Aging inspires many of us to explore solutions to restoring and regenerating our bodies’ faltering systems. We seek preventives to conditions such as diverticulitis and cancer, and grow concerned about how all the potentially lethal substances in our environment may aggravate disease, or affect our overall health.
Whatever the reason, the time has come to consider a detoxification diet. If you want to feel better in as little as seven days, give your body the break it deserves, get back on track, and maybe even lose a few pounds, a detoxification diet is just what the doctor ordered!
The Benefits of a Detoxification Diet
A detoxification diet will cleanse all your systems, and restore some of the energy you’ve lost along the way. By rejuvenating all systems – respiratory (lungs), GI (colon, liver, gallbladder), urinary, skin, and lymphatic – you will be supporting your body’s own detoxification processes.
Increasing transit time, cleansing your colon, enhancing circulation (which helps to clear toxic substances), eliminating allergenic foods or those that require detoxification, and providing nutrients to support and protect your primary detoxifying organ – the liver, will help get your body back to functioning optimally again.
Once you have completed a detoxification diet, many of the nagging symptoms you are experiencing – things like headaches, low energy/fatigue, aches and pains, skin irritations, indigestion, insomnia, depression, distention, flatulence, and hemorrhoids – will be reduced, elimination will no longer be a frustrating ordeal, and eventually you may feel even better than you did when you were twenty-something!
A Detoxification Diet Isn’t a Diet
A detoxification diet is simply a way of eating differently – rather than less – in order to help clear your systems, and make you feel young and refreshed.
There are no calories to count or weigh scales to haul around. By simply paying close attention to what you eat, and how various foods affect your system, you can optimize your overall health.
By progressively limiting food choices, and tracking the way your body feels once it has become cleansed of certain food types, a detoxification diet enables you to get at the root of what ails you.
Once the slate is clean, foods are re-introduced and their effects will be more dramatic than they were before. This will let you know what it is you ought to be eating (and not eating) in order to feel good again.
The Plan: Your 4-Step Detoxification Diet
There are four vital aspects to a detoxification diet:
Step 1: Eat to Clean: Three Phases of Food Cleansing
Step 2: Increasing Fluid Intake
Step 3: Fiber Facilitates Proper Elimination
Step 4: Multi-vitamins, Probiotics, and Colon and Liver Support for Your Detoxification Diet
Eating foods that are right for your particular body can help clear your colon, and the rest of your body, of debris. By progressively removing certain foods from your diet over a twenty-one day period – and then gradually phasing them back in – you will learn which foods are right for you.
Step 1: Eat to Clean: Three Phases of Food Cleansing
We recommend a three-phase, progressive detoxification diet plan. Beginning with Phase One for the first seven days, you can choose to proceed through Phase Two and then Phase Three for the following consecutive 7-day periods – or – if you’re feeling ambitious – you can start with a combined Phase One, Two and Three, eliminating all the products from the three phases at once…for the entire twenty-one day period.
Phase One: Days 1-7
Eliminate What Your Body Can’t Use
Many of the things we ingest are unwelcome guests in our bodies. During a detoxification diet, they represent a good place to begin: the elimination of products that tax the body’s various systems.
Over a seven-day period, work to eliminate the following products from your diet, making sure to track all the effects you experience. For the first few days, as your body rids itself of stored pollutants and fat, you may experience mild headaches, fatigue, nausea, lightheadedness, joint or muscle stiffness, and digestive changes.
- Caffeine (go slowly – withdrawal headaches often occur)
- Candy and chocolate
- Soft drinks (most have caffeine and artificial ingredients)
- Sweeteners (refined sugar/white sugar, sucrose, brown sugar, fructose, dextrose, and artificial sweeteners)
Once you’ve had a chance to implement and assess the effects of eliminating the Phase One products, you may be sufficiently energized, and wish to simply continue indefinitely with this new regimen…
Or you may be inspired to go on to the next phase. Perhaps you did not experience a significant change, and want to up the ante. It’s your choice. If you’re gung ho, continue the process for the next seven days with Phase Two.
