Summertime offers a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are perfect for a detox diet. And when done correctly, detoxing diets can be effective for increasing your energy, boosting your immune system and keeping you fit.
But you also need to proceed with caution. The more you know about your body and the better you plan your detox the easier it will be for you to succeed.
If you're thinking about going on a detox diet to start off your summer, read these tips for doing it safely and effectively.
Detox diets can range from extreme to simple. They can include living on nothing but water and lemon juice for a week straight or simply cutting out certain foods such or refined carbs, or giving up coffee for good.
But you need to choose the right diet for your body in order for it to be safe and effective. Fasting on lemon water, for example, can actually be dangerous for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
The biggest advantage to detoxing is that it gives you more energy and you can lose weight. By removing toxins or metabolic waste you will restore more pure energy to your body. In other words, you will clear out bad fat, stored carbohydrates, artificial ingredients and other accumulations that pollute the bloodstream and bog down your body with constipation, inflammation and congestion.
When your blood and muscle tissue have "clean fuel" it can more easily convert to pure energy you can use to stay in motion—movement, metabolism, exercise and fat burning.
From foods to foot reflexology, there are many modalities that help your body eliminate toxins.
Here are some pointers to get you started on a detox diet that's right for you.
Eat Fresh Fruit
Some of the best foods for a detox diet include: apples which are rich in fiber, watermelons for its high water and sugar content to prevent dehydration and balance blood sugar; lemons for their high Vitamin C levels and enzyme-release properties that aid digestion; beetroots for their Vitamins B3, B6, C and beta-carotene and iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium which help break down and remove toxins to aid liver and gallbladder health; mangoes which are rich in Vitamin A and powerfully antioxidant; cucumbers which helps regulate urine flow and eliminates uric acid build up; and coconut water which has calcium, iron and manganese and is a great natural source of electrolytes.
Supplement with Minerals
If you plan to go on a liquid only diet, add a mineral rich plant protein such as Hamcho (Glasswort) to your drink or smoothie to support your nervous system and regulate blood sugar. Seaweeds like glasswort also bind heavy metals in the digestive tract helping to flush them out of your system.
Sea salts are another great way to boost your immune system and detoxify your body. Sea salt is concentrated with minerals such as iodine, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium and contains the natural sodium your body needs.
Sea salts can be used to supplement your meals or for bathing. Soaking in mineral salt also helps draw out toxins through the skin.
Do Some Fancy Footwork
Consider also getting a foot reflexology massage to support your body in eliminating metabolic waste. Massaging points on the soles of the feet that directly stimulate kidneys, lungs and liver can enhance your detox by speeding up digestion and elimination.
Drink Plenty of Water
This advice cannot be emphasized enough. Dehydration is the number one danger to your health when dieting or detoxing. Whether it's from not replacing electrolytes lost through heavy perspiration from vigorous exercise or not drinking enough water on a fast, your body will feel the effects of dehydration faster than you would from not eating enough food.
For most people, eating little to no food for a few days can leave them feeling energized and in better shape. But you should use caution. While fatigue, headache or skin rash are normal signs that your detox is working, if your symptoms are severe you should adjust your diet.
Use these guidelines, and your own body's signals to enjoy a healthy, rejuvenating cleanse to start off your summer.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions about your medical condition before starting any diet.