We all know those women who come into work brimming with positivity on a Monday morning, extolling the virtues of their latest detox. We’ve also probably harbored some assumptions. They’re starving themselves, their smiles are forced and that any moment they’re going to become cranky and irritable from malnutrition or pass out from low blood sugar. While it’s absolutely true that some faddy detoxes advocate a massive reduction in calorie intake, the truth is that detoxifying your body, and thereby improving your health is as simple of having a good hard look at your diet, finding the things that are poisoning you and replacing them with healthier alternatives.
Before we get into healthy alternatives, it’s time to name and shame the most toxic foods in the western diet. While fatty, sugary and salty foods should be eliminated altogether to eliminate dietary toxicity, some offenders are worse than others. If you find yourself loading up on these at the supermarket or grocery store, stop today! They need to be eliminated…
- Artificial food colorings: Specifically blue 1 and 2, red 3, green 3 and yellow 6. These have been directly linked to a range of cancers.
- MSG- Monosodium glutamate: This ‘flavor enhancer’ is found in a variety of processed foods and have been proven to negatively affect brain chemistry.
- High fructose corn syrup- By rule of thumb, the more refined the carbohydrate, the higher your insulin response. The higher your insulin response, the more fat your body stores and the more your energy balance is thrown off-kilter. Sugar is the most refined carbohydrate there is and they don’t come more damaging than this heavily processed syrup found in most sweet snacks and sodas.
- Artificial sweeteners- Many fledgling dieters substitute sugars for calorie free artificial sweeteners, thinking that they’re making a healthier choice. They are, unfortunately, dead wrong.
- White flour- White flour has been used in bread baking for over a century now. It was originally intended to make breads more cosmetically appealing but in today’s market it’s typically used to extend the bread’s shelf-life. White breads are empty calories because the wheat germ and bran are removed, robbing the grain of the necessary fiber and nutrients.
Detox or Teatox?
Given the toxicity of the typical Western diet, it stands to reason that a market would arise around counteracting these toxins. As there are so many detoxes and cleanses out there, many involving seemingly miraculous teas, the consumer may wonder whether to go for a detox or a ‘teatox’. They are, in fact both one and the same. Finding the best detox tea for weight loss is all well and good, but it needs to be supplemented by a healthy diet. No detox tea worth its salt should be drunk at the expense of all other nutrients.
The best natural detoxifiers
So, which foods are the best for detoxing naturally? Well, the good news is that the list is both diverse and tasty. Whatever your tastes there’s bound to be something that suits you. Needless to say, boosting your intake of fresh veggies and fruits is a must as is eliminating processed foods and cutting down significantly on meat and dairy. Natural detoxifiers include these nutrient rich babies:
- Wild salmon
- Kiwi fruit
- Artichoke hearts
This list is by no means exhaustive, but the above foods are nutrient dense and easy to work into virtually any meal plan.