For most of us, holiday season is the time to spend with our loved ones and to over-indulge in good food and drinks. We know we will pay for that, but we plan on going through some serious detox after the holidays to even things out. But, many recent studies show that all those detox and cleansing diets are nothing more than just another fad aimed towards money-making for the clever manufacturers and publishers.
Our body as a detox machine
In its May issue, Harvard Women’s Health Watch published a review of many popular detox diets and cleansing regimes. They range from intestinal cleansing, enemas, laxatives, foot baths and special diets. There are thousands of them, and the bottom line is: you do not need them.
Healthy body is designed as finely tuned machine, with organs such as liver and kidneys that do a fine job of getting rid of all the toxins we insist of ingesting. We make their job sometimes difficult, but unless they are ill, they will do better than all those commercial products offered on the web.
Is there a detox diet that works?
One diet that will help your system detox is the diet you should be having all the time: healthy balance of mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish and lean meats. If you overdid it with turkey and ham at your in-laws, make a New Years” ™ resolution to start the New Year with much more leafy green vegetables in your diet. Quit sodas, drink juices and clean water. Start your days with a good breakfast with cereals and fruit. Get your body off the sofa and on the hiking trail. Turn the TV off and sleep at least 8 hours.
What about fasting?
Fasting has been part of our lives since the dawn of the civilization. There is a slight disagreement between scientists about its merits, but most agree that fasts are good for us. Many studies found that periodic fasting will prolong our lives and will boost our cardiovascular health.
Many religions have fasts as part of their ritual, so you might want to stick to the one your religion prescribes. Ancient Ayrvedic medicine suggests frequent short fasts instead of long, infrequent ones. They suggest to opt for fast that means only juices on one day a week, or just vegetables, or only water. Whatever you can take. If you are not the fasting type, try just staying away from food until you are really, really hungry. We do not do that, since we eat for pleasure and most of us forgot the feeling of hunger. But, hunger triggers some important chemicals in our system and it is the key weapon against obesity. It is not easy ignoring all those leftovers in the fridge, but it is for your health.
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