Detox is simply defined as the removal of toxic substances from a living organism. No air we breathe, no food we eat and especially no drugs we consume are completely clean. The body has several organs that detoxify the “ashes” of metabolism, namely the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin. For the body to feel its best, these organs need to be functioning well all the time. As the health of any of the detoxifying organs declines, the health of the entire body slips as well.
Restructure your schedule, follow the detox diet plan below, form solid habits, and bask in the success of your efforts. The only requirement of a successful detox diet plan is discipline.
- Carbohydrate Detox
- Sugar Detox
- Sodium Detox
- Alcohol Detox
- Caffeine Detox
- Milk Detox
- Nicotine Detox
- Heavy Metal Detox
- Fasting Detox
All forms of carbohydrate is broken down by our body to form glucose, a simple form of sugar. Our body uses glucose for fuel but levels that exceed requirements is toxic. It is estimated that the average American consumes more than 450g of carbohydrates a day from mostly processed grain and sugar sources.
The daily RDI for carbohydrates is actually 300g or less, an amount easily surpassable with fast food. Part of the detox diet plan is the replacement of nutrient inferior carbohydrate with quality carbohydrate full of fiber that is absorbed slowly into our system, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels.
Vegetables are the most nutrient dense sources of healthy fiber. They also contain much higher nutrient levels than grains/sugars and have a cleansing effect on the body. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and leafy greens are among the top 5.
Sugar is carbohydrate but it is so prevalent it deserves a spot on its own. You may have formed an opinion from ads and articles blaming fat to be bad. Turns out, it’s actually sugar and not fat that makes a person sick and overweight. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar everyday, which is more than double the daily maximum of 10 teaspoons. Refined sugar has zero nutritional value. High fructose corn syrup, a sweetener found commonly in soft drinks, bread and especially processed food, is the culprit behind obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and fatty liver disease.
Clean out your shelves of soft drinks and junk food. This includes cereals, coke, fruit juice, sport drinks, bread, ketchup, cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc. It’s almost everything processed bought from the supermarket. Being on a detox diet requires minimum consumption of high sugar fruits like figs, mangos, cherries, grapes, tangerines, pomegranates and bananas. For example, 2 medium bananas contain about 34g of sugar which is equivalent to 5 teaspoons of sugar or 50% of your RDI. Berries, cantaloupe, watermelon, papaya, peaches, guava, grapefruit, and apricot are some of the fruits lowest in sugar.
The American Heart Association recommends consumption of less than 1500mg of sodium per day. About 12% of the sodium we eat is from what occurs naturally in foods, while more than 75% comes from sodium added to foods during processing. Common items like table salt contains 2400mg/tsp while 2 slices of bread has almost 1000mg worth of sodium.
Shocking truth: 90% of adults are expected to develop high blood pressure in their lifetimes.
Which means you are most likely going to get it…
Unless you stop eating processed food.
Stop eating cheese, bacon, ham, smoked fish, salami, pickles, instant soups, pretzels, tortilla chips, salted nuts, biscuits, enchilada, burrito, fries, burgers, pizzas, sauerkraut, and anything else high in sodium. Stop adding salt or soy sauce at the table. Just focus on eating lots of fresh vegetables, a variety of fruits, and lean meat. Get your flavours from herbs and spices.
Rule of thumb. If it is not grown from dirt or bleeds, avoid.
Give your body a rest. Stop drinking alcohol. If not, dramatically reduce the amount consumed. In 5 weeks upon giving up alcohol, you will experience weight loss, reduction in bad cholesterol, glucose, and liver fat. While you are at it, detox your liver as well.
US is the world’s biggest consumer of coffee at 83% and the average American drinks more than 3 cups a day. Caffeine may have its benefits but its cons far outweigh them. Caffeine is both a soft and hard drug as it has positive reinforcing actions, produces tolerance, and a withdrawal syndrome after stopping its consumption. It takes about 6 hours to eliminate half the amount of caffeine in the body. This means if you drank 200mg of caffeine at 12pm, you would still have 100mg of caffeine in you at 6pm.
