Ultimate Guide to Detox and Cleanse Your Body
Ultimate Guide to Detox and Cleanse Your Body. Best detox tea, food, and meal plan. Best exercise for a detox and how to get toxins out of your body.
Do you feel sluggish, out of balance, tired, or experience a weak immune system?
Maybe you are searching for a way to jump start weight loss, or you are simply sick and tired of unhealthy food.
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Today I would like to share a guide to cleanse and detox your body, what foods to eat, and the ones to avoid, what to do during a detox, the best detox tea to drink, and where those toxins even come from. Plus there is an adjustable detox meal plan ready for you at the end of the post.
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Where do toxins even come from?
Toxins are everywhere in the world around us. Food contains toxins from sources including pesticides, fillers, and some ingredients used during processing.
Many things can be toxic if consumed too much and one of the most consumed ingredients that can cause damage to your body is sugar. The average American consumes 7 times the recommended daily serving of sugar.
Your body has the ability to detox itself for the most part. But, it is always good to hit the “reset” button, remove the junk from your diet, and fuel your body with nutrients. That way, your body will not be overloaded and in constant overdrive to process toxins.
What food contains most toxins?
“Dioxins are lipophilic compounds which accumulate in the fat of animals. The types of foods which tend to have the highest dioxin concentrations are dairy products, meat and poultry, eggs, fish, and animal fats (Eduljee and Gair, 1996). Green vegetables, fruits and grains are the types of foods with the lowest dioxin concentrations. Schecter et al. (1997) measured dioxins in pooled food samples that were collected in 1995 at supermarkets across the U.S. The pooled sample of fresh water fish had the highest level of dioxins (1.43 TEQ1), followed by butter (1.07 TEQ), hotdog/bologna (0.54 TEQ), ocean fish (0.47 TEQ), cheese (0.40 TEQ), beef (0.38 TEQ), eggs (0.34 TEQ), ice cream (0.33 TEQ), chicken (0.32 TEQ), pork (0.32 TEQ), milk (0.12 TEQ), and vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes (0.07 TEQ).” (source)
As you can see in the study above, plant based food has the least amount of toxins accumulated from the environment compared to animal sources.
“In conclusion, there was a trend toward lesser contamination in vegans than in omnivores, and olestra had a favourable influence on beta-HCH but did not prevent plasma hyperconcentration of the other OC during ongoing weight loss. (source)
If you really want to avoid as many toxins as you can it is a great idea to cut out all animal food. And on the other side a whole food plant based diet plan is perfect for a detox.
When to do a detox and how long?
There is not a set number of days to do a detox. Some do a 7 day rapid detox, others detox gradually over 30 days. Some like a quick 3-day cleanse.
How long you detox depends on your lifestyle. People who enjoy a healthy diet don’t need a detox as often as people who go out to eat regularly and snack on junk food a lot.
A great time to detox is after the holiday season. It will help you shed some added pounds and get you back into a healthy mindset quickly.
Consider a detox if you
- Feel bloated often
- Have food allergies
- Fight with heartburn
- Feel sluggish or drowsy
- Have no concentration
- Fight cravings
- Have skin problems
- Have a weak immune system
- Want to lose weight
- Have been eating unhealthy for a while
If you have food allergies and don’t know what you should be eating, this detox will cut out all allergens from your diet. If you suffer from eczema, acne, gut issues, or other things you should consider doing this detox until you see your body heal itself.
Once your body is balanced you can start adding one new food group at a time and see how your body reacts (probably for 3-7 days). This will help you to determine which foods cause irritation and inflammation.
What to do during a detox
It is a good idea to add some light cardio (like this 10-minute quick walk) or gentle yoga to your detox phase. The cardio should make you sweat, but not exhaust you. If you exercise too much you end up hungry and might get some cravings.
A good exercise option is yoga, stretching, fast-paced walking, or rope jumping. The workout will charge your body to process toxins effectively. Especially flexible stretches will help your gut to process the food and improve digestion.
Taking a walk in fresh air will also help during the detox process. You will increase oxygen, blood flow, and energy, ultimately increasing your metabolism.
Stress allows toxins to increase, so it is necessary to destress during your detox. Yoga, light exercise, and walking will help to relax your body and mind. Also taking a warm bath with 1-2 cups Epsom salt will help you relax and strengthen your fight against toxins.
Besides drinking lots of water to flush out toxins you can consider drinking herbal teas. A common tea use to detox and cleanse the body is dandelion tea. Dandelion has anticancer potential (study) and is a great antioxidant that can bind toxins and free radicals:
“Our results show that treatment with dandelion root and leaf positively changed plasma antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid profiles in cholesterol-fed rabbits, and thus may have potential hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects. Dandelion root and leaf could protect against oxidative stress linked atherosclerosis and decrease the atherogenic index.” (source)
I like this detox tea blend in the picture above and you can check it out here.
