By Assia Mortensen
Many of us consume foods containing high amounts of sweeteners, hormones, pesticides or chemicals. Detox diets are touted as a way to remove toxins from the body, boost your energy and promote weight loss.
There’s a multitude of cleansing and detoxification diets out there – often suggesting some set period of juice fasting followed by a restricted diet. Additionally, according to Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, “some detox diets advocate using herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing.”
If you’re considering a cleansing or detox diet, consult your doctor first, warns Zeratsky. “Detox diets that severely limit protein or that require fasting, for example, can result in fatigue. Long-term fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies,” she adds.
Here’s the rundown on three popular detox/cleansing diets:
Dr. Smith’s Cleansing Diet: This cleanse is outlined in Dr. Smith’s book, “The Four Day Diet.” It has a total of seven phases, each of which last four days. The detoxification process takes place in the first four-day cycle. You consume a diet made up of fruit, non-starchy vegetables, brown rice, beans, nonfat or low-fat yogurt and milk. This cleansing phase is strictly vegetarian, with no fish, meat or poultry. From there, you slowly add more protein and favorite dishes in the remaining phases of the diet.
Dr. Linda Page’s Cleansing Diet: The specifics of your detoxification diet plan depend on what your goals are, according to Dr. Page. Generally, she suggests drinking green tea in the morning for its antioxidant properties. Page also advises spending time in the sun each day to allow your body to produce vitamin D, which helps to cleanse the liver. She adds that ginger root and cayenne pepper facilitate detoxification by improving the functions of your digestive and circulatory systems.
Carole Jacobs and Patrice Johnson’s Detox Diet: According to the book, “Detox for the Rest of Us,” by Jacobs and Johnson, a three-day juice detox may eliminate bloating, relieve constipation and help you drop excess weight. “Detox for the Rest of Us” recommends eliminating grains, meat, fish and dairy for several days prior to starting the program. During the three-day juice cleanse, the authors suggest that you drink juice from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting a range of vitamins and minerals. And, you may want to add flaxseed or psyllium husks for extra fiber.
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Zeratsky, K. Do detox diets offer any health benefits? Available at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/detox-diets/AN01334. Accessed May 7, 2012.
Four day diet. Available at http://www.everydiet.org/diet/4-day-diet. Accessed May 7, 2012.
Page, L. Healthy detoxification helps you cleanse and thrive. Available at http://www.healthyhealing.com/catalog/ProductFamily.aspx?id=117. Accessed May 7, 2012.
Glass, Z. 3 day detox diets for weight loss. Available at http://www.livestrong.com/article/295814-3-day-detox-diets-for-weight-loss/. Accessed May 7, 2012.