Have you heard of the detox diet yet? Want to know what it is? The detox diet, or detoxifying diet, is suggested to purify the body of excess toxins and get back in shape.
In a diet of this type, the choice of foods is very important. What to put on the table for a detox effect without sacrificing taste? What foods should you avoid?
In this article we will provide you with an example of a weekly detox menu to purify the body. Is this crash diet really right for you?
The detox diet is not a nutritionally balanced diet. It is a very restrictive diet plan, which has many disadvantages. In fact, not everyone can follow this diet. How does it work? Why do it? What are the contraindications?
Read on to learn more about the detox and detox diet.
What is the detox, detoxifying and purifying diet?
The term detox diet means a diet aimed at purifying the body of excess toxins. There is no universal detox diet plan. Detox diets are many and varied, but all are based on the same principles. Which?
To detoxify the body it is necessary to make an important food choice, eliminating all those harmful foods that weigh down the body. Instead, it is good to consume many antioxidant foods and drink plenty of water to facilitate diuresis.
Although they share some food choices, the detox diet should not be confused with the anti-inflammatory diet. The latter bans those pro-inflammatory foods (which increase the release of cytokines and inflammation mediators) in order to strengthen your immune defenses.
The detox diet is also rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods, but its goals extend to increasing drainage and purifying the body of excess toxins.
Contrary to what you may think, it’s not a healthy weight loss diet. Although it can lead to a reduction in your BMI (body mass index), its goal is to eliminate toxins to lighten the workload of your internal organs (especially the liver, kidneys and intestines). It is a highly low-calorie diet, full of belly-deflating foods. That’s why, as a result, you can also get that of weight loss!
Unlike classic slimming regimens, or maintenance diets, the detox diet cannot be followed for an extended period of time. It is in fact a very drastic diet and is not recognized by the scientific community.
Detox diet: what it is for and when to do it
Its main objective is to reduce the ingestion of food toxins and facilitate the elimination of those already present in our body.
What are toxins?
They are molecules or metabolites that are harmful to our body. We ingest them every day with food, or we absorb them from the environment (environmental pollution). Our organs (liver and kidneys) are constantly working to remove them.
In the food we eat every day there are (unbeknownst to us):
- Food additives (colorants, preservatives, flavor enhancers).
- Drugs (antibiotics, anabolics, hormones).
- Pesticides (herbicides, insecticides).
- Environmental pollutants (heavy metals, hydrocarbons).
Everyone may need a detox diet, not just those who overeat or prefer junk food. Even those who follow a healthy and balanced diet may have excess toxins to eliminate.
Goals of the detox diet
- Purify the body of excess toxins.
- Reducing strain on kidneys and liver.
- Facilitate digestive processes.
- Decrease abdominal swelling and heaviness.
- Improve diuresis.
You may decide to start a detox diet if you have gone too far with fast food, after the holidays, or to get back in shape before the summer. In addition to eliminating toxins, in fact, the low-calorie detox diet is useful for losing weight and reducing abdominal swelling. It can restore your energy and improve digestion.
For this diet to take effect, its duration is important. The ideal time frame to maximize its detoxifying benefits is one week (7 days). You can repeat the diet several times during the year, spacing it a few months apart.
For example, you could follow the 7 Day Detox Diet to:
- January, after the Christmas holidays.
- May, before summer.
- End of September, to strengthen your body before winter.
Contact a nutrition expert who knows how to establish the right frequency according to your needs.
Detox diet: what to eat and detox foods
Starting a detox diet means revolutionizing your diet. Knowing the properties of foods is an advantage to be able to choose the ones that are most useful for your purpose.
What should you bring to your table?
- Water: Hydration is important to improve drainage. Reducing water retention means at the same time eliminating accumulated toxins through the urinary tract. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day.
- Fruit: rich in vitamins and antioxidants that strengthen your immune defences. Choose the least sugary and seasonal one.
- Vegetables and legumes: vegetables and legumes are foods rich in dietary fiber which improve intestinal motility and therefore the expulsion of waste substances with the faeces.
A detox diet cannot be separated from a good dose of physical activity. 30 minutes of brisk daily walking are enough to activate your metabolism and improve the detox effects of the diet. Exercise speeds up circulation in the lymphatic system and helps expel toxins through sweat and urine.
Choosing detoxifying and antioxidant foods doesn’t mean giving up taste! There are many detox recipes that will surprise your taste buds.
What foods are useful for eliminating toxins?
- Fruits: avocado, lemon, grapefruit, oranges, apples, pomegranate, pineapple.
- Vegetables and greens: broccoli, rocket, spinach, artichokes, asparagus, carrots, cabbage, green beans, fennel, tomatoes.
- Spices and herbs: garlic, turmeric, ginger, coriander.
- Legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils.
- Other foods: olive oil, aloe vera, goji berries, nori seaweed, sesame seeds, decaffeinated green tea.
The choice of foods is very limited in a detox diet. Having a varied diet is instead very important, especially when calories are reduced.
The rotation of different types of dishes (meat, fish, cheese, cereals, etc.) allows you to have the right amount of nutrients and fill up on vitamins and minerals. A low variability of permitted foods (as occurs in the detox diet) instead leads to the risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Another defect of this diet are the portions, often much lower than one’s needs. Even the combination of dishes on the plate is unbalanced from the point of view of macronutrients.
To lose weight in a healthy and lasting way, the best method is to follow a low-calorie but balanced diet. An ad hoc diet prepared for you according to the principles of the Mediterranean diet, in compliance with the food pyramid, will undoubtedly lead you to better and lasting results over time.
Discover our detox water recipes.
Detox and detox diet: forbidden foods
Making food choices means choosing some foods over others. The detox diet is very drastic and banishes from your table all those foods that are difficult to digest or that can increase toxins in your body.
First of all, you will have to eliminate foods rich in saturated fats, simple sugars or substances active on the nervous system (alcohol and caffeine).
Some molecules you consume every day, like gluten, are actually inflammatory for your gut. This is why in a detox diet it is good to reduce the consumption of those foods that contain it.
What foods should you avoid?
- Coffee and nervine drinks.
- Carbonated and sweetened drinks (including fruit juices with added sugars).
- Packaged foods (snacks).
- Junk food (junk food).
- Fries, butter and margarines.
- Candy and sweets.
- Sugar, honey, maple syrup and artificial sweeteners.
- Chewing gum.
Foods to be eaten in moderation
- Milk and derivatives.
- Red meat.
- Salt (discretionary salt)
- Cereals containing gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats).
Even some habits can interfere with the success of the diet. Here’s what you should change:
- Sedentary lifestyle (30 minutes of brisk walking a day is enough to activate the metabolism).
- Cigarette smoke (passive smoke is also harmful to your body).
- Spending too much time in front of electronic devices (computer, smartphone, tablet, television).
- Little sleep.
With the exception of some foods (dairy products, cereals and nervine drinks), what is reported as a ban is actually the basis of a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition.
The information provided is general advice that is useful and valid for any diet aimed not only at weight loss. This is why they are principles recognized by the scientific community and shared by the Mediterranean diet.
Detox and detoxifying diet: example of a weekly menu
A detox diet is a low-calorie diet plan that includes a limited choice of detox foods.
It is characterized by a large amount of fruit, vegetables and legumes. These can never be missing in main meals because they ensure the right amount of fiber and vitamins useful for purifying the body.
They should take up more than 50% of your plate, not just at lunch or dinner, but in your snacks as well. There are many smoothie and smoothie recipes…