Detoxification in the context of alternative medicine consists of an approach that claims to rid the body of “toxins” – accumulated harmful substances that allegedly exert undesirable effects on individual health in the short or long term. Detox diet usually includes one or more of: fasting, consuming exclusively or avoiding specific foods (such as fats, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, juices, herbs, or water), colon cleansing, chelation therapy, or the removal of dental fillings.
The body itself has its own detoxification system:
- The liver - First line of defense against toxins is your liver, which acts like a filter in preventing toxic substances contained in foods from passing into your blood stream.
- The colon - This organ has bacteria that produce both healthy and unhealthy chemicals. You want to keep your colon flowing regularly since its main role is to flush out toxic chemicals before they can do you any harm.
- The kidneys - They are constantly filtering your blood and getting rid of toxins in the form of urine.
To get the best results with detox diet, you need to maintain these three key organs by nourishing your body with the right nutrients.
Liver detox diet
Whether you’re trying to drop unwanted pounds or flush out unwelcome toxins, you need a healthy liver to make it happen. Here’s how to keep this overachieving organ in optimal shape.
Your liver is your largest internal organ, and it’s responsible for an astonishing variety of life-sustaining and health-promoting tasks – including those that make healthy weight loss and weight management possible. Integral to countless metabolic processes, the liver supports the digestive system, controls blood sugar and regulates fat storage. It stores and mobilizes energy, and produces more proteins than any other organ in the body. It also regulates your blood flow and, if you’re a woman, keeps your menstrual cycles running smoothly.
It’s your liver’s job to distinguish between the nutrients you need to absorb and the dangerous or unnecessary substances that must be filtered out of your bloodstream. But when the liver is clogged and overwhelmed with toxins, it can’t do a very effective job of processing nutrients and fats. So if you’re concerned with managing your weight, remember this important point: The more toxic your body becomes, the more difficulty you’ll have losing weight and keeping it off.
While some toxins are more obvious, such as pesticides or smog, some people consider even seemingly normal substances to be toxins. They may come from many sources, including:
- pesticides or other chemicals used to grow or prepare food
- smog or other substances in the air
- substances such as artificial sweeteners added to food
- impure water
Best detox diet for cleansing the liver is eating foods that contain glutathione. But be careful, glutathione in some of them is lost when they are boiled. Here is a list of things that should help you detox your liver:
- Brussels sprouts are high in sulfur, which helps to remove toxins from the blood. Eating a serving or two of Brussels sprouts daily will help sponge out toxins – whether they’re environmental or dietary.These little sprouts also boost glucosinolate, an antioxidant that forces the liver to release enzymes that block damage.
- Garlic is loaded with sulfur, a mineral that helps rid the body of toxins. Garlic has also been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Garlic has been used in the treatment of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and bacteria-related illnesses. Keep in mind, heating destroys many of the beneficial properties of garlic.
- Dandelion leaves - but if you can’t find any, the roots are also good. Dandelion root tea has been shown to rid the liver of toxins. Since our liver is responsible for breaking down fats, producing amino acids and generally filtering the gunk out – we need to take care of it.
- Carrots are another food rich in glutathione, a protein that helps detoxify the liver. In addition to the detox properties, carrots contain good amounts of vitamin C, B6 and potassium. They also loaded with vitamin A and K, too! It’s best to eat these raw.
- Raw tomatoes do a great job detoxifying the liver, containing 169 milligrams of glutathione per serving. The benefits don’t stop there. Tomatoes are famous for their lycopene content, which has been shown to protect against breast, skin and lung cancer.
- Grapefruit contains just over 70 milligrams of liver cleansing glutathione. Grapefruits also contain a special kind of pectin that has been shown to lower cholesterol like no other pectin-containing food. One whole grapefruit is about 80 calories, so enjoy with a cup of cottage cheese or plain yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and you’ve got a great breakfast.
The first step in a comprehensive colon detoxification regimen is a detox diet. It eliminates all foods that burden your colon and substitutes them with foods rich in fiber. Fiber-rich foods help scrub the colon. They include:
- Raw vegetables such as carrots, broccoli and cauliflower
- Raw fruits including mangoes, guava and most berries
Next step is drinking several glasses of filtered water each day to help flush the colon.
Third step is using colon-cleansing supplements. These supplements are administered either orally or rectally and flush the colon of impurities. They often act quickly, and their effects can be debilitating. Colon-cleansing supplements include:
- Strong herbal teas
- Anti-parasite capsules
And the final step of colon detoxification is irrigating your colon. Colon therapists perform irrigation procedures, or high colonics, at their offices each day. The procedure is somewhat uncomfortable and can take more than an hour. It usually follows a fairly predictable course.
- The therapist gently inserts a tube in your rectum.
- The tube is attached to a pump that forces water or some other liquid into your large intestine.
- After your colon is saturated, the therapist removes the first tube and carefully inserts a new tube.
- The therapist will massage your abdomen to expel the water and waste from your colon.
- The therapist may repeat the process to fully cleanse the bowels. Subsequent procedures may involve water treated with probiotics, which help restore the colon with friendly bacteria.
Throughout history, humans have always used fasting or cleansing as a way to detoxify not only the physical body, but the emotional body as well. If you’re already in good health, then doing a yearly kidney cleanse can be a gentle form of prevention for you.
Watermelon is 92% water by weight, which means that it will help your body to flush the kidneys, which can help to remove very small stones. It is also an amazing source of potassium, which is a mineral salt that can help to dissolve kidney stones allowing the residue to be passed.
Carrots and cucumber are a super-powered up duo. Combined, they support the kidneys in flushing out excess uric acid (known to cause kidney stones), support the kidneys in flushing out excess toxins as well as load your body up with a mega dose of nutrients.
Radishes are super for the liver and gallbladder detoxification, and help the kidneys flush out excess toxins. They protect the body against infection, and they’re anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Juicing radishes allows your body to absorb more of the nutrients than you would from eating them whole, due to the volume it would take to eat radishes vs. juicing them. If you suffer from kidney stones, drinking radish juice can help dissolve stones so you can pass them more quickly.