“Detox” is a common buzzword, nowadays. Mushrooming spas and fitness centers offer special diets and programmes. Detox promises; include instant sanitation or cleansing of the system (literally like washing your sins away), weight loss and even magical cures to several ailments. Drinking copious amounts of water and juices, gorging on salads, taking of laxatives along with enemas, colonic irrigation, and fasts to detox- is the new age mantra to get you in shape.
Do detox diets and techniques really deliver what they promise, and are they warranted and safe?
Nutritionist and weight loss Guru, Ishi Khosla throws light on the concept. Detoxification refers to treatment protocols designed to help the body, rid itself of waste and toxic materials. The body excretes toxins through various systems including lungs, kidney, skin and the colon. The liver is a key factor in detoxification.
Drinking plenty of water helps the kidney work efficiently to cleanse the blood and to excrete waste products.
The average amounts needed to make adequate urine are about 2-2 ½ litres and can vary for individuals, seasons and activity. However, excessive amounts may simply be useless and even inconvenient.
Dietician Ishi Khosla says that fasting as a means to detoxify does not really help, especially true when fasting is followed by feasting. What really works is adoption of healthy eating and lifestyle practices on a regular basis rather than intermittent fasting and special detox diets practiced for a few days.
Ishi says a good diet should emphasize whole, minimally processed foods with fruits and vegetables that supply adequate antioxidants including vitamin C, E, copper, manganese, selenium, and zinc needed by the body’s detoxification enzymes to function optimally.
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Foods like oats, amla, aloe vera, alfa-alfa sprouts, yogurt, garlic, and mushrooms along with essential fatty acids may be good choices.
Gel forming fibers like psyllium husk (isabgol), guar gum (beans), pectin (fruits) and oat bran can help bind ingested toxins and prevent their absorption.
Eating organic produce, thoroughly washing, peeling fruits, and vegetables can help as organic solvents are easily absorbed through the skin.
The recommended approach entails a life long commitment to healthy diet habits and regular physical exercise regimens including yoga.