Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vegetable and Fish Detox

Detox diets comprise low-fat, high-fiber foods, which aid in the removal of toxins from the body. After a one-week detox, you should begin feeling more energized and less bloated.

A strict detox diet involves the elimination of processed foods, preservatives and additives, starches (pasta, bread), gluten, high-fat foods, dairy, refined sugars, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and all meats from one's diet. A less strict detox diet may include one cup of coffee per day to avoid any headaches and certain types of fish.

Detox Duration and Frequency, To achieve maximum results, a detox should last one week and should be made into a habit in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Those who are detoxing for the first time may experience headaches that are associated with the withdrawal of caffeine and other foods that are avoided during a detox. How often you should detox is dependent on your lifestyle, metabolism and regular diet. You should consult a health care provider to determine your detox frequency.

Cardinal Detox Rules -Since the main purpose of any detox is to cleanse one's body by eliminating toxins, ideally, all foods should be organic and fresh. During a detox, all foods should be sautéed with extra virgin olive oil, broiled, steamed or baked. Most important, drinking lots of water will help flush out toxins. Water will also cut unnecessary food cravings by keeping you feeling full.

"Must Eat" Vegetables and Fish - Increasing your vegetable intake is good, but replacing any red meats and other foods on the "to avoid during a detox" list with vegetables is great. Although all vegetables have some sort of nutritional value, the colorful ones offer the most health benefits. There's a good reason why mom wanted you to always finish that broccoli. Broccoli not only has high levels of Vitamin A, B and C, but it also contains a plant chemical, which acts as a liver detoxifier. Cauliflower, cabbage and brussel spouts, along with broccoli, all belong to the cabbage family and provide nutritional benefits similar to that of broccoli. Spinach, kale, chard and collard greens are high in antioxidants, while red, yellow and orange bell peppers are packed with Vitamin C.

All of these vegetables, in addition to tomatoes, onions, garlic, shallots, chives and leeks, are cancer-reducing foods. The next time you add these foods to a dish, remember that they not only add spice but also reduce the risk of cancer. Ideally, saturated fats should be avoided altogether, because they are toxins that build up in cell membranes and increase the risk of heart disease. During a detox, saturated fats should be replaced with nutritional fatty acids such as those found in olive and flaxseed oils and salmon and tuna.

Salmon and tuna contain the highest levels of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and are therefore the preferred fish for detox diets. Considered essential nutrients for the development of healthy cells, these fatty acids cannot be made by our bodies and must come from foods. A lack of these fatty acids can result in chapped lips, cracked or dry skin and brittle hair. Beyond skin conditions, these fatty acids can also improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation.

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