The body naturally builds up toxins from the foods we eat (over processed foods or those containing pesticides), the polluted air we breathe from the environment, as well as alcohol and prescription drugs. Our bodies also get toxins from our bodily conditions such as stress.
One is able to know that they need to cleanse their body because the body will always give signals such as weight gain, body aches, digestive problems, confusion, feeling dizzy as well as persistent skin problems.
It is, therefore, important that one does routine cleansing using food in order to ward off diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
According to Lydia Aisu Pedun, a dietitian, a cleansing diet is essential in clearing the body of toxins, contaminants, and heavy metals which would otherwise accumulate in cells, tissues, organs and joints or even in the bloodstream and cause health problems thereafter.
“When the toxins are cleansed from the body, the immune system is boosted and we reduce the risk of disease. You will also attain emotional stability and a better absorption of nutrients and minerals in the body,” she says.
Fruits and vegetables
Alkaline vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, and kale that can be eaten raw, juiced or steamed are a good part of a cleansing diet. This is because they promote oxygenation of body cells and aid detoxification.
“Incorporating multi-coloured vegetables and fruits is an essential support to the immune system that will enable proper elimination of toxins and regulate body weight. These keep you feeling satisfied for a longer time, and feed the friendly bacteria in the gut to ensure proper digestive health,” Aisu says.
Foods that are rich in fibre are known to reduce the risk of blood pressure and inflammation in the body.
Lilian Nyanzi, a nutrition research associate at Africa Innovations Institute, says these plant-based food sources also help keep the digestive system clean and healthy. They also add bulk to stool thereby easing bowel movements and help in flushing out cholesterol and other toxic substances from the body.
These foods also help in weight management because they help satisfy the craving for sweet foods and make you feel satisfied for long. This will help reduce the frequency with which you eat and help your body detoxify.
Avoid refined and processed foods
A healthy and detoxifying diet must be low in refined and artificial sugars. Sugars are detrimental to our health because they do not only increase the risk of tooth decay but also damage the liver and increase the risk of heart diseases and diabetes, the more reason to cut them out when having a detoxifying diet.
If one cuts out refined sugar, Aisu says, they can replace it with naturally sweet fruits that will give a double benefit.
Processing foods strips them of their nutrients according to Nyanzi. “If you want to have a successful cleansing diet, limit the amount of processed and inorganic grains and cereals you eat and replace them with whole grains such as wheat, rice, millet and other starches. If you must have maize flour for instance, it should not be over processed,” she says.