Before we get to know how to detox your body, we’ll know what does detox mean and why is it necessary for your body.
What is detox?
Our bodies have a process of collecting unhealthy substances through our skin, the air we breathe in and the food we eat. Our bodies remove these substances daily to keep us healthy.
Because of our lousy lifestyle and poor eating habits, we make our bodies sick. Our fast-paced lifestyle, bad sleeping routine and poor eating habits interrupt and damage our body’s natural cleansing, repairing and healing process.
Detoxification is a cleansing process and by detoxing, we give our body a chance to perform this cleansing process.
To remove unhealthy substances: We gain many unhealthy particles from foods like grains, sugar, legumes, alcohol, supplements and many other types of foods. Now, these substances need to be out of your body if you want to stay healthy.
To improve health: Toxins are the major cause of diseases these days. As what we eat these days is full of pesticides and preservatives. Detox can help eliminate these particles from our body’s system.
To maintain weight: This process can help you reduce weight in the long run as you keep your body system clean and clutter-free, which improvises your metabolism.
To purify the body for meditation: Detox can also cleanse your body before including meditation in your lifestyle. In ancient times, eating light food and following a healthy meal plan was part of spiritual life. You eat as much as your body requires as per your occupation, not more than that. E.g., a labourer needs to eat protein-rich, high carbs and sugary foods, but an office clerk needs fewer carbs, less sugar and micronutrients rich food. Just like that, a monk doesn’t require heavy meals because he has to sit for long hours without body activity. Heavy food will make him sleep and disrupt his awareness; his meditation.
When to detox?
You can pick either of the following processes according to your schedule.
Weekly process: You can do it consistently for a short period. You can do one-day fasting and consume liquid food the whole. You can do this process only if you add it to your routine for life long. Because of this reason in the Hindi culture in ancient India, one-day fasting in a week was promoted.
Yearly process: You can do it for a longer period too, like a detox for 21 to 30 days if your lifestyle doesn’t support the weekly process.
How to detox?
Detox doesn’t mean that you have to starve yourself. It simply means that you have to put yourself on a liquid diet instead of solid food.
You can add these fluids to your diet:
- Lemon juice
- Coconut water
- Green tea
- Warm water with lemon
- Ginger tea
- Watermelon juice
- Tomato juice or soup
- Freshly squeezed seasonal fruit juice
- Apple cider vinegar with warm water
If you have blood pressure related problems and you have to eat something, then you can have jeera khichdi (made with rice and dal) without spices.
The prime motive of detox is to give time to your stomach to cleanse. Keep your diet as light as possible. When your stomach is full of heavy and junk food, it can’t perform the cleansing process.
It’s like how you clean your house. You remove all the extra stuff and obstacles for a thorough cleaning, and then you do the cleaning.
In the same way, you clear the obstacles by not putting heavy food in your stomach.
What not to do?
Sometimes when we do detoxification, we often go overboard. So keep these things in mind when you are on it.
Don’t do detoxification every day: Your body is always detoxing. You just need to be conscious about what kind of food you put in your mouth every day, rest will be taken care of by your body intelligence. You should follow a healthy exercise routine, a good diet plan, and have adequate sleep for a fit body.
Avoid over-drinking: Replacing solid foods with a liquid diet doesn’t mean that you keep on drinking juices. Going on a liquid diet means being light on your stomach. We perform a detox process to give the body some space between our mealtimes.
No starving yourself: Your body needs food to generate energy, and you need this energy to do your daily tasks. Don’t starve yourself. This way you will imbalance your blood sugar and salt levels and get sick.
Don’t use laxatives or artificial products to detox: You need to detox your body naturally and healthily. Do not use artificial products because they will harm your body instead of healing. You don’t have to drink those juices which claim to detox. A freshly squeezed glass of juice is always best for your health.
Don’t go overboard: Some people detox crazily for a long term hoping to lose weight. Detoxification is not a cure for weight loss. You may lose weight while doing it, which is natural. Weight loss is the by-product of detox, not the direct outcome. Do it moderately. There is scientific research done on how long-term fasting can affect their health. When you do long-term fasting and come back to your routine diet, your body responds by tempting for more food to fulfil starvation. As a result, you can gain weight instead of losing. Even worse, you can suffer from malnutrition.
Consult your doctor: It’s a natural process, but before doing it, consult your doctor to be on the safe side. I can’t survive on juices because of my sensitivity to sugar and fructose. I prefer to eat khichdi at intervals.
So ask your doctor first.
In gist, Indians have been doing detoxification for ages. It has become a trend these days, which is good until you make a fuss out of it and make it unnatural. You should have the right approach to do it.
Remember, the body’s mechanism detoxifies by itself, you just have to pause your interruption. If you already follow a healthy lifestyle and a good nutritional plan, then you don’t have to do much to detox, your body intelligence will take care of it.
This all doesn’t mean that solid food is bad. There’s no need to be afraid of eating solid foods. Following a nutritional diet regularly is the necessity of the body.
When you try it out, let me know how you felt after doing it.
Check out this amazing post to understand your body intelligence and what happens if you ignore it.
Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor before performing it.