Phase Two: Days 8-14
Eliminate What Your Body Doesn’t Want
Much of what we eat is devoid of nutritional benefit, and is harmful over the long-term. In addition to the Phase One products, eliminate these items, and continue to monitor how you feel.
- Bottled salad dressing
- Condiments (ketchup, relish, barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce)
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Deep-fat fried foods
- Excessive salt
- Foods containing additives and preservatives
- Imitation mayonnaise
- Imitation sour cream
- Margarine and other hydrogenated fake butter spreads
- Non-dairy creamers
- Pressurized whipped cream
- Processed, junk, and fake foods (canned meats, cold cuts, bacon, sausage, beef jerky, hot dogs, doughnuts, drive-through foods, dehydrated soups, instant coffee, bacon bits)
- Sandwich spreads
Once you’ve completed Phase One and Phase Two, you ought to be feeling completely energized. However, you may wish to proceed to the Phase Three, particularly if you believe you have food allergies. Let your body guide you.
Phase Three: Days 15-21
Eliminate What Your Body Doesn’t Like
Often people are unaware that the symptoms they’re experiencing may be related to common food sensitivities, intolerances, and allergies. In addition to Phase one and Two products, eliminate these foods for the next seven days, continuing to track how you feel.
- Gluten (wheat, rye, barley, and oat products)
- Milk, butter, eggs, and other dairy products
- Mustard and mustard products
- Nuts, seeds, and peanuts
- Shellfish (clams, mussels, scallops, oysters, crabs, lobsters, prawns, shrimps)
- Soybeans and products (soy sauce, tofu, tempeh)
Now Phase Foods Back Into Your Diet
Depending on how you feel, at the end of the seven to twenty-one day period, you may wish to carry on with this new way of eating. However, if you’re anxious to get back to your regular diet, begin by slowly reintroducing foods.
Over several two-day periods, eat a lot of food from one specific category at a time, and monitor the effects. By now you may be aware of specific food sensitivities, and will have a good idea of which foods make you feel good vs. those that upset your body’s functioning.
Step 2: Increasing Fluid Intake
Always a crucial part of bodily functioning, fluids are especially important when implementing a detoxification diet because they help to keep your bowel hydrated, and assists in flushing wastes from your system. An inadequate amount of fluids can lead to constipation and toxicity in the bowel and kidneys.
As a rule, drink at least half your body weight in ounces on a daily basis. A 150-pound woman ought to drink 75 ounces of quality water, fruit juices, decaf teas, broths (low sodium), and/or vegetable drinks (wihtout sugars and added salts) each day. Caffeinated beverages are dehydrating, and CAN NOT be considered as part of your daily fluid intake.
While on a detoxification diet, you will be increasing your fiber intake. This increase necessitates the need for additional fluid since fiber works to carry water out of your body.
Drink only water that has been filtered using a reverse osmosis, charcoal, ceramic, or other high quality filtration system. Steer clear of tap water as it contains toxins, fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, microorganisms, and other impurities.
Avoid storing and/or drinking water from plastic containers. Glass is best for storage. And remember, your body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.0 degrees Celsius), so avoid drinking water that is icy cold.
If you are older, take special care to increase your water intake during your detoxification diet. As you age, your thirst mechanism does not function as well as it used to, so you may not even be aware that you are becoming dehydrated.
Step 3: Fiber Facilitates Proper Elimination
When detoxifying, it is important to increase fiber intake as it will be needed to help cleanse the colon and keep waste products moving properly. Elimination of urine and stools is the body’s primary way of ridding itself of toxins. Regular bowel movements decrease the likelihood that toxins will be reabsorbed into the body.
There are two types of fiber, and lots of tasty ways in which to get it. Each fiber type performs a unique function during a detoxification diet, so it’s important to ensure adequate intake of both to assist with the cleansing process.
