Detox – dos and don’ts

I found this article extremely useful in addition to the herbal detox plan I am following. I’m also reading a ton of books on raw food and such, and am getting confused by all the options. Good to stick back to the ‘basics’.

Detox – What To Eat
Detox, short for detoxification, is the removal of potentially toxic substances from the body, including alcohol, caffeine and other chemicals found in foods. A detox diet is a good way of limiting the toxins you allow to enter the body, whilst enhancing the organs’ ability to remove them from your system. Here’s how to do it properly.

Step 1:
Organic Food
Try to buy organic food whilst you are detoxing, as non-organic farming methods use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. If your budget can’t stretch to organic products, or if they’re simply not available, then ensure that you wash all fruit and veggies thoroughly to remove unwanted toxins.

Step 2:
Fruit and Vegetables
Stock up on plenty of fruit and vegetables as these will be making up the bulk of your diet. Try to eat at least five portions each day. Apples, bananas, kiwi fruit, all types of berries, broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower will all help to decrease your risk of cancer, boost your immune system and prevent heart disease.

Step 3:
Grains and Pulses
During your detox, try to avoid wheat products such as breads, pasta and cereals. Gluten, the protein found in wheat, is difficult to digest for a growing number of people, resulting in constipation and bloating. Instead, try to substitute these for one wholegrain product per day such as brown rice, millet and Quinoa.

Eat plenty of pulses such as beans, peas and lentils which are all superb sources of protein and fibre.

Step 4:
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds help to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease as well as being good sources of fatty acids, so try to eat a couple of tablespoons worth per day. Make sure you eat them raw and unsalted as roasting them destroys the Vitamin E they contain.

Step 5:
Meat and Fish
Avoid eating meat and meat products during your detox as humans find it difficult to digest quickly, meaning unwanted toxins can be released into the body through the intestines. Instead try to eat 3-5 portions of fish a week as it is a good source of protein and essential fatty acids. Wherever possible try to eat fresh fish that has not been farmed as these can contain chemicals used to ward off parasites.

Step 6:
Non-Dairy foods
Avoid all Cow’s milk products during your Detox as they increase the body’s production of mucus, which can clog up sinuses and the respiratory system. As an alternative you could try goats milk or soy milk products as these are digested much more easily by the body.

Step 7:
All coffee and tea should be avoided due to their caffeine content, and even decaffeinated versions can contain lots of chemicals used in the removal of the caffeine. Alcohol consumption is also not permitted as it can have detrimental effects on the nutrients you are consuming. Instead, drink plenty of water, about 1.5 – 2 litres per day, as being correctly hydrated will decrease tiredness, headaches and improve concentration. Herbal teas and fresh fruit juices are also acceptable drinks whilst on a detox as they are a great source of further vitamins and minerals.

Step 8:
Before you plan to follow any detox programme you should seek medical advice if you are:
** pregnant
** breast-feeding
** taking prescription medications
** currently undergoing any medical treatment
** or recovering from a serious illness or major surgery

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