The party season is right back on! Soon we would be going out with friends, partying hard; eating fried and cheesy snacks, and have freely flowing alcohol all over! Come New Year’s, we would be so full of resolutions, “this year I vow to get fit” “No to Alcohol” “Healthy eating from this year” but first Detox!!
The internet and the self-acclaimed nutrition gurus fool you into believing that You So need a Detox, else you die!!! But, what is detoxification? Why do you need it? Or do you really need detoxification? Ever asked??
Detoxification is a physiological or a medical process for the removal of toxins from the body which is very easily carried out by the liver. In medicine, it is achieved with the help of antidotes [substances acting opposite to the toxins] or dialysis in severe cases.
So, what sorts of substances are we really putting in our body that we need a detox diet which doesn’t even hold a scientific basis?!!
Our body is really a unique creation. It has everything that is needed to keep it fit and running. Legs for motion, stomach with digestive enzymes to provide help to small intestine in digesting food, kidneys to remove water soluble wastes, liver to rid the body of toxic wastes and the brain to top it off, the master of the body that drives the overall functioning. So do you ever go on a “Brain Diet”? Cause you see brain is such a vital organ! It drives a whole human body! Then why go on a “Liver Diet”? Or the more famous cousin, detoxification?
Liver is a meaty and the most important organ involved in detoxification. Each day we are exposed to numerous toxins like alcohol, drugs, pesticides, pollutants etc. which undergo the process of bio transformation to make it less harmful for the body. This happens in 2 phases, Phase I and II.
In Phase I as you can see in the above image, the digestive juices [or enzymes] of the liver start the process of bio transformation, start reducing it and produce a middleman! This middleman or the bio transformed product is made less toxic with the help of enzymes of Phase II which are converted to water soluble vitamins and hence removed from the body! Now it is important that both the phases work perfectly in sync together or the process of detoxification would never happen! So you really don’t need that special detoxification.
Now how to do a Liver Detox! Yesss!! That’s what we were waiting for!
Step 1: Include Citrus fruits daily: Include foods such as guava, lemon, orange, sweet lime, amla [and no amla candies please!] in your diet daily. These contain Vitamin C and other antioxidants that help you in easing the detoxification process and also increase your immunity likewise.
Step 2: Include B Vitamins in your diet: Non-Vegetarians rejoice! A host of B vitamins are present in non-vegetarian food items like fish, eggs, meat and poultry products. But this should not be a reason to be gorging on these foods as they are high in fats that tend to increase your bad cholesterol levels. Moderation is the key. Milk and milk products are also fine sources of Vitamin B along with proteins which further help in the phase II of the detoxification process.
Step 3: Fresh Greens: A host of research studies show that the phytochemicals present in green vegetables stop the process of carcinogenesis [formation of cancer cells in the body] and also block the interaction of cancer cells from the target cells! Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts are great when it comes to activating the phase II enzymes of the detoxification process.
Step 4: Include sulphur rich foods: Foods like garlic and onions are great sources of sulphur. These contain compounds that help ease the detoxification process and also help in blocking or suppressing the formation or interaction of mutated cells. These have been highly associated with the reduced risk of skin and blood cancers.
Our spices are added in small amounts in our foods but they still know how to work there magic! Essentially used as a beauty product and also as a colouring agent, turmeric [in hindi- haldi] has a compound by the name of “curcumin” which is known to reduce the incidence of cancers by almost 90%..!!!! Did we ever think such a humble spice could do such wonders too?? But such is the magic of food, it does what your medicines or supplements can’t do. Your body doesn’t need fancy pills or expensive cleanses, it is capable of doing that on it’s own. All it needs is the right food, nutritious food at regular intervals or maybe three big meals [whichever works best for you]. But you need to figure it out, if you want to stay sane and eat good or go insane trying numerous diets [which don’t last more than a week after you give it up] and abuse your system. Your body is your temple, that is the only place you have to live in.
The choice is really yours! Make the right one this new year’s and see your life change for the best!
Having a master’s degree in the field of Clinical Nutrition, along with a background of intensive research on the subject, she guides people with different dietary requirements. From sports to people with varied lifestyles, she has catered to all during her stint with Fortis Memorial Research Institute. Working with corporates has been on top of her agenda to bring about a positive change in their lifestyles. So, while the corporates take care of the business needs, she takes care of the nutritional needs and keeps them going in the humdrum.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consult.