Detox and Food Pyramid
The classic reason for a detoxification diet was always an impaired or poorly functioning liver. Doctors often prescribed a detox to their patients if they felt the liver function was impaired, so over history a long list of foods has been established that can help with detoxification and are healthy contributions to the overall diet.
Detox SymptomsThere are many reasons one might choose a detox diet, not just the desire to lose weight. For example headaches, allergic intolerances, bad breath or stomach problems can all fuel the desire to remove toxins from the system. Medical advice should always be sought before undertaking a detox and the foods you consume should be chosen with care to assist in maintaining a healthy body while you go through your detoxification.
Good Detox FoodsWhile many people think of detox as ‘cutting out’ foods, the food pyramid can help us by ‘adding in’ healthier food options as we detox, so that we learn new eating habits. Here are some foods that are less familiar to us, but that could make a good contribution to a healthy long term diet if consumed during and after detox.
Beetroot is well known for purifying the blood, so helps to detoxify the blood circulation system, this is especially good for those who have sluggish circulation and cold hands or feet.
Brown rice contains all the B vitamins and selenium which is an antioxidant – it could be eaten most day as part of the cereals and grains section of the food pyramid. Don’t just think of it as a savoury: cook brown rice and eat it with yoghurt and dried fruit as a tasty breakfast whether hot or cold.
Chicory, endive and dandelion greens are all astringents which can help by stimulating the flow of bile.
Fish, especially oily fish, is good for us in all kinds of ways, aiding the eyes, immune system, memory and endocrine glands.
Fruit is often high in antioxidants. Suitable detox fruits include blackberries, blueberries, melon, citrus fruits, plums and prunes and raspberries. Apples are particularly high in pectin which is said to bind with heavy metals and remove them from body. Strawberries are known to be good for teeth and dental health and can help strengthen the gums so that gum disease is eradicated.
Globe artichokes are good at increasing bile production. This means that toxins are removed more quickly from the body via intestinal tract.
Garlic, shallots and chives are good if you are one of the people who worries about the levels of mercury in fish: eating these vegetables can help remove from the liver where it tends to get stored.
Soya beans, called edamame when they are green and often just ‘soya’ in the UK are high in lecithin which helps promote a healthy liver and a good source of complete protein. They may also reduce the risk of colon cancer. They should be counted as part of the pulses section of the food pyramid and you can eat them in many ways apart from the green bean, such as soya milk, tofu soy sauce, miso and tempeh.
Water – drink lots of water when you are detoxing to flush your system.
Wheatgerm gives you a valuable amount of selenium and Vitamin E and can be sprinkled on savoury or sweet foods.