The prominent reason of increase in lifestyle diseases is unhealthy food and its toxic content which interferes with the body system and slows it down. Such conditions give rise to symptoms like tiredness, reduced concentration, fat deposition, weight gain, liver problem etc. There is a proven and age old approach to handle such slowing down of the body which is known as detoxification of the body. Detox treatment is used to lose weight and relieve chronic health problems. There are many detox programs available these days and some of them promotes unsafe and ineffective practices such as extended fasting or intake of some particular food item for an extended period of time which can cause complications as low blood pressure, nutrient deficiency etc.
The safest approach of detoxification is a naturopath detox program which is based on healthy changes and optimum nutrient intake to detoxify the body in a safe manner. You should consult your doctor before going for detox treatment if you are on medication. You should not opt for detox program if you are having any of these special conditions which are:
· You are pregnant or nursing mother
· You are the under the age of 18
· You have active cancer
· You have liver disease or hepatitis
· You have type 1 diabetes
· You are taking medications for bipolar disorder
How naturopathic medicine works?
This approach of medicine uses natural elements to promote healing and boost up the immune system of the body. The elements used in this method are herbal treatments, nutrition and alternative therapies like acupuncture and homeopathy.
Benefits of naturopathic detox plan
Although, our body is designed and well equipped to detoxify itself but when external toxins get added to the normal level of toxins produced during biological reactions then the body gets overloaded. This additional body load damage the organs involve in process of detoxification such as liver, kidney, spleen etc. Toxins cause the free radicals bind to the cytokines (the information transferring cells) and thus damage the immune system pathways and reduced its functionality. This naturopathic detox program eliminates the toxins absorbed by the body from outside such as food additives, prescription or over-the-counter drugs, household cleaning products, industrial chemicals and chlorinated or fluoridated water. It also cleans the toxins produced as the byproducts of metabolic reactions.
What to expect from this detox treatment program?
To get the benefits of detox program, you have to follow the plan for few days, weeks or month which depends on state of your health. If you are addicted to sugar or caffeine then you may experience headache, nausea and feel low for 1 or 2 days but after this duration you will experience increased energy, improved bowel function, better sleep and glowing skin. If you have followed all the instructions correctly then you may also notice considerable weight loss too after the detox treatment.
What kind of foods will be included or excluded in this detox program?
Food to be included
- Whole vegetables especially green leafy veggies
- Brown rice and non gluten grains (wholegrain)
- Sugar substitute such as stevia which is 150 times sweeter than sugar but has negligible effect on blood glucose
- Proteins rich sources such as beans and lentils, wild fish, organic chicken and turkey
- Antioxidants sources such as green tea and apple cider vinegar
- Fiber rich sources like whole fruits, nuts, seeds and berries
- Coconut oil and olive oil for cooking or supplement like plant based protein powder
Food to be excluded
- Dairy products except unsweetened plain yoghurt, ricotta cheese and raw milk and eggs
- Gluten grains especially anything made from wheat, rye, oats, rice, barley, spelt, millet and even quinoa
- Processed items such as sugar, Sweeteners, flavors, coloring
- Carbonated drinks such as soda and alcohol
- Caffeine containing beverages like tea and coffee
- High fat content meat such as beef, pork and deli meats including bacon and sausages
- Creamed vegetables, salted nuts, peanuts and other similar snacks
- Soy and corn oil
- Supplements like whey proteins
Drinks to be included
- Minimum three liters of fluid per day which should consist of water, herbal teas and juices.
- Fruit and vegetable juice to get extra micronutrients. You can use carrot or green apple and add beetroot, kale, lemon, spinach, turmeric, celery, parsley, ginger, wheatgrass and dandelion leaves
- Herbal teas like burdock, Echinacea, calendula, red clover, clivers and dandelion root
- Key ideas to keep in mind during detox treatment
Daily bowel movements
Our body removes all the waste (toxic or nontoxic) through bowel and daily bowel movements prevent the reabsorption of toxic compounds in the body. You may feel that your bowel movements have increased during detox treatment and sometimes you may feel constipated. Here are few tips to resolve the constipation problem:
- Drink enough amount of water so that you need to urinate per hour
- Stay active physically by walking, practicing yoga or doing light exercises
- Use magnesium citrate supplement which restores the magnesium level in the body and enhances intake of calcium for natural stress relief and healthy bowel movements.
- Twelve hours window for deep cleansing
Our body decides the distribution of limited energy according to the requirements of various systems in the body. Our digestive system is the most energy consuming system and if most of the energy will be invested in this system then little energy will be left for deeper cleansing of body or detoxification process. Therefore, it is necessary that you should follow a 12 hour window in the initial days of detox program or in simple words maintain 12 hour gap between your meals. For example, if you have taken your evening shake at 6 PM then you should have your morning shake at 6 AM in morning or later.
Hold your emotions
People are more emotional during detox programs than usual because detox treatment is not just cleansing of body, this approach also vent out your negative emotions like stress, fear, anxiety etc. This release of emotional toxins can be very scary but you should take it up as a challenge and give space to yourself. Some people starts craving for food during emotional breakdown which is known as emotional hunger which is very different from true hunger. Here is a method to determine the difference between true hunger and emotional one so that you can better control yourself during emotional hunger.
True hunger features
- Gradually arises as per biological clock
- You can try different food items
- You can wait if food is not available
- You will stop eating when you are full
- You feel satiated when you finished eating
Emotional hunger features
- Suddenly arises when you get emotional
- You crave for a particular food item
- You want the food instantly
- You will not stop eating even you are full
- You will feel unsatisfied, shameful or guilty
As we have mentioned earlier that naturopathic detox treatment is the safest option and you will benefitted more if you practice it under professional guidance. If you are going to do it yourself then you must keep the above mentioned guidelines and precautions in mind while following a detox program.