Stopping coffee is part of the detox diet plan. Caffeine withdrawal is no laughing matter and can be very debilitating especially if you choose to go cold turkey. You can also gradually reduce caffeine consumption in preparation for the detox diet plan. For light drinkers, it will take about a week before withdrawal symptoms subside. Heavy drinkers of 1000mg of caffeine or more will experience longer periods of withdrawal, some leading up to 8 weeks. Once you have successfully rid caffeine from your body, you gain back your appetite, sleep better, and become more aware of stress, especially its negative effects.
It is a flawed belief that milk is essential to good health. Yes, it contains protein and a high amount of calcium but little do people know that not only do we barely absorb the calcium in cow’s milk, especially if pasteurized, but to make matters worse, it actually increases calcium loss from the bones. This is called the calcium paradox. Moreover, there is no such thing as hormone free milk. The milk that you are obtaining off supermarket shelves put you at risk for cancer.
Fun fact. 75% of the world’s population is actually lactose intolerant.
Stop drinking milk. Instead, meet your calcium requirements with vegetables such as collard greens, kale, turnip greens, garlic, arugula. These are the top 5. However, there is another excellent source of calcium that you usually throw away.
Especially in powder form, eggshells have positive effects on bone and cartilage and best of all, it prevents and treats osteoporosis. As eggshells are 97% calcium, ½tsp daily is more than enough to meet your calcium requirements of 1000mg/day. Next time you accidentally get eggshells in your food, just eat it.
When you smoke, thousands of chemicals enter your body through your lungs. Burning tobacco produces more than 4,000 chemicals. Nicotine, a drug 10 times more potent than cocaine, constricts vessels, increases blood pressure, and raises blood fat levels. Deep inside the lungs, cigarette smoke damages the floating scavenger cells that work to remove foreign particles from the lungs’ tiny air sacs, called alveoli. The smoke inhaled turns to tar. Only about 30% of cigarette tar is sent back into the air through exhalation. The rest sticks to your throat and lungs. Besides being disgusting, tar kills healthy lung cells.
Therefor, smoking is dangerous.
You will save money as the average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which works out to almost 400 cigarettes a month. Just after 48 hours, your sense of taste will return and you will enjoy the taste of food more. After 3 days, your breathing and general fitness will improve. Within 2 weeks, the appearance of your skin and teeth will improve. In 8 weeks, insulin resistance normalizes.
If you are feeling tired, weak, irritable and and finding it difficult to fall sleep, it is possible that you may have accumulated a harmful amount of mercury in your body. You are at an even higher risk if you have a mouth full of amalgam fillings and especially if you are a seafood lover. You absorb almost 100% of mercury from fish through your gut. Mercury is a billion times more clingy than zinc when it comes to binding with molecules found throughout your body. It is no wonder that the hair, blood and urine is used to test mercury levels.
The only way to safely and progressively eliminate heavy metals like mercury from your body is by visiting the sauna. The Nordic countries and the Japanese have established a sauna culture a long time ago. Notice that they are also the ones that eat the most fish. When you stay in a sauna between 60°C/140°F to 80°C/176°F for 20 minutes, your body’s core temperature will rise resulting in a deep, cleansing sweat. Deep sweating, different from normal sweating, actually expels toxins like mercury.
Eating fish and other seafood is actually good for you. Just avoid those high in mercury levels. Eat more salmon, tilapia, shrimp, oyster, clam, and catfish. These are some of the lowest in mercury levels.
Fasting is as old as mankind, perhaps even older. As far back as historians can see, humans have been fasting for one reason or another. Hippocrates, the Father of medicine, is well known for prescribing his patients two things.
2. Apple cider vinegar.
Detoxification is a normal body process of eliminating toxins resulting from biochemical functions through the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph nodes, and skin. Fasting precipitates this process because, when food no longer enters the body, the latter turns to its fat reserves for energy. When fat reserves are used for energy during a fast, they release the stored chemicals from fatty acids into the system and are then eliminated through the above mentioned organs. When there is no food to digest, energy is diverted towards metabolism and the immune system. This is the reason why you lose appetite when you get sick.
The secret to living longer? Fasting.
The best kind of fast is not juice fasting but intermittent fasting. For starters, finish dinner and stop eating by 8pm right up till 12pm the next day. Eat within these 8 hours and stop eating again for the next 16 hours. Repeat everyday. You are now on the 16/8 hours fast/feed intermittent fast. Once you get the hang of it, go on two 24 hour non-consecutive fasts per week for optimum overall health. Fast from dinner to dinner, 8pm to 8pm.