Long before Oprah and other celebrities lauded the benefits of detoxification, the ancient Greeks and Egyptians celebrated its ability to promote mental and physical health. Detoxification, in its simplest form, is the removal of environmental and dietary toxins or those harmful substances that we either breathe in or eat.
A detox diet aims to get rid of food-related toxins–like those found in alcohol, sugars and some fats–which have been linked to a whole gamut of problems: exhaustion, digestive ailments and depression. Several cultures have celebrated the detox diet over the centuries for the health benefits that emerge from simply reducing or eliminating harmful foods and introducing a toxin-fighting diet rich in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Detox programs vary widely. Some call for an individual to fast on only juices for days, if not weeks, whereas others may call for the elimination of some questionable foods, like meat and white bread. Usually, a detox diet last for seven to 10 days, with the first days primarily reserved for the consumption of raw foods and vegetable and fruit juices, while the remaining days one adheres to a schedule of nutrient and fiber-rich foods, such as fresh vegetables, legumes and whole grains–cutting out the stuff that is not so good for you. Whatever the plan may be, consult your doctor first because not all diets of this kind are created equal.
One of the most pleasant side effects of detox is a more trim physique. That’s due to emphasis on healthy foods and the removal of bad influences in your diet, plus detox is about so much more than food. Food isn’t the only toxic element in one’s life. After all, stress is toxic, as well as smoking and pollutants in the air. The detox program focuses on the whole-body, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, so in addition exercise is a must. The weight loss is attributed to the one undergoing detox using up more calories than she or he is taking in.
Another pleasant result of detox is one may experience fewer or less severe headaches. That’s because those who are following a responsible detox plan have cut out alcohol and caffeine, which can trigger headaches, due in part to their ability to dehydrate.
Detox is kind of like getting a good facial. Often people experience glowing, more luminous and clear skin while detoxing. This can be attributed to better hydration. Drinking lots of water is a core component of any detox program. In fact, it’s suggested that those on such a program start their day with a warm glass of water and lemon, which will also help to aid in digestion. They should continue to drink glasses of water throughout the day, as opposed to reaching for a dehydrating can of soda.
Another benefit many have reported is an enhanced ability to concentrate, as well as enhanced creativity. These feelings of mental well-being go back to the head-body connection. As the body begins to feel lighter and better, the mind also becomes more active and healthier.
Drinks full of sugar give a short buzz, but detox provides the real thing. It gives you lots of energy and stamina. It makes sense that one’s energy would peak. After all, those following the regimen are eating the right foods. These are foods that can then be efficiently and effectively turned into energy. In addition, a fitness regime also helps to increase endorphin levels and give one an overall take-on-the-world boost.
Many people opt for detox as a last resort because they’re often tired or sick. If you find the program is making you feel more nauseous, fatigued or more prone to headaches, the program is probably too rigid and restrictive. Again, always consult your doctor beforehand. Detox is about jump-starting one’s healthy lifestyle. One should not complete a detox program and jump right into their old habits again, as then all the benefits will be canceled out. The pounds and a general feeling of being unwell will return.
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