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“New year, new me.” everyone says New Year’s Day.  People flood to the gym, weight loss plans are everywhere, new diets are competing for attention that claim they work.  One of the newer diets and weight loss plans is the detoxification diet, or detox for short.

 

Detox is about the idea that you can cleanse your body and remove all the harmful toxins floating around in your body.  There are many variations out there about what you should do during a detox diet, but most are based on the same general principles.

 

Most detox diets want you to fast for some period of time the follow a strict diet of raw fruit and vegetables, fruit juices, and water.  All of this is to achieve the three goals detox diets want to achieve.

  1. Try to minimize the number of chemicals being put into the body.
  2. Emphasize eating foods that are full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detox.
  3. Eating more foods that help to increase bowel movements and urination, like eating fiber-rich foods and drinking lots of water.

 

So why do people detox if it’s such a strict diet?  Like all diets people want to achieve something from doing the diet.  Whether it be weight loss, boost energy, feel more healthy.  Whatever it may be there is always a reason for doing a diet.  Detox diets can provide someone with a number of beneficial effects.

  1. Detox can help boost energy levels.  Rather than consuming sugar, caffeine, and fats, they are replaced with vitamins and nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables.  This means there is no crash, but natural energy.
  2. Removes excess waste from the body.  Detox can cleanse the colon, liver, and kidneys.  All of the harmful toxins that are in the body are flushed out rather than being put back into the body.
  3. Detox can help to build a stronger immune system.  Since detox cleanses the body and the organs, they can now work more efficiently and absorb nutrients better.
  4. Help clear up and smooth out skin.  Going to saunas is a form of detox.  Sweating helps to push out any toxins and cleanse the skin.  Though skin may get worse before getting better because all of the toxins are being pushed out.  So patchiness or itchiness may occur, but this is a sign it’s working.
  5. Hair can become healthier.  Hair growth is at the hair follicle so any hair beyond that point is already “dead” so it can’t be repaired.  Detox can help to build a stronger, healthier hair as it grows.  Hair will become shinier, softer, and may grow more quickly.
  6. Detox can help to form healthy diet habits.  Like most diets detox has you eliminate bad foods that are full of sugar, caffeine, fat, and are fried.  Though rather than eliminate those foods and avoid them, detox has you replace them with fresh fruit and vegetables.  This can be a lead in to a balanced diet that slowly gets rid of unhealthy eating habits.  This means less cravings and high chance of success.

 

Source: bbcgoodfood.com

Detox may sound great now after reading all of the benefits, but there is evidence to support the idea that detox is not a good long term solution to dieting.

 

To start, there is actual very little evidence to support the idea that detox actually removes toxins from the body.  Kidneys and the liver are already effective at making sure any toxins that are ingested are filtered and removed.  The only reason that people may feel better after starting detox is because they have eliminated processed foods and added sugars from their diets.  So there is no miracle of detox, but rather just eating a healthy diet.

 

It s cautioned when starting a detox diet to be aware of what may happen to you and to take necessary precautions.  For the best, talk to your doctor to see if  a detox diet will suit you and be healthy rather than harmful.

 

Detox diets may or will limit the amount of protein you take in.  This may result in fatigue and tiredness.  This can also happen from fasting because there is nothing for body to burn for energy.  Over time this highly restrictive diet can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies even though you’re eating a diet of fruit and vegetables.

 

Detox diets that recommend colon cleansing can result in cramping, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.  This may lead into dehydration.

 

A detox diet should not be the one and only, long-term solution to dieting.  It won’t help you become healthier after a while and if you’re trying to get slim or stay slim it may damage the body.  In order to have better results it is best to form healthy eating habits that build a healthy, balanced diet.  A healthy diet should include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and good, lean sources of protein.

 

Now, detox water.  It’s a popular “staple” in detox diets.  It’s all about adding fruits and vegetables to water to make it taste better, remove the harmful toxins from the body, and provide vitamins and minerals.  If the name infused water still doesn’t sound familiar it is also called infused water.

 

Detox water can be used for a number of things.

  • Lose weight
  • Have clearer skin
  • Getting a flat stomach
  • Improve your mood
  • Flush out toxins
  • Reduce muscle fatigue when exercising
  • Keep from feeling tired and groggy later in the afternoon

 

Detox water doesn’t just have to be part of the detox diet.  You can drink detox water whenever you feel like adding a little something to water for the flavor or to get a boost of vitamins and minerals.

Below are some easy starter detox water recipes.  Keep in mind you can add whatever you like to water in any combination that tastes good to you.  The possibilities are endless.

 

Lemon Water

Adding lemon to water can add both sweetness and sour.  It also provides a healthy dose of vitamin C.  If you’d like add some mint to give it a refreshing taste.  Slice up a lemon and add it to a pitcher.  Fill the pitcher full of water and let it sit for about a half an hour before serving.

 

Apple Cinnamon Water

Apple cinnamon water can help to boost your metabolism.  Thinly slice one apple and cut away the seeds.  Put the slices into a pitcher of water and drop in one cinnamon stick (it’ll infuse better than the powder).  Fill the pitcher with water and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour to infuse.  The apple slices and cinnamon stick can be reused around 2-3 times before it begins to lose its flavor.

 

Mango Ginger Water

The infused water can help to boost the metabolism, relieve pain naturally, and help with menstrual cramps.  It may also help to reduce motion or morning sickness and get rid of heart burn.  Start by peeling and slicing the ginger root into disks.  Get either frozen or fresh mango and have it be diced up.  Place both mango and ginger into a pitcher and fill with water.  The amount to add of either depends on how much flavor you want and how big the pitcher is.  Let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.

 

Tangerine and Strawberry Water

Tangerine and strawberry water is high in vitamin C and boost the metabolism.  You can use either fresh sliced strawberries or sliced dried strawberries.  Get a tangerine and peel the rind off, but don’t throw it out.  Put the strawberries and rind of the tangerine into a teapot with water.  Bring it all to a boil.

 

You can choose to serve it hot or cold.  If served hot, place a coffee filter or some sieve with a fine mesh under or over the spout.  This will keep from having tangerine rind or strawberry pulp in the water you’ll be serving.  If served cold, strain the infused water into another pitcher.  Fill the pitcher with ice and water to the top until the pitcher is full.  Then you can serve the drink over ice.

 

Cucumber Lemon Water

It can help to boos the immune system while also being an anti-inflammatory.  Thinly slice half of a lemon and thinly slice about 1/4 of a cucumber.  Add the lemon and cucumber to a large pitcher along with some ice.  Fill the pitcher with water until it is full and let it sit for about a half an hour before serving.

 

Slim Down Detox Water

Slim down detox water is filled with vitamin C and antioxidants.  It can help to repair and boost the immune system, protect against cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and skin wrinkling.  You’ll need lemon, lime, grapefruit, and cucumber.  Thinly slice all the ingredients and put them in an empty pitcher.  Fill the pitcher with water until it is full.  Let the water sit for an hour before serving.