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Detox: Hype vs Health

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Watercress contains phytochemicals with disease-fighting antioxidants and 22 vitamins and minerals.

As one who has been a believer in the benefits of detoxing, recent research into this matter has proven to be quite an eye-opener. We hear a lot about the purported health benefits of a cleanse or detox.

According to sources such as the Cleveland Clinic and WebMD, detox diets while popular aren’t proven to actually flush toxins out of your system. In fact, detox diets can actually do more harm than good, especially if you already have preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Why might we be doing more harm to ourselves?

Our bodies have the ability to naturally detox. It is the job of our digestive tract, liver, kidneys and skin to break down toxins for elimination through urine, stool and sweat. Solid foods are the most sensible way to eat if you’re trying to reset your system. Of course, you’ll want to stay away from processed food and foods that are high in sugar and salt content. 

So where do you begin?

Eating the right foods including cruciferous vegetables, berries, garlic and spices like turmeric helps the body detoxify through various pathways.

Improve your gut health with good bacteria and nutrients to reestablish balance in the digestive system

Reduce inflammation which is caused by toxicity through an anti-inflammatory diet of wild-caught seafood, plant foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids including flaxseed and chia seeds, lots of non-starchy vegetables, and spices including turmeric

Drink plenty of clean water. Hydration keeps cellular performance at its optimum peak


Your guide to suggested foods to help you do a reset.

Detoxing

Detoxing is a great way to reset your system or to jumpstart a new way of eating. For more sustainable results, using whole foods, and when able, organic fruits and vegetables will provide your body with the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it needs to have balance. Health benefits include increased energy, reduced food cravings and lowered stress levels.  You will also discover that you are making better choices for yourself.

Fats & Oils

Not all fats are created equal. In fact, some are created for the good of our bodies. Natural fats and oils like extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil provide energy for the detox and bio-transformation processes. Healthy fats found in foods like avocado, nuts, salmon, and extra-virgin olive oil have many benefits: they provide the body with lasting energy, keep you feeling full longer, and help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins. These “healthy fats” can improve cholesterol levels, decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease, promote better sugar control and insulin levels, lower blood pressure and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain super nutrients and minerals that help regulate blood glucose levels, fiber which keeps you fuller longer, heart-healthy fats to help keep the immune system functioning properly and helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body. A handful of these each day, can help with weight loss, fight off obesity and diabetes. Best nuts and seeds include, but are not limited to almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds and pistachio.

Protein

Protein is one of the crucial macro-nutrients that helps in building muscles, repairing tissues, weight management, boosting the immune system and improving brain function. Whether you’re vegetarian or a meat-eater, good sources of proteins are not hard to find. Variety for vegetarians include nuts, seeds, soy products like tofu, dairy products, and legumes including a variety of beans such as pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and split peas. Meat-eaters can choose from eggs, turkey, cooked lean meat, and fish.

Legumes

Beans and legumes contain high levels of fiber which help to regulate your digestive system. They’re loaded with plant protein, and antioxidants that help free the body of harmful free radicals, clearing your system and creating a strong immune system. Included in this group are chickpeas aka garbanzo beans, lentils, peas, kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, pinto beans and navy beans.

Fruit

An apple a day really can keep the doctor away. The nutrients in fruit are vital for health and maintenance of your body. The potassium in fruit can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss as you age.

Lemons are among the best fruits to detox your body, and improve digestion and kidney health. The high vitamin C content helps boost your body’s natural defenses.

Vegetables

Vegetables are a source of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, folate (folic acid) and vitamins A, E and C. The nutrients in vegetables are vital for the health and maintenance of your body and may even reduce the risk for stroke, cancer, heart diseases and Type-2 diabetes.

Leafy greens from the cruciferous vegetable family, such as kale, collards, broccoli and spinach, are some of the most nutrient-dense foods that can help burn fat and detox the body.


Resources:
https://www.webmd.com/diet/a-z/detox-diets
https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/detoxes-and-cleanses-what-you-need-to-know
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diet-nutrition/changing-habits-better-health
https://maxliving.com/healthy-articles/natural-body-cleanses



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