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Detox is a natural process occurring on a continual basis in the body,
but because of the modern diet, the enormous number of chemicals we
ingest daily and the increase in chronic degenerative diseases,
regular detox is necessary.
The purpose of detox is to neutralize and eliminate any compound in the body
that can be toxic.
A detox diet strengthens the organs involved in detox
and releases stored toxins, expelling them through the organs of elimination:
the skin, intestines, liver, lungs, kidneys and lymphatic system.
A detox program may consist of a special diet, nutritional supplements, herbs,
hydrotherapy, exercise, breathing techniques and/or sauna.
A toxin is a compound that can harm the structure or function
of body cells and tissues.
Toxins can come from the environment (alcohol, tobacco, pesticides,
heavy metals such as mercury, food additives, oral contraceptives, and drugs).
The body, during its normal functioning, forms by-products that could also have
if the body didn't neutralize them.
Many people in the medical community still see detox as a treatment
for drug or substance addiction only.
However, the rising prevalence of diseases such as cancer,
chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, attention deficit and
hyperactivity (ADHD, ADD), and autoimmune disease plus the fact that there
are few long-term studies on the cumulative health effects of all sources
of toxins in our environment make periodic detox diets a
prudent preventative measure.
In addition, we have to factor in the role that stress, sedentary lifestyles,
use of prescription drugs and hormone therapies, and the increasing proportion
of dietary fast food, saturated fats, salt and sugar play in our body.
Detox diets are believed to:
• help prevent disease, especially when someone has prolonged exposure to
chemicals or hormones (such as oral contraceptives)
• improve symptoms of low energy, joint pain, headache, pain,
premenstrual syndrome, unhealthy skin, anxiety and irritability,
frequent colds, heartburn, constipation, and gas.
• treat diseases such as autoimmune disease, multiple chemical sensitivity,
fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, digestive disorders, arthritis,
attention deficit, and other chronic degenerative diseases.
Moreover, these new habits help you keep the bloat off and lose more weight.
For more info, download Detox Diets, a free ebook.
Follow this meal plan daily during your detox week:
Wake-up drink: As soon as you rise, drink two 8-ounce glasses of filtered or spring water.
Squeeze half a lemon into one of those glasses; the lemon stimulates your digestive juices.
Your goal is to drink at least six glasses of water by the end of the day.
If you have trouble remembering how much you drank, keep track in your journal.
Between 7 and 8 a.m., eat one piece of fresh fruit like an apple, pear, or banana.
Fifteen to 30 minutes later, eat 1 to 2 cups of cooked whole grains like amaranth,
buckwheat, brown rice, millet, or quinoa. (This delay aids your digestion.)
Avoid barley, corn, oats, rye, and wheat; many people experience congestion,
poor digestion, and other symptoms when they eat these grains.
To prepare most of the grains, you'll add them to boiling water, reduce the heat to a slow
simmer, and cook them covered for 30 minutes or more until they're tender.
(For exact instructions, consult the packaging.) You may want to prepare
several servings ahead of time and reheat them in the morning.
With your grains, take a multivitamin and additional supplements to get 200 to 400 IU of natural vitamin E
(d-alpha tocopherol) and 100 to 200 mcg of selenium. These antioxidants fight the free radicals your
body produces as you detox. Taking supplements with food prevents the nausea you may suffer
if you consume them on an empty stomach. If you usually take other supplements, continue to
take them unless they contain caffeine.
Midmorning snack: Around 11 a.m., sip 1 to 2 cups of the vegetable water left over from steaming
your lunch and dinner. You should reheat this water and can season it with a dash of salt.
The broth provides valuable nutrients that separate from the vegetables during steaming, eases hunger pangs
and keeps you hydrated. Next, take 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C powder buffered with calcium and magnesium.
Mix it with 6 ounces of water and drink.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals produced as you detox,
and calcium and magnesium help ease any agitation you may feel as you withdraw from addictive substances
like caffeine or sugar.
Lunch: Between noon and 1 p.m., eat steamed vegetables. You can make them the night before
or in the morning and reheat them at lunch.
Save the water from the steaming process in a covered container and refrigerate it.
To make your lunch, steam up to 4 cups of raw vegetables in at least 2 cups of water
until they're tender but still crisp.
Prepare at least four vegetables for each meal, aiming for a variety of flavors, textures, and colors.
For example, try a starchy vegetable like a potato, a bitter green like kale, a sweet vegetable
like red bell pepper, and a pungent vegetable like scallions.
Afternoon snack: At 3 p.m., reheat 1 to 2 cups of vegetable water left from steaming,
season it with a dash of salt,and drink it.
Follow with 500 to 1,000 mg of buffered vitamin C.
Dinner: Between 6 and 7 p.m., eat another meal of steamed vegetables.
Steam up to 4 cups of raw vegetables, and flavor them with the seasonings suggested for lunch.
Save the water from steaming to drink the next morning.
The early mealtime gives your body a chance to digest dinner before bedtime so it can concentrate
on detoxifying overnight. After dinner, do not eat again until morning.
Instead, sip non - caffeinated teas like chamomile (Matricaria recutita) or peppermint (Mentha piperita).
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