Diet and Foods To Help With a Body Detox

woman with a detox juice drinkWhat Is Detox?

Detox refers to the process of detoxifying your body. In layman’s terms, it means eliminating toxins as quickly as possible. It can be a purely medical process, such as when you’re removing heavy metals from the body after exposure. Or it may take the form of a diet and exercise regimen to help purge toxic substances from the body. 

Why Do People Detox?

There are a number of reasons why you may need to detox. You might try to detox your body after a weekend of using drugs and alcohol to try to get back to normal as fast as possible. In theory, it gets you over a hangover or drug withdrawal faster. Or you may be trying to eliminate the traces of these substances so that you can pass an employment drug test.

Some people opt for a detox diet intended to eliminate what they think are the toxins that accumulate in the body as a result of living in the modern world. The theory here is that toxins from synthetic chemicals like plastic and preservatives in processed foods adversely affect our health. 

How Do You Detox Your Body?

There are a variety of ways you can detox your body. The process always starts by drinking more water or other hydrating beverages. The average woman needs three liters of water, while the average man needs four liters. If you’re on a detox diet, they may up the quantities.

Furthermore, a detox diet for drug dependence would require you to stop consuming both that drug and anything else. For example, you’d stop using cannabis if you want to flush THC out of your system, and you’d be prohibited from drinking alcohol, either. The more frequently you used a substance, the longer the detox needs to be. This is because it takes time for these substances to be removed from your system, since it can accumulate in body fat.

A detoxification regimen will include getting high quality sleep. The brain shuts down, and the body focuses on removing wastes and healing itself. On the other hand, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going to crave sugar and fat to keep going, and that can put stress on your system. If you are chronically short of sleep, you’re at increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. And many detox diets will tell you to abstain from coffee, energy drinks and other stimulants so that you can get a better night’s sleep. 

What Should You Avoid When Detoxifying Your Body?

If the goal is to purge a given substance from your body, you must avoid it entirely. For example, if the goal is to get off drugs or get it out of your system so that you pass a drug test, you can’t have any of it in any form. That means you can’t have cannabis edibles or smoke marijuana when purging it from your system. If the goal is to beat alcoholism, you can’t replace beer with wine or have a brandy-fortified fruit cake. 

Detox diets tend to prohibit sugary drinks, processed foods and anything with a lot of salt. That’s because eating too much sugar screws up your metabolism, and you could replace a craving for a drug with one for sweets. Or your cannabis detox diet prohibits alcohol, so that you don’t start drinking beer to relax in place of a toke. After all, replacing one addiction with another isn’t an improvement in most cases. 

What Should You Eat and Drink While Detoxing?

Many detox diets will put you on an all-natural, high fiber, high protein diet. This is because sugar is considered generally bad for you, while processed foods are blamed for everything from diabetes to cancer. Per this theory, you’d have to abstain from processed snack foods and soda that are making things worse. Throw out the potato chips and start eating dried sugar snap peas. 

Expect to be asked to drink fruit juice or eat more fruits and vegetables instead. For example, you’ll be told to have at least half your plate covered in these foods, while protein and starches make up less than half of your food intake. This recommendation ties into the recommendations to eat more antioxidant rich foods. Leafy greens and root vegetables are popular choices. Think collard greens, kale and carrots. Radishes, sweet potatoes, squash, green peas, watercress and cucumbers are allowed on every detox diet. They might recommend non-traditional sea vegetables like kelp and nori, since it is considered part of a healthy Asian diet. 

Antioxidants naturally fight free radicals, the molecules that are created by oxidative stress and are associated with an increased rate of cancer and aging at a cellular level. Vitamins can help, but they’re not absorbed as readily by the body as vitamins in the food that we eat. The particular foods you’re advised to consume, and the quantity will vary based on the diet. In general, berries, grapes, melon and citrus fruits are in. Fruits that are naturally high in sugar like pineapple and mango may be allowed or may be limited in quantity. 

A lot of detox diets encourage consumption of probiotics. This could be anything from yogurt to juice drinks that simply include probiotic cultures. 

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