“You go ahead with your red velvet milkshake. I’ll sip this detox juice that I ordered online. It’s made of these amazing berries with magical weight-loss properties. Cost me a bomb, but I have lost three kilos.”
I recall this conversation between two teenage girls on the adjacent table when I was dining out last Sunday. Detox diets have become a trend these days, thanks to aggressive marketing on the internet. And at every gathering, you’ll always come across a friend or relative who promotes detox and can’t stop gushing about its health benefits.
But what exactly is a detox?
Detox, shortened for detoxification, is a process where you aim to flush out toxins from your body. Toxins are the chemicals, pollutants, artificial ingredients, food additives, hormones, and pesticides that creep into your food. Over time, these toxins invite health problems – hormonal imbalance, impaired immunity and nutritional deficiencies to name a few.
Your liver, intestines, kidneys, blood and skin work round-the-clock to remove these harmful substances. However, given the pollution and adulterated food we eat, it’s impossible for the organs to keep a tab on all toxins.
Thus, a detox diet helps you to give up on toxin-rich foods in order to ensure your health. From once-a-week to a three day or a week-long program, you can choose from a detox plan that suits you.
How does a detox work and what are its benefits?
Cleansing the body in the current atmosphere of contamination is the key benefit of detox diets.
Generally, detox plans revolve around juices, water, veggies, and fruits. A good intake of fiber and liquids speeds up the detoxification process through urination and bowel movement. Eating natural foods boosts your well-being.
Another key benefit of such diets is weight loss. Most detox diets restrict the intake of grains, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish and meat which drastically cuts your calorie intake. Also, you have to give up on your bottle of booze and soda. Giving up on your favorite foods may be tricky, but the benefits are enormous.
The liver flushes out toxins, promotes digestion and regulates blood sugar, insulin, estrogen, and testosterone and cholesterol production in the body. However, eating processed foods, eating out too often and excess alcohol results in toxic build-up and inflammation in the liver. As a result, fat gets deposited around your belly. It’s next to impossible to lose this fat, even after restricting your calorie intake, unless you cleanse your liver.
Also, detox diets boost digestion and make your body efficient at soaking up nutrients and eliminating waste. So, the next time you hit a weight loss plateau, opt for a detox diet.
But don’t go overboard with the detox plan. You’ll definitely lose weight, but a detox is not the best method for permanent weight loss. Any diet that involves fasting or restricting entire food groups cannot be followed in the long run. A two-day detox plan is enough to blast the plateau effect.
That said detox can be followed at home with easily available ingredients and a simple diet plan. No need to shop at the supermarket or online for those fancy ‘detox’ juices and teas that burn a hole in your pocket – like the girl at the restaurant.
All you need to do is stock up vegetables and fruits. You can juice them up or whip up a vibrant-looking salad. Be creative and colourful – that’s the trick to a successful detox!
And if you can’t come up with something fun and interesting, don’t worry. The bon happetee app is happy to help you. The app has a section where you can choose from a variety of options and plan your own cleansing program.
So, are you ready to bask in the goodness of veggies and fruits?
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.