A detox diet can be extremely useful for cleaning out your body. There are lots of different ways that one can detoxify their body via temporary dietary changes. Some of them are meant to only last a weekend, and some detox diets are meant to be used over the course of a month or so.
Top 5 Benefits of a Detox Diet
1. Removes Harmful Toxins From Your Body
Toxins can enter your body through the air you breathe and the foods you eat. Unhealthy foods that contain higher amounts of fat, sugar, salt and additives can cause toxins to accumulate in your body. In turn, your organs need to work harder to get rid of them. When on a detox diet, you are eating cleaner, which allows your body to remove these toxins at a faster rate.
2. Boosts Energy Levels
The change in your energy levels comes from making the diet change. Eating foods that are high in sugars and fat can make you feel more fatigued. On a detox diet, consuming unprocessed foods, like vegetables, berries and herbs, can help regulate your blood sugar levels. This can help you to feel less tired throughout the day.
3. Improves Digestion
Similar to the first benefit, being on a detox diet can improve your digestion by removing unwanted bacteria and toxins from your digestive tract. When there is a bacteria buildup, it can affect your bowel movements and regularity. By eating cleaner foods, you may notice more regular and healthy bowel movements, as well as less bloating.
4. Can Help With Weight Loss
While eliminating toxins from your body can improve your health, the types of food you eat on a detox diet can also help you manage and lose weight. This is because the types of foods consumed are lower in calories but higher in nutritional value, reducing your amount of water weight during the diet.
5. Creates Healthier Skin
Our bodies communicate with us through the health of our facial skin. For example, hormonal pimples show up on our chins when there is an imbalance, and pimples around the eyebrows may signify gallbladder or liver issues. Overall, if you have a poor diet, you may have more pimples, redness and inflammation. So, by switching to a detox diet you will not only make your body happy, but your skin too. You should notice a reduction in pimples and more clarity.
Depending on the type of detox, some may only last a weekend and some may last a month. One of the most common detox diets is geared around fasting. During fasting diets you mainly consume water. The water is used to help flush parts of your system that your body may have struggled with flushing on it its own with your previous diet. These types of fasting detoxes usually only last a couple of days (like a weekend for example).
There are also month-long cleanses that you can do as well that involve a change in your diet. These dietary changes can involve more vegetables and fruits, less fried food, and/or increasing your fiber intake overall.
These types of detox diets are able to be sustained for a slightly longer period of time. This is why some people will turn to a completely plant-based diet for a month or more to help clean out their system. Many Americans have been found to actually be fiber-deficient according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The high-fiber of vegetarianism or veganism helps your digestive system significantly. Not only does it help your intestines, but it also helps your colon health as well.
Some of these diets are high in antioxidants, and others include plants like nori which help eliminate pollutants like metals from your system. Foods high in citric acid may also be used to help rid your system of aluminum. This is why the diet you choose to help detoxify your body should reflect what toxins you’d like to remove from your body. Diets like the Whole30 diet, are an example of full-body detox diets because they help detoxify your body of multiple different toxins.
Safety Behind Detox Diets
Most detox diets are very safe for most healthy individuals. However, as with any extreme dietary changes whether they be short-term or long-term, you should speak with your doctor before making any haste dietary changes. For some with certain health conditions, certain diets and/or foods may want to be avoided.
Also, for some illnesses, it’s imperative to have a certain amount of food in a given period of time (those with diabetes, etc.). Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you have any dietary constraints or limits to what you can do in regards to any dietary changes.
It’s also important to realize that many detox diets are not meant to be sustainable long-term diets. They are usually meant for a limited amount of time. They often do not provide enough caloric intake, and there are certain things the detox diet may not include that your body may need. Sticking with a detox diet longer than needed may result in things such as muscle loss, excessive weight loss, and even malnourishment in more extreme cases.
Since most detox diets are not meant to be sustainable for a long period of time, it’s best to resume a longer-term, more sustainable diet after completing your detox. To make sure your body stays as free from toxins as it can, it’s also important to try and minimize the intake of foods you may have previously been eating that cause the build-up of toxins.
This includes saturated fats, processed food, and foods with a lot of chemical treatments. Having these foods in moderation is okay, however, they can cause a buildup in toxins and can be risk factors for other health issues as well.
In conjunction with avoiding foods such as these, it’s important to make sure you post-detox diet is rich in things that your detox diet lacked that your body still may need (lean proteins, etc.), and to maintain a balanced diet in general. Having a diverse diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and foods high in fiber can help keep your body clean and healthy.
Steps to a More Healthy Lifestyle
Detox diets can be a great way to clean out your system of any toxins you may have taken in. While they should only be temporary, if you move into a balanced diet where certain foods are eliminated afterward, you’ll be able to better limit the intake of certain toxins, to begin with.
- WebMD (Detox Diets: Cleansing the Body)
- Harvard School of Public Health (The Nutrition Source)
- Livestrong (30-Day Cleansing Diet)
- MedIndia (Detox Diet)
- Healthline (Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Really Work?)
- AOR (Detox Diet: Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels)
- MU Health Care (Detox Diets: Do They Really Work?)