You know there are certain people who go into detox in order to rid themselves of certain addictions. When in reference to a diet, it can mean the same thing. Detox is a shortened version of the word "detoxification," which is a term that means the elimination of toxins from the body. The detox diet simply means that you're removing toxins from your bloodstream, liver, kidneys and intestines by means of a strict diet [source: How to Detox].
The detox diet has a purpose beyond simply ridding your body of toxins. True, "toxin," as a word with all its connotations, sounds horrible. But the belief that fuels the detox diet is that all these toxins we breathe in and ingest everyday cause skin problems, headaches, fatigue and sickness. The goal of the detox diet is to help get the body back to a healthful, fresh state. The elimination of the toxins is believed to purify the body and help it function better [source: Gavin].
The notion of a detox diet wasn't invented in this decade. It's been around for centuries, and several cultures throughout history have lauded the effects of detoxification. Mostly, a detox diet can be summed up as a low-calorie, primarily liquid diet that has the goal of cleansing the body [source: Moores]. Though there are several detox diets with different specific plans, such as the Fruit Flush and Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet, the general concept behind them all is the same [source: Every Diet].
Read the next page in order to figure out if you have what it takes to follow the most basic detox diet plan.
Detox Diet Plan
As far as diets go, the detox diet is quite a restrictive one. The diet requires you to give up many foods that have ingredients believed to be toxins. Because it's so restrictive, experts recommend that dieters only rely on the detox plan for a small amount of time. And it's best to make sure you have no pressing health issues that could be complicated by such a rigorous diet.
Though there are several detox diets out there, the most basic one involves three days of fasting on water and then 10 days of a monotrophic diet. A monotrophic diet is just a fancy term for limiting yourself to one type of fruit per meal [source: The Diet Channel]. In between lunch and dinner, though, some detox diets do allow a large glass of fresh carrot juice.
After following the plan for 13 days, according to this basic type of detox diet, you would then ease into a more normal diet by eating strictly raw food [source: Sidhwa].
In addition to the food regimen, some detox diets will advise that you take time each day to perform a complete body cleansing. There are several ways to aid your detox diet plan, whether it's with herbs, baths or saunas [source: How to Detox]. Some diets even suggest laxatives or enemas to help the process along [source: Moores].
Now that you know what a basic detox diet plan involves, you might be curious to find out exactly what kinds of foods are permitted. Click to the next page to find out the specific detox diet foods.
Detox Diet Foods
Since the whole point of a detox diet is to eliminate all of your body's harmful toxins, there are certain foods that are either allowed or shunned. Many foods that we consume on a regular basis can be clouded with toxins such as pesticides, mercury and food additives [source: The Diet Channel]. Other things you would want to stay away from are alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, drugs, refined or overly processed food and supplements that have too many additives [source: Every Diet].
Most detox diets will talk about the importance of consuming organic fruits, vegetables and drinks to ensure that no pesticides have touched them. Since overly processed foods are eliminated in the detox diet, you'll want to seek out whole foods like nuts and grains. Additionally, purified water and herbs that naturally help to detoxify the body are a must for anyone on a detox diet [source: Every Diet].
To be more specific, let's consider a sample day's menu. For breakfast, you could eat only one kind of melon. Watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe all count. For lunch, you could choose another fruit and eat only that one type until you were full. This could include some type of citrus fruit, pineapples or plums and a snack of fresh carrot juice. For dinner, you could have apples or bananas or pears [source: Sidhwa].
For more diet-related information, check out the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- The Diet Channel. "Detox Diet." (Accessed 3/5/09) http://www.thedietchannel.com/Detox-diet.htm
- Every Diet. "Detox Diets." (Accessed 3/5/09) http://www.everydiet.org/detox_diet.htm
- Gavin, Mary. "Are Detox Diets Safe?" Nemours, Teen Health. January, 2009. (Accessed 3/5/09) http://kidshealth.org/teen/question/dieting/detox_diets.html
- How to Detox. "Detox Plan." (Accessed 3/5/09) http://www.healthydetoxtips.com/detoxplan.html
- How to Detox. "How to Detox." (Accessed 3/5/09) http://www.healthydetoxtips.com/
- Moores, Susan. "Experts warn of detox diet dangers." MSNBC. May 18, 2007. (Accessed 3/5/09) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18595886/
- Picco, Michael. "Detox diets." Mayo Clinic. April, 2008. (Accessed 3/5/09) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/detox-diets/AN01334
- Sidhwa, Kiki. "Practical Hints for a Detoxifying Regime." Health Recipes. (Accessed 3/5/09) http://www.healthrecipes.com/detox_diet.htm