Top Ten Foods to Cut Out When Detoxing

The human body is pretty fantastic in how it neutralises and eliminates toxins but sometimes, when it gets overwhelmed, a little help might be in order. There are two key approaches to boosting detoxification processes: cut out potential toxins and allergens; and use natural products to help the organs of detoxification do their jobs more easily. Common Allergens to Avoid While Detoxing Any good detoxification programme will, then, offer advice on eliminating potential problem foods and ingredients in addition to any suggestions of herbal detox products and cleansing juices. The following are the most common offenders when it comes to allergens, toxic overload, and increased inflammation:
  1. Wheat / gluten
  2. Peanuts
  3. Tomatoes
  4. Corn
  5. Sugar, white sugar, glucose, corn syrup
  6. Oranges
  7. Non-fermented soy products
  8. Milk, eggs, and dairy products
  9. Trans-fatty acids
  10. Yeast
Anyone who is serious about spring-cleaning their system should consider removing these foods for a three week period at least, along with alcohol, caffeine (in tea, coffee and pop), artificial preservatives, flavourings, and colourings. This gives the body a bit of a break in which the liver, colon, kidneys, skin, lungs, and the lymphatic system are under less stress and can more effectively eliminate toxins. After the three weeks is up it is recommended to gradually reintroduce the foods one at a time, taking note of any signs of allergy over 3-4 days. Potential food intolerance or allergy symptoms may include:
  • Headaches
  • Skin eruptions, itching or rashes
  • Altered bowel movements
  • Runny nose (especially post-nasal drip)
  • Fatigue
  • Altered mood or concentration.

If such symptoms occur then it is best to remove the food and see if the symptoms subside, then try reintroducing it to see if the symptoms return. If so, it's a pretty strong suggestion that this food is triggering an undesirable immune response and it's worth consulting a qualified nutritionist, dietitian or immunologist to discuss allergy symptoms as these can escalate if unchecked.

Water and Fibre – Essential when Detoxing Whenever someone is detoxing it makes sense to increase water consumption in order to help the body flush out toxins. The same goes for fibre, with soluble and insoluble fibre both helping to keep the bowel clean and blood sugar and inflammation under control. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and even natural fibre supplements can help keep you regular while detoxing. Fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of antioxidants to help neutralise free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to cells.

Sleeping it off and Sweating it out Getting enough sleep and engaging in regular physical activity are also important factors in effective detoxification as sleep offers the body a chance to heal and rest while exercise helps to flush toxins out in the sweat. Research shows that sweating in a sauna is nowhere near as good at clearing toxins compared to working up a sweat by running, playing tennis or simply cycling to work each day.

A Little Extra Help For those who suspect that their body is suffering after a few too many late nights, cocktails and cigarettes, or where environmental toxicity is a factor it can help to include some herbal and nutritional support during a detoxification programme. This can come in the form of spices like turmeric, which is a natural hepatoprotectant, choleretic and cholagogue. This means that turmeric helps protect the liver and increases bile production and gallbladder contraction to stimulate the removal of toxins such as heavy metals and excess hormones.

Natural Detoxification Support Some other great herbs to look out for as part of a detoxification programme include

  • Dandelion
  • Milk thistle
  • Green tea
  • Licorice
  • Cascara

Spirulina and Peppermint Many people also find it beneficial to include the blue-green algae spirulina in juices or smoothies during a detox as this provides all of the essential amino acids and a range of nutrients to support enzymatic processes. Peppermint oil is also great for digestive issues that can arise during a detox, such as excess gas that can form when increasing fibre intake suddenly. Probiotics are another great addition to any detox regime, especially if you've scheduled a colonic irrigation.

Planning a Successful Detox In short, successful detoxification relies on minimising the ingestion of external toxins and the production of internal toxins while supporting the body in its efforts to neutralise and eliminate undesirable substances. Cutting out those top ten allergenic foods is a great start and adding in a few helpful herbs can have you feeling energised and reinvigorated in no time.