Insoluble fiber is indigestible. It travels through the intestines completely intact, and is responsible for preventing constipation, removing toxic waste from the colon, and balancing acidity in the intestines. Insoluble fiber absorbs water and swells in the colon, encouraging the speedy elimination of stool and toxins from your system.
Soluble fiber slows digestion and helps your body to absorb vital nutrients from foods. It promotes health by encouraging the growth of bacteria that strengthen the immune system and fight infection. Soluble fiber is metabolized into fatty acids – important to the detoxification process – providing metabolic energy, helping to digest food and amino acids, producing certain vitamins, and fostering regularity.
Step 4: Multi-vitamins, Probiotics, and Colon and Liver Support
for Your Detoxification Diet
A rich, pharmaceutical-grade multi-vitamin is an essential part of any health regimen, and it is especially important during your detoxification diet. Choose a multi-vitamin that contains calcium, magnesium, and essential fatty acids. This will help your body to nourish your cellular functioning.
Choose one that also includes selenium, zinc, and at least 500 mgs of vitamin C, is desirable. A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C is an antioxidant that provides valuable support to the detoxification process. Puristat’s Advanced Supplementation is a five-in-one multivitamin that will suit your needs well during and after your detoxification diet.
The number of lactobacillus acidophilus, the most commonly known probiotic in our system, tends to decline in number as we age. By supplementing with a probiotic during a detoxification diet, you will enable your upper GI tract to cleanse, rest, and restore balance to your internal ecosystem.
Probiotics help to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in your body such as disease-producing bacteria and fungi. A lactic acid producer, probiotics make the intestines uninhabitable for harmful microorganisms such as Candida albicans, also known as yeast.
Probiotics stimulate activity in key immune system glands such as the thymus and spleen, and prompt your body to manufacture natural protective antibodies to fend off tumors and promote the production of cancer-fighting hormones.
Probiotics are best taken twice a day, thirty minutes prior to eating.
Colon and Liver Support
By cleansing your colon and liver consecutively, you’ll be focusing on regenerating the body’s top two filtration organs.
Caring for Your Colon
Whatever we carry inside of us, even though it is waste matter earmarked for elimination, can leak out, bathing vital organs with toxins. If you don’t eliminate waste quickly, your colon re-absorbs the body’s toxic waste, hampering the natural detoxification process.
The blood that flows through every major organ in your body comes from your colon, so speedy elimination is vital. Whatever gets stuck in your colon ends up back in your bloodstream. By cleansing your colon, fewer toxins will get re-absorbed into the bloodstream from the colon, easing the workload for other major cleansing organs such as the liver.
Caring for Your Liver
The liver requires support during detoxification. Bile carries stored fat-soluble toxins away from the liver to be excreted in the stools, so increasing bile flow is a vital part of detoxification. Choline and methionine are desirable supplements as they help to regulate fat metabolism and increase the flow of bile.
Milk thistle provides support for the liver – the body’s main detoxifying organ. A powerful antioxidant, this herb assists in liver cell regeneration. Milk thistle is recommended as part of a detoxification diet, as well as for people who’ve been exposed to chemical and industrial pollutants, or who’ve consumed excessive amounts of alcohol or fat.
The thought of successfully carrying out a detoxification diet may seem overwhelming. Altering habits – if only for a few weeks – may sound like a daunting task.
But remember when you were first learning to ride that two-wheeler? Or drive your mom’s car? Or learn to use a new program on your computer? It might have been difficult at times, but once you got it, you likely wondered what all the fuss was about!
It’s the same way with a detoxification diet. And it may just become second nature. The long-term benefits are invaluable…detoxification frees up your immune system to cope with more pressing problems such as viruses, premature aging, and potential disease.
The many rewards – improved digestion, increased energy and clarity, clearer skin, weight loss – will make the effort worthwhile!
If you do decide to go back to your old ways of eating after your detoxification diet, try to complete a detox diet at least every three to six months. In addition, support your body daily with a multivitamin and cleanse your colon and / or liver every three months.