I know drinking water and tea can get boring quickly. There are many options for creating delicious detox drinks. You can make a fruit infused water, or use fresh fruits and vegetables to create your own detox juices. Check out these 22 proven detox drinks for recipes (there is even a detox pizza drink with tomatoes, peppers, and kale!).
Guidelines for a successful detox
What not to eat on a detox
Stay away from everything processed with added ingredients or allergens. You want to make sure you leave everything that could irritate your gut or body out of your diet. These things are animal products, gluten, everything bulk packaged, unnatural, or items with more than 1 ingredient.
Eating more plants in general will help you heal diseases like high blood pressure, insulin resistance, diabetes, prevent cancer, it also reduces kidney stones, boost immunity, help lose weight and so much more. You can read all 20 mind blowing benefits here.
Also be sure to cut out alcohol, coffee, refined sugars, saturated fat, or smoking during the detox. Don’t eat packaged food (toast, cans, sauces, dressings, cereal, and no sugar and salt (added). Also stay away from oils, as you can get your healthy fat from whole plants like avocado, nuts, and seeds.
A good way to detox your body is to ONLY EAT WHAT WILL RESTORE AND HEAL.
So what should I eat on a detox?
Here are the best detox foods:
- Carbs: Quinoa and brown rice, (sweet) potato, oats
- Clean, organic food (if you can’t afford organic, stick with normal fruits and veggies)
- Drink at least 8 cups of water
- Detox with dandelion tea
- Spices that detox your body: Turmeric, cinnamon, cumin
- Lemon, oranges, limes
- Raw veggies
- Seeds and nuts (flaxseed, and walnuts seem to be healthiest)
- Brussel sprouts
Which nuts and seeds are the healthiest?
In this study they compared nine tree nuts and found that walnuts might be the healthiest:
“Walnuts had the highest total phenolic and flavonoid contents (1580.5 ± 58.0 mg/100 g, 744.8 ± 93.3 mg/100 g, respectively). Walnuts also possessed the highest total antioxidant activity (458.1 ± 14.0 μmol of vitamin C equiv/g of nut). Both soluble phenolic and flavonoid contents were positively correlated with total antioxidant activity”.
Another study shows that the consumption of unsaturated fatty acids found in nuts “is associated with improved lipid profiles, a lower potency of intermediate biomarkers of atherosclerosis and lesser incidence of cardiovascular diseases” while walnuts are especially rich in these unsaturated fatty acids.
In one study with flaxseed they found a seven point drop of blood pressure from consuming 1 tablespoon flaxseed a day (source). That means 46% less stroke risk and 29% less heart disease. And flaxseed prevents cardiovascular disease in general (source).
Benefits of high fiber detox
Eating according to the list above will increase your fiber and antioxidant intake.
More than 90% of Americans do not eat the recommended amount of fiber (source). This is bad news, because there is proof that fiber reduces the risk of colon cancer (source), breast cancer (source), diabetes (source), heart disease (source), obesity (source), and stroke (source). It helps control cholesterol (source) and blood sugar levels (source). Fiber also binds toxins, lead, and mercury (source), which is the perfect nutrient for a full body cleanse and detox.
Antioxidants prevent circulation of oxidized fats in the bloodstream, decrease artery stiffness, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation (“How not to die“, page 57). On average, plants contain sixty four times more antioxidants than meats.
If you are detoxing your body for only a few days, just repeat each day’s meal plan to make things easy. If you plan on cleansing your body for more days, switch the meals with the options mentioned next to them.
Easy Detox Meal Plan
Try this now or PIN FOR LATER
1 cup oats with water and 1 kiwi (optional: pineapple, clementine) and 1 cup berries (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry)
Broccoli ‘water fried’ in garlic and water (or asparagus, brussel sprouts, cabbage), over quinoa with lemon juice.
To water fry add 1/4 water to a pan, then add your vegetables, herbs and lid and let steam until done.
Green Detox Smoothie
2 cups spinach (or kale), 1-2 orange (or pineapple), 2 t flaxseed (chia), 1 slice ginger root, 4 dashed turmeric powder, 1 crack black pepper, and water as desired.
Note: You can buy a bag of beans and cook it yourself. This is cheaper and healthier than canned beans. You will use the beans in your dinner and can also add them to the smoothie as well. Any type of bean or lentil works.
1 cup carrots (or celery) and 1 serving of nuts
Cook brown rice (or: quinoa, potatoes) with lime juice and add cilantro (or basil, parsley).
Slice bell pepper and onion, steam in water and add cumin. Warm (black) beans in pot, add lime juice, garlic and water and mash into pureed beans. Top rice with avocado, tomatoes, pepper, onion, and bean puree.
What happens after the detox?
Now that you have detoxed your body, it is a good idea to stick with healthy eating habits, not allowing toxins back into your system. If you want to reach your optimal health, weight, and energy I can highly recommend checking out this vegan starter kit. It will answer all you questions about nutrition, give you an easy guide to transition, meal plans, and easy recipes.