The Truth About Detox Programs
Poor food choices may lead to daytime sluggish feelings. Many of us reach for the comfort foods a little too often to allay those distressed feelings or overeat in social situations. Have you been eyeing off the latest detox and cleanse options at the local pharmacy?
Why most detox programs are controversial
Most qualified health practitioners are very sceptical of most detox programs available on the market. Here are a few reasons why:
They neglect the power of food as medicine
Detox programs are usually product-based – and expensive products at that. They will either neglect the diet entirely, or give you a bland, generic meal plan.
But some of the best ways to support your body’s detox processes can be found in the supermarket! Foods like berries, green leafy vegetables, herbs and spices are just some examples. There is no such thing as a supplement deficiency – only a nutrient deficiency.
They aren’t personalised to you
Everyone has different nutritional needs, different preferences for foods and a different lifestyle. It might not be feasible for you to live off shakes for a week if you live an active lifestyle or juice every 3 hours if you’re a working professional. Any change to your diet – short-term or long-term – should be tailored to suit you.
They are a quick fix
Very few programs will help you transition to a balanced diet that suits your body. Most are a few weeks long, then you go back to your usual eating pattern. If you do lose weight, it usually piles right back on. These Detox processes should be thought of as long-term healthy lifestyle changes.
How your body’s detoxification system essentially works
Your liver does the bulk of the detoxification work. Here, there are two main phases that take place. Phase 1 converts potentially problematic chemicals into intermediate compounds. Phase 2 then converts these compounds into water-soluble waste products for the body to excrete.
It’s important that phase 2 occurs, as the intermediate compounds can be quite toxic and reactive. It is this phase that many practitioners will focus on when supporting natural detoxification.
Your elimination pathways include sweat, urine and faeces. The body will deposit waste products into one or more of these paths to eliminate them.
Easy tips to support your detox pathways
Want to give your liver some love without following diets from unqualified influencers? Here are some simple ways to support your detox pathways naturally.
Drink plenty of water
Water is essential for almost every process in the body, including detoxification. It makes up the fluid that runs through the elimination channels and lymphatic system. So, if you’ve been a bit slack with your water intake, now is your chance to boost it back up.
Eat more greens
Vegetables are detoxification superstars, and greens are some of the best out there. So, find some way to include more greens in your daily diet. Make green leafy vegetables the base of your plate and build your meal around that. Snack on celery and cucumber sticks with your dip of choice. You can even add greens to a smoothie or omelette with breakfast. Use cos lettuce or cabbage leaves as wraps for your sandwich.
Don’t forget your protein
Many of the processes in phase 2 detox rely on amino acids, which are the building blocks found in protein. Therefore, make sure you’re including quality sources of protein with each meal. Grass-fed meat, free range chicken and eggs, fish, shellfish, legumes, beans and pseudo grains like quinoa are a few options to include.
If you’re looking for an evidence-based approach to support your detox pathways and overall well being, with a long-term healthy lifestyle change; book in a session today.