The Detox Diet - Learn all about different detox diets

A detox diet is a short-term diet, often 3- to 21 days, focused on removing toxins from the body. Although detoxification is ongoing in the body, toxins and stress prevent us from doing it optimally, which can eventually affect other systems in the body. A detox diet allows our bodies to focus on self-healing, with the goal being to raise energy levels, stimulate digestive health, clear headaches, remove bloating, improve concentration and mood, avoid getting allergies, regain our natural ability to ward off colds and flu, and prevent premature aging and disease.

Considering the touted benefits, it’s easy to see why a detox diet may appeal to some. Find out whether a detox diet is right for you and if it is, how to get started.

1) Is a Detox Diet Right For You?
Keep in mind that detox diets are not intended to cure disease. Instead, they are designed to clear obstacles to health and allow all body systems to run more efficiently.

People who are exhausted and have low blood pressure may have a syndrome not recognized by most traditional doctors, but identified and treated by holistic doctors, called adrenal weakness or fatigue. It is often brought on by prolonged stress. A detox diet is usually done after the adrenal glands have been replenished holistically through herbs, diet, and other adrenal remedies

If you're considering a detox diet, it's important to consult with your doctor prior to starting. People with certain health conditions (such as anemia, diabetes, and kidney disease) should either avoid this diet or perform detox only under the supervision of a health care provider. The detox diet is also unsafe for pregnant or nursing women.

2) Brush up on the Basics of Detox Diets
Although there are many types of detox diets, most eliminate foods that contain potentially harmful substances and allow foods that support the body's natural ability to rid itself of toxins, such as dark, leafy green vegetables. Overall food intake is usually reduced, ranging from small meals to full-fledged juice fasts:
  • The Master Cleanse - Also called the lemonade diet, a fast that involves drinking only lemonade, grade B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper.
  • Juice fasting - A type of fast that calls for consuming only fresh vegetable and fruit juices, such as beet juice and wheatgrass juice, and water. Juice fasts include the Blueprint Cleanse.
  • Smoothie and shake fasting - Involves drinking pureed or blended vegetable and fruit smoothies, especially green smoothies.
  • Commercial cleanse programs - Specially designed protein powders, vitamins, nutrients for detoxification. Examples include the Acai cleanse, Colon Clenz, BIO15 Clense & Deep Detox
  • Raw food detox diet - Based on the raw food diet. Involves only eating food that is raw or hasn't been heated above 118 degrees.
  • Ayurvedic detox diet - An Ayurvedic cleansing and rejuvenation plan called pancha karma.
Other diets can be used on their own as detox diets, including the brown rice diet, elimination diet, deep detox diet, macrobiotic diet, and a digestive cleanse.

3) Action Plan - Getting Started on a Detox Diet
This detox diet can be followed for 3 days, 5 days, 7 days, or longer. It is not as restrictive as a Juice fast or the Deep Detox, and people are usually able to follow it while continuing with their everyday lives. Fasting, on the other hand, often has the best results when a person is able to go on a retreat or take a break from their daily routine, because they can result in nausea, headaches, weakness, and other side effects of the intense detoxification process.

The diet eliminates potential dietary allergens, dietary toxins and chemicals (such as pesticide residues), and foods that have an inflammatory effect in the body. Processed foods are also minimized. There is an emphasis on reducing acidity and mucus in the body and creating a more alkaline environment. For example, Deep Detox contains Ume (Japanese Plums) which is 50X concentration and is one of the most alkaline fruits.BIO15 diet is a probiotic detox that clenses the gut using 15 clinically proven strains of lactic acid bacteria.

Cleanses and detox diets have long been used in eastern cultures as a way to maintain optimal health and prevent disease. Knowing your Ayurvedic dosha, or "type", can help you customize your detox diet, by allowing you to choose foods thought to support your type.

4) Keep Things Running Smoothly - Have Regular Bowel Movements
Getting rid of stools and urine is your body's main method of getting rid of toxic substances. Regular bowel movements are needed to prevent toxins that are released from the bloodstream into the intestines from being reabsorbed into the body. Getting fiber from food is important. Supplements, such as psyllium, triphala, and other remedies may also prevent constipation. In some cases, a colonic is needed. It's also helpful to know what healthy and unhealthy stools and bowel movements look like.

Get enough fluid by drinking plenty of filtered water, ginger tea, lemon water, herbal detox teas, fresh vegetable juices, or an alkaline broth.

5) Stock Up on Tools for Detox Success
The following tools can help you make the most of the detox diet:

 · The liver requires certain nutrients in order to produce the enzymes and antioxidants needed for detoxification. Herbs such as chlorella and burdock can be used to support detox.

· Dry skin brushing can help remove dead skin and promote the elimination of toxins through skin.

 · Help yourself stay focused, motivated, and calm during the diet. Learn how to breathe with diaphragm and learn a simple meditation skill to practice anywhere.

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