Whether it’s from the latest celebrity or fitness expert, you’ve most likely heard talk about detox cleanses. Generally, reasons why someone may want to try a “cleanse” include weight loss, general wellness (removing toxins from the body), mental health, nutrition, or reduction of substances like alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
Cleansing your body of toxins can have many benefits.
- Promoting healthy skin and hair
- Removing toxins leads to healthy, glowing skin. It may also decrease acne and clear your skin.
These diets are said to make hair shinier and also make them grow longer. This is due to the removal of toxins at the follicles, which could have been hampering the hair growth, leading to brittle, lifeless hair.
- Supporting the digestive system and weight loss
- The removal of toxins aids the absorption of vitamins and other nutrients. Detox diets are said to alter metabolism leading to better weight management.
- Boosting the immune system
- When more vitamins and minerals are absorbed into the body and vital organs begin to get healthier the immune system benefits.
- Improving mental state
- Detox diets are also to aid in sleep, focus, and clarity, playing a role in improving your mental state. In addition, these diets also help in delaying or decreasing the visible signs of aging. Detox diets are said to improve mental health as well.
- Increasing antioxidant content
- Fruits contain a lot of antioxidant-rich substances such as Vitamins A, C, E, etc. Hence, a detox diet increases the antioxidant content in the body, improving blood circulation.
- Promoting mindful eating
- Whether a detox diet works in your favor or not, your relationship with food will certainly improve for the better. This is because you become extremely aware of what you are putting in your body.
Therefore, the idea of a detox builds a healthier lifestyle. You become cautious about what you eat when you are aware of its effect on your body.
TYPES OF DETOX DIETS
The most popular cleanses among nutritionist circles will support the benefits outlined above. Be sure to consider your goals and reason for choosing a detox diet. You may also want to consult your physician if you have concerns.
Liquid-only cleanses are arguably the most popular, replacing solid foods with a selection of fruit and vegetable-based juices or smoothies. Typically, juice smoothie cleanses last anywhere between 3 to 21 days — although some people go much longer.
Multiple companies sell these kinds of cleanses. You can also buy juices and smoothies from a specialized shop or make them at home.
Drinking fruit and vegetable-based juices — as long as they’re fresh-pressed — and smoothies can definitely be healthy. These drinks are often packed with nutrients, especially if they go heavy on the veggies, and they can be a great addition to your diet.
But drinking only juices and smoothies and depriving your body of actual food is where this detox can deplete your body of protein and fat, so be cautious.
Typically a lack of protein and fat can mean you’ll spend your entire detox feeling hungry, but it can also lead to a host of other negative side effects including low blood sugar, brain fog, decreased productivity, and fatigue.
- Another trend in the cleansing world is what’s called “liver detoxes.” The aim of a liver detox is to deliver a boost to the body’s detoxifying system by improving liver function.
Though it’s never a bad idea to eat a diet that supports healthy liver function, you don’t need a formal “detox” in order to do so because the liver is well-equipped to handle the toxins you’re most often exposed to.
Instead of a full ‘detox’ consider focusing on a diet that’s rich in both raw and cooked fruits and vegetables, including soluble fiber like beans, nuts, and grains, and limiting alcohol intake. These are the essential building blocks that’ll allow your liver to operate at its peak.
- Most cleanses attempt to get rid of toxins through dietary changes. But there are also cleanses that attempt to flush the body from the other end.
Colon cleanses attempt to cleanse the digestive tract and rid the body of toxins by promoting bowel movements via supplements or laxatives. Colon hydrotherapy, also known as a colonic, removes waste manually by flushing the colon with water.
Either way, these cleanses work to remove built-up waste — which they claim will also remove toxins and improve overall health.
But not only are colon cleanses extremely unpleasant, but they may also be dangerous, and thus, should be done at the direction of a physician.
A safer at-home alternative would be to consume a diet high in soluble and insoluble fiber to help clear out waste. Soluble and insoluble fiber will aid in removing debris and undigested food particles from the colon that can cause bloating, painful excretion, and constipation.
