Detox is short for detoxification and refers to the natural process of removing toxins and neutralizing harmful substances from the human body. Toxins include compounds such as lactic acid, ammonia, and homocysteine which are waste products from regular cell activity and can potentially harm body tissue. Other chemicals from the environment and the food we consume can also do harm to the human body.
Accumulation of certain compounds can lead to other consequences that adversely affect general health. The liver, skin, blood, kidneys, lungs and lymphatic systems are the organs that work together towards breaking down harmful toxins into simpler ones which the body can excrete and eliminate.
It is a common misconception to associate detox treatment with only substances that are addictive such as alcohol and drugs. Depriving the body of potentially toxic substances and following a strict diet can also be called detox as it cleanses and removes toxins from the body, giving it a fresh start. Such diets can help reduce weight as well as let the skin gain a natural glow.
What a detox diet does
There are different types of detox diets filled with different food options. However, they all follow the same basic sets of principles.
- Reduce or minimize the chemical ingestion by the body by increasing organic foods.
- Emphasize on detox foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins, nutrients, and protein to provide the body with all the necessary components it requires for a healthy digestion and proper functioning.
- The content of the particular diet depends on the region of origin along with seasonal produce. Some diets involve the consumption of only juices while some diets restrict food to only fresh fruits and vegetables.
Increase in fiber rich foods not only helps increase the healthy bacteria in the stomach but also increases the bowel motility and prevents constipation. However, during the diet, the frequency of bowel movements as well as urination tends to increase as the body goes into a natural cleansing mode.
Why do you require a detox diet?
In the day to day life of any city dweller, he undergoes constant exposure to various types of chemicals. One of the major agents of propagation of chemicals happens to be air. It can carry harmful fumes, heavy metal traces and various other toxins that can impair the bodily functions.
The water consumed undergoes chemical treatment in order to be free of germs and hence can contain traces of chemicals harmful to the body as well. The same can be said for coffee and tea leaves which are constantly exposed to insecticides and pesticides during their growth period.
Such chemicals can be found everywhere, including your toothpaste and your shampoo. Modern day lifestyle diseases such as stress and anxiety only add up to the need for detoxification as well. Detox diets are for anyone who wishes to feel healthier and fresher.
Cautions to take before a detox diet
A detox diet involves depriving your body of certain foods and consumption of a large amount of water. If you are planning a detox diet, it is necessary that you do some research and find a diet that suits your tastes and body best.
If you plan to take detox diets as a way to shed some weight, care should be taken so that you don’t deprive your body of any necessary nutrients. Placing sufficient time gap between diets will ensure this does not happen.
Exercising during detox diets depends on the type of diet as well. It is essential to not stress your body and cause exhaustion. Individuals with any medical condition should consult their doctor before they undergo a detox diet.
When do you know you require a detox?
An individual who feels a lack of energy acts more lethargic and tends to get stomach illnesses more often, it can be considered that a detox is due. Detoxes can also be used to reduce face acne as well as for weight loss and hence is a healthy way to improve your looks as well. Other signs that indicate you require detox your body include indigestion, poor concentration, bad breath, poor skin, muscle pain, and headaches.
A detox diet can act as a restart button for the general health of your body and the efficient functioning of your digestive system. The benefits are never-ending while the effort required may be high. If you are someone who likes to eat healthy for a period of time, trying out a detox diet may do you good as it comprises of food combinations that are researched and studied about.