Urbanites struggle with eating healthy food during the week and go all out with socializing over coffee and dinners over the weekend. They then go to extreme lengths to make up for the unhealthy eating habits, long working hours and sedentary lifestyle without realizing that this too is neither healthy nor sustainable. Detox diet is one such diet that they follow to make up for the unhealthy eating and go to extreme heights to get back to shape without even knowing if this really helps them or is causing any harm to their body.
So, the question here is – what is a detox diet? Is there a right way to detox?
Detox or detoxification, is the body's natural way of eliminating toxins from the body. This keeps your system naturally protected against infections and ailments. The liver and kidneys are the main organs involved in detoxification in the body. Detox diets are generally meant to cleanse and detoxify our body. These diets are generally followed for a period of 3-10 days. Periodic cleansing of the body with a detox diet helps to clear the body off toxins and lead a healthy life.
You don't have to starve yourself to detox. Just follow these simple tips to detox your body:
- Water is a vital nutrient and helps to cleanse your system. Make sure you drink at least 10-12 glasses of water every day.
- Moderate aerobic exercises for 30 minutes every day will go a long way in reducing the extra kgs gained.
- Watch the foods you eat. Include healthy, nutritious food in your daily diet.
- Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, especially dark green leafy vegetables and orange, yellow, purple and red-colored fruits and vegetables.
- Include whole grains, oil, nuts and seeds in moderation in your diet.
- Drink large amounts of fluids (apart from water) like raw juices, green tea, herbal tea and regular weak tea.
- Add yogurt for soothing your stomach and enhancing absorption of amino acids in dal.
- Foods like, turmeric, garlic, lemon, flax seeds, onion, beetroot, broccoli, wheatgrass, coriander leaves, mint leaves, etc. are believed to help in detoxifying your body.
- You may need to take supplements of vitamin B12 and iron to avoid poor metabolism and fatigue.
- Dehydration and fatigue also require protein, hence a great source of protein is a lightly cooked dal (the yellow ones please).
- Stick to light, bland khichdi as a meal. This combines protein with carbohydrates to give your body the required energy without overloading the digestive system.
- Dairy products like cheese, butter, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. should be avoided.
- Avoid sugary foods, fatty foods, processed and preserved foods.
- Avoid artificial chemicals and toxins, sweeteners and colorings, (especially aspartame: a man-made sweetener with almost no calories), flavorings and preservatives (no packet soups).
- Avoid strong teas, coffee, and carbonated drinks. These dehydrate the body and strip the Vitamin B1 from the body as well as encourage loss of important minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
- Avoid non-vegetarian food, as this takes longer to digest and puts a load on the already overloaded system.
- Junk the old saying of "treat a hangover with alcohol". Don't go near alcohol for three days at least.
Detox diets should not be followed for long term and pregnant and lactating women, children and people with severe diabetes, liver and kidney disorders should strictly avoid following any such diets.