Detox diets are meant to cleanse the body of harmful toxins and other contaminants. The diet enhances bodily functions and leads to better physical and mental health and fitness. Obviously, this holds true under the assumption that the diet will work as intended. But there's no guarantee, and it's most certainly not going to be easy.
The process of detoxification is not complex, since the main task here is to take away any and all harmful foods and beverages that the body may have grown addicted to. As an example, consider a diet mainly consisting of salads for people who eat a lot of junk food. Another instance would be a weak patient who isn't getting sufficient nutrition being forced to eat full meals containing whole grains and unprocessed but protein-rich foods.
Others addicted to beer or carbonated soft drinks filled with sugar may be denied these beverages. The drinks they can take will be limited to a healthy selection such as fruit juices and vegetable smoothies with no artificial flavoring or additives. In extreme cases, the best way to detoxify heavy drinkers who are already overweight is to make sure they drink nothing but plain water or coconut water.
Such a diet plan cannot be created using a set formula. Dietitians must decide what to do on a case-by-case basis. There's no established science behind it as yet, so results are not guaranteed and there are no guidelines that need to be followed. It's just a matter of finding a competent dietitian and then exercising some willpower.
For example, some people may be put on a three-day juice fast where they get nothing to eat. The only nutrition they get for three whole days is from fruit juices. Another popular plan is a seven-day diet where the only things on the table are fruits, green and leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts and olive oil. In some cases, fish may be added to the diet if the patient is in dire need of nourishment.
No matter what the duration or type, all detox diets have a few things in common. For instance, fried foods and dairy products are always excluded. Sugar is also eliminated, and so are most foods that contain a lot of sugar. Another common exclusion is for processed foods containing harmful additives, artificial flavoring and preservatives.
The reverse is also true, with some foods considered as essential ingredients for effective detoxification. These are items that contain inordinately high amounts of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and other such things that actually speed up the detox process. Garlic in powdered or paste form is one such item, since it goes well with other foods in the diet. The sulfur compounds released into the body through garlic intake helps the get rid of toxins much faster.
Lemons are another essential ingredient in detox diets since they contain a healthy amount of Vitamin C which prevents the buildup of toxins. Apples contain glucaric acid which gets rid of steroids, carcinogens and other toxins in the liver. These are just some of the most well-known items used in this kind of diet, and a professional dietitian should be able to pick and choose the best foods required based on the patient's condition and needs.
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