De-Toxification, or just detox, simply means cleaning the body of the harmful substances or toxins. Toxins could be the chemicals ingested such as food colours and additives or the by-products of the metabolism of certain foods or drinks, such as certain drugs or alcohol.
The body has natural methods of detoxification. Liver is the main organ of detoxification, which naturally detoxifies all toxins that enter the body through the digestive system. It is assisted by kidneys for detoxification to be satisfactory. However, when these toxins exceed the capacity of the liver to detoxify them, body needs external help to rid itself of these toxins. Some foods and drinks have been shown to have the capacity to help liver in this process of detoxification.
After a party especially, one may have an overdose of food and drinks and then feel the need to detoxify. Detoxification can be done for a day or one can follow a detox diet for 2 to 3 days at a stretch.
Detox Diets are normally high in fiber, antioxidants, potassium and water-soluble vitamins, vegetable and fruit based, low in fats, proteins and processed foods.
Certain foods or compounds within them have been shown to be helpful in the process of detoxification, these are:
Water: Water is the most natural cleanser and helps to flush out the toxins and other unwanted by-products of metabolism. It rehydrates the cells of the body. It is better to sip water rather than gulp. Drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water is necessary to detoxify the body.
Lemon : It is a rich source of Vitamin C, one of the most powerful antioxidant, which cleanses the body of the toxins by combining with them and throwing them out of the body. Just the juice of one lemon per day is quite sufficient.
Green Tea: Green tea has a high concentration of the polyphenol group of antioxidants which act as free radical scavengers or which clean the body of toxins by scavenging them. These polyphenols are temperature dependent, which means they work best with hot water. 3-4 cups of tea daily or after a binge of food or drink overload is very helpful.
Mint: Mint has one of the highest antioxidant properties as compared to any food. Mint has a high concentration of menthols, phenols or flavonoids in its leaves. It can be consumed mixed with green tea, lemon water or as a juice. About 10-15 leaves daily taken with any of the above preparations or otherwise show a very good result.
Following are some of the drinks that can be taken to detoxify post an eating or drinking spree:
- Guava cucumber mint mix juice – Guava -1 medium, cucumber (with peel)-1medium, lemon juice -1/2 a spoon and mint-5-8 leaves.
- Green apple grapefruit detox juice – Green Apple- 1 medium, grapefruit- 1/2 (orange – 1 medium can also be used in place), honey- ½ tea spoon
- Spinach cucumber detox juice – spinach- 10 leaves, cucumber (with peel)- 1 medium, mint – 4-5 leaves and lemon juice- ½ a tea spoon
The ingredients, need to be cleaned, washed and put in a grinder. They need to be ground to a pulp and taken with half a spoon of lemon juice. Avoid adding salt or sugar. Even green tea with mint can also be prepared with a dash of lemon juice in it.
Avoid the use of black coffee or tea as it would further dehydrate the cells and cause much damage by producing free radicals. They may be helpful initially, as they effect the central nervous system, but later on will intensify the effect of the toxins.
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