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Thinking about trying a juice fast, cleanse or extreme detox diet? Well, I have good news…
You don’t have to do anything that severe to help your body to detoxify itself.
In fact, those extreme, short-term interventions we’re all so inspired to try at the beginning of the year are less helpful than the long-term, sustainable habits we put into play daily.
Drinking only juice for a week, for example, may help you lose a bit of weight at first. But that’s only because you’re restricting your calorie-intake a lot. People on juice cleanses typically cut their calorie intake from 2,000 calories per day to 1,000 calories per day. That’s a big adjustment for your body. And you’re bound to feel it in the form of headaches, hunger pains and irritability.
Not to mention, the weight you lose during a juice fast is usually from lost muscle, because you’re not eating enough muscle-building protein. And depending on what type of juice you’re drinking it may amp up your sugar intake a ton too. Who needs that?
So rather than turning to short-term starvation methods that leave you feeling hungry and crabby, why not try these simple habits that support better health and detoxification daily:
1. Carry a water bottle.
Proper hydration plays a huge role in detoxification. The kidneys are your body’s natural detoxifiers, and they can’t do their job if you’re not giving them enough water. The kidneys need water so they can transport waste out of the body in the form of urine. If they don’t get enough water, waste products build up. If you’re chronically dehydrated you can even end up with kidney stones, kidney infections or kidney failure. So keep that water bottle close at hand. If you’re a man try to drink about 13 cups of water per day. And if you’re a woman shoot for 9 cups per day.
2. Amp up your antioxidant intake.
There’s no way to avoid toxins altogether. You’re exposed to them in your air, food, water and everything in between. So you should fill your body with antioxidants that combat them. To give your body a healthy dose of antioxidants, eat at least five different fruits and vegetables daily.
3. Eat more fiber.
Fiber keeps your bowels moving efficiently and regularly. And your bowels are another important way your body gets rid of waste. Fiber also helps your liver (another one of your body’s major detoxifiers) by keeping cholesterol levels in check and giving the liver less fat to process. Fiber fights inflammation and oxidative stress in your body too. Basically, it’s one of the best nutrients for supporting your body’s detoxification process. So make sure to eat plenty of fiber-rich foods daily, like whole grains, beans, lentils, avocado and most fruits and vegetables
4. Avoid (or drastically reduce) processed foods.
The more processed foods you eat, the bigger detoxification burden you’re creating for your body. That’s because those packaged, pre-made, frozen foods contain tons of ingredients that are hard on your body, like preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and trans-fats. So stick to whole foods as much as possible.
5. Feast on fermented foods.
Fermented foods, which are rich in healthy bacteria, can also help your body fend off toxins. Studies show that the lactic acid in fermented food can help your body detoxify pesticides and bisphenol A (BPA) among other things. The probiotics in fermented food also encourage good gastrointestinal health, which keeps waste clearing from your bowels quickly. So make sure to eat at least one fermented food every day, like kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut or kimchi. You could also take a probiotic supplement if fermented foods aren’t your cup of tea.
If you follow these five tips daily, your body will detoxify itself efficiently without the need for detox diets, crazy cleanses or expensive detox supplements. As long as you give your body a helping hand (rather than holding it back), it’s a master detoxifier that has no problem expelling dangerous toxins and keeping you healthy.
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- Juice Cleanses: Health Hocus Pocus — U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- The Detox Diet That Involves Eating MORE — Fitness. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Resolve to avoid ‘detox diets’ in the New Year — MedicalXpress. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Why Is Drinking Water Important? — Medical News Today. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Foods to Eat for Good Liver Health — San Francisco Chronical SF Gate. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Nine ways that processed foods are harming people — Medical News Today. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- M. Cho, et al. “Biodegradation of chlorpyrifos by lactic acid bacteria during kimchi fermentation.” — Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2009 Mar 11;57(5):1882-9.
- Oishi, t al. “Effect of probiotics, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, on bisphenol A exposure in rats.” — Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry. 2008 Jun;72(6):1409-15.
- Yamanaka, et al. “Degradation of bisphenol A by Bacillus pumilus isolated from kimchi, a traditionally fermented food.” — Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology. 2007 Jan;136(1):39-51.