INGREDIENTS YOU SHOULD INCLUDE IN YOUR DETOX DIET
If you’re looking to up your antioxidant or vitamin intake or are looking for general ways to feel better, consider some of these ingredients in your diet.
- LEMON / LIME
- Lemons and limes have antioxidant properties and are an excellent source of key vitamins, nutrients, and soluble fiber. Lemons also contain vitamin C, aid weight loss, and reduce risk of heart disease, anemia, kidney, stones, digestive issues, and even cancer. Relatedly, limes are a great source of key nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B, C, and D. Of course, adding the tart taste of lemon and lime to most beverages can introduce a refreshing flavor.
- Ginger is another healthy and flavorful ingredient in detox beverages and one of the stars in our Flavor Trends lineup for 2020. A potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, the main bioactive compound in ginger is gingerol. This substance is responsible for much of the medicinal properties in ginger. Ginger is often used to prevent nausea, reduce muscle and menstrual pain, lower blood sugars and cholesterol, and treat indigestion. Its flavor profile ranges from sweet and warm to spicy and rich.
- APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (ACV)
- No list of detox drink ingredients is complete without apple cider vinegar. Offering a multitude of health benefits, apple cider vinegar contains good bacteria for the gut, along with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that support weight control, pH balance, immune function, potassium intake, healthy digestion, and more. It’s complicated flavor – tart, dry, and woody. Companies have now found ways to skirt around the common ACV shot by creating ACV gummies.
- Made up of 92% water, watermelon is an excellent low-calorie ingredient to add to any detox drink. In addition to adding a delicate, refreshing sweetness to any beverage, a juicy watermelon can help you stay hydrated, curb your appetite, and improve your heart health. It also contains vitamins A, C, B1, B5, and B6, as well as potassium and magnesium – all supportive of a healthy body and mind.
- Cucumber is another low-calorie, nutrient- and vitamin-rich ingredient for beverages. Surprisingly, cucumber contains even more water than watermelon (96%). Cucumbers offer vitamin K and manganese, as well as supply your body with protein and fiber. Fiber is especially important as a detoxifier because it is responsible for flushing the body of waste. Its refreshing green and slightly bitter flavor makes cucumber an ideal ingredient to integrate into your next detox drink recipe.
- Full of antioxidants and vitamin C, cranberries are often considered a superfood. Cranberry juice has recently gained popularity as a detox beverage because of its high concentration of vitamins that prevent against internal infections and ulcers. This drink is commonly consumed to treat UTIs, improve immune function, and decrease blood pressure. Its sweet, tangy flavor also makes for an enjoyable treat.
- Grapefruit is one of the lowest-calorie fruits, yet it remains high in nutrients and water. In addition to providing more than 15 beneficial vitamins and minerals, including thiamine and folate, grapefruit offers protein, fiber, and a range of antioxidants. Consuming grapefruit can improve your immune system and heart health, curb your appetite, and prevent insulin resistance, diabetes, and kidney stones. It’s fresh, slightly bitter flavor can also add a new layer of complexity to your detox drink.
HOW TO DETOX THE RIGHT WAY
If you’re considering a detox diet, you want to be sure your other lifestyle habits are in line with your goals for the cleanse to ensure the best results. For example, when doing a cleanse, be sure to limit alcohol, get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, drink more water (aim for half your body weight in ounces per day), reduce intake sugar and processed foods, eat food high in prebiotics, decrease salt intake, and stay active.
An excellent supplement to use during a cleanse and year-round, is a greens powder. While it doesn’t replace the need for raw or cooked vegetables, it supports the body’s goal to boost immunity, optimizes the cleansing cycle, adds natural energy to exercise and recovery.
Transformation Protein’s Super Greens powder enhances a detox diet and your diet all year long because let’s face it, as hard as we try, our diets are not perfect 365 days a year.
Super Greens is formulated to give you a balance of the finest alkalizing greens, naturally. It will boost immunity, optimize the cleansing cycle, add natural energy to exercise and recovery. You can mix it with water and take it as a delicious drink with lemon, or add it to other shakes for your daily boost.
Super Greens helps you absorb protein better, and it also provides the nutrition equivalent of a full day’s servings of vegetables, with great taste.