ingredients deemed unnecessary for human life, such as flavor enhancers, food colorings, and artificial preservatives
. The detox diet aims at eliminating these toxins from the body.
Although there are different types of detox diets, most of them involve giving up certain types of food for a couple of days and then gradually reintroducing them into your diet
. This will cause the body to burn accumulated fats. Also, the limited calorie intake leads to weight loss
. A good detox diet should limit the intake of processed, high-fat and sugary foods and replaces them with more fruits and vegetables. Food additives
and preservatives in processed foods can cause food cravings, food allergies
, poor digestive health and weight gain. The foods included and excluded can vary widely amongst different detox diets. But generally, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, herbal teas and increased amounts of water are allowed. In contrast, wheat, dairy, meat, fish, eggs, caffeine, alcohol, salt, sugar and processed foods are excluded.
People on detox diets are also encouraged to chew their food thoroughly, to drink very little while eating, and to relax prior to each meal. Following are the list of foods to be included and avoided in the detox diet plan. Foods to Include:
Foods to Exclude:
- Green Tea
- Grape Fruit
- Processed foods
- Caffeinated beverages
- Sweets, candies and chocolates
- Red meat
The scientific community is not convinced of the efficacy of detox diet. There is simply no scientific evidence to suggest that a healthy human body needs help to get rid of waste products. There is little proof to support the claims that detox diets work efficiently
. Quite rightly, most nutritionists, dietitians and doctors believe that our body is completely capable of excreting waste without the aid of ‘detoxification
’ - that is what our liver, lungs, kidneys and skin are designed to do. Most experts also say that strict detox diets followed in the long-term, can lead to nutrient deficiencies and health problems associated with this. The detox diet will be beneficial only when it limits the intake of processed foods
high in fat and sugar. This approach will help those who are living with high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Advantages of Detox Diet
- Removal of harmful toxins from the body
- Rejuvenates the body
- Boosts energy levels
- Improves digestion
- Makes the skin glow
- Helps develop healthy eating habits
- Makes a person feel healthier and can recover from illnesses.
- Aids in weight loss
Limitations of Detox Diet
- Detox diets can be short on many nutrients, leading to certain deficiencies and lowered immunity.
- The weight loss achieved is usually temporary. It is due to loss of water and fat due to severe calorie restriction.
- Patients who follow the detox diet experience side effects like tiredness, joint ache, and body pain.
- Strict detox plans can cause the development of an unhealthy obsession with food and a potential eating disorder.
- Detox foods involve eating the same foods throughout the diet plan.
Detox RecipeHealthy Detox Smoothie
The detox smoothie is refreshing and nutrient dense. Detox smoothie flushes out the harmful toxins and makes the skin glow. It is rich in fiber, vitamin A, K and potassium. This smoothie helps prevent cravings for junk foods and keeps hunger at bay. Ingredients:
- 1/2 Green apple Spinach leaves 1/2 cup
- Pineapple juice 150 ml
- Avocado 1/4 cup
- Broccoli florets 4 to 5
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Refrigerate if required and serve.