Detox "diets" are hugely popular. We all love the idea of cleaning out our body by sticking to some stringent diet for 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months. Like I said, we all love the idea. Very, very few people actually stick with the type of diet that takes an all-or-nothing approach - especially after the New Year. It's not that we don't want to be healthy - we certainly do! Rather, we spend that last two weeks of December eating bad foods, drinking more than we should and slacking on exercise. After all, it's the holidays!
Believe it or not, there are easy ways to detox that don't involve completely depriving yourself of foods you love. Here are five tips to help your body "get clean" in the New Year. The simple, effective and if you stick to all five tips for a few weeks, you'll not only feel better, but you'll start looking better, too!
1) Drink 12 ounces of room temp or warm lemon water first thing in the morning. Not only with you get things "moving," but lemon helps to push toxins out of the body...fast.
2) Add fresh garlic to at least one meal a day. Buy one bulb a week. Crush one clove a day. Throw it onto a salad or sprinkle it on vegetables. Done. Garlic is great at cleansing the blood.
3) Cut out gluten. Sounds extreme, but these two foods are big triggers for inflammation. No, I'm not just talking about achy joints, but also heart conditions, eczema, stomach aches...they're all forms of inflammation. If you're having a hard time losing weight and are chronically inflamed, try eliminating gluten. Gluten is a protein found in certain types of grains, including wheat, and is commonly found in bread, pasta, and pastries.
4) Increase fiber from vegetable sources. Every gram of fiber contains four calories - it's acarb. For every gram of fiber you digest, you help to eliminate seven calories. That's negative calories! Soluble fiber breaks down and helps pull sludge out of your blood and is commonly associated with helping to lower cholesterol. Insoluble fiber can't break down, but helps pull sludge out of your colon. Slowing increasing your fiber intake from the average 12 grams a day (for most of us in the United States) to 35 grams not only detoxing our body, but helps us lose weight (several pounds a year!).
5) Take a probiotic. About 70% of our immune system is in our gut. An unhealthy belly means and unhealthy body. Probiotics help level the playing field by increasing GOOD bacteria in the body. If you eat a lot of sugar, drink a lot of alcohol or have been on antibiotics recently, there is a strong chance the bad bacteria in your gut is outweighing the good. Find a good probiotic that has plenty of bifidobacterium (for your large intestine) andlactobacillusacidophilus (for your small intestine).