Nearly everyone talks about doing a ‘detox’ diet, especially as a New Year’s resolution. But almost anytime is a good time to detoxify your body. A detox can help you make a starting point for a clean diet that results in better health, weight loss or fighting cancer. A detox diet can be a healthy way to get back on track both mentally and physically, and to clear out toxins so your body knows exactly what it needs to do to optimize your health. Think of it as a way of cleaning house.
Our bodies have the ability to be constantly detoxifying. Our skin, our kidneys, our digestive system, our livers, lungs and lymph system are all working hard to continually detox our systems from toxins that come from our environment, the air we breathe, pesticides and chemicals in our food, and toxins in products we use on our bodies.
The problem comes when things like stress, a buildup of chemicals from ultra-processed foods, air pollution, or other toxic substances overload our system and clog up the body’s natural ability to clean. A toxic system means increased inflammation, a lowered immune response, mutated DNA and unhealthy cells, and an open door to serious, chronic disease like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia and cancer.
Removing the ‘toxic sludge’ so to speak will help get your body back in balance and allow it to detoxify and remove unhealthy substances, absorb and assimilate nutrients better, and rebuild. It is a great way to ‘reset’ your system. You will feel more energy, feel clearer headed and be in a better mood, sleep better, recover from exercise better and enjoy life more with a clean, healthy, functioning system.
If you have ever been diagnosed with cancer, or maybe you fear you may get it at some point—or even if you have just gotten way off-track with your diet, now is the time to detox.
Even if you are perfectly healthy, your body is invisibly fighting off cancer cells, infectious pathogens, inflammation and serious disease, so a detox is a good way to ‘clean house’ first as a healthy foundation for optimal health. Serious disease like cancer, is a sign your body has been poisoned, so cleaning out the dirt and muck will allow your own body’s defenses to take over and optimize your health and well being.
YOU are in control of your body and YOU are in control of your health.
There are many different types of detox diets available online. Just do a search of “detox diet” and you will find hundreds. Don’t feel like you have to buy bushel baskets of raw vegetables and juice every day. A good detox diet just needs to supply plenty of super-food antioxidant nutrients that your body needs, while also cleaning out the chemicals, sugar, junk and added ingredients that it doesn’t.
Following a few easy guidelines and incorporating some detox foods into your diet is the best way to optimize your body’s own built-in detox system and supply your liver, kidneys, and digestive system with the tools needed to clear out toxins efficiently.
1. Remove the sugar
Cancer cells LOVE glucose and feed off of it! While the explanation for how sugar affects cancer cells is somewhat controversial and complex, sugar of all kinds promotes cancer, diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and obesity. In addition, sugar weakens the body’s immune defenses.
Removing all sugar and refined carbs will help to starve cancer cells, reset the body’s fat burning ability, and lower blood sugar. Cut out ANY foods that contain sugar, refined carbohydrates, grains, and even fruit—for now. Especially be sure to remove any fructose or high fructose corn syrup—this is like cancer ‘fuel’. Avoid all of these types of sugar:
- fructose (natural sugar from fruits)
- lactose (natural sugar from milk)
- sucrose (made from fructose and glucose)
- maltose (sugar made from grain)
- glucose (simple sugar, product of photosynthesis)
- dextrose (form of glucose)
Remove all processed carbohydrates such as breads, pastas, muffins, cookies, crackers, chips, cereals, etc. While these foods are often considered ‘healthy’, they are not. They are full of added sugars, highly refined grains (which turn into sugar in our bodies), additives and pesticide residues including glyphosate, a known carcinogen.
Avoid convenience meals, frozen dinners, and fast foods. Baked or fried carbohydrates are also full of advanced glycated end products, or AGE’s as well. This substance contributes to aging and chronic disease including cancers.
2. Keep it Ketogenic
On a detox, you want to not only help your body remove toxic sludge, but you also want to reset your blood sugar levels and your body’s primary energy source. Too many carbs and sugars in the diet will cause your body to not only store all that excess glucose as fat, but you will also stop burning fat for energy—your body’s best energy source.
While the body can easily burn through sugar and carbohydrates for energy, it is meant purely to be an emergency fuel for the ‘fight or flight’ response. A keto detox diet consisting of vegetables combined with select organic, naturally-raised meats/poultry/fish and healthy fats will turn your body back into a fat burning machine, lower inflammation and starve cancer cells in the process. Burning ketones for fuel (your body fat), helps you think more clearly, reduces hunger, eliminates excess fluids, lowers blood pressure, boosts fat loss, and improves your cholesterol.
Studies now show that a ketogenic diet can help lower risk factors for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. In addition, a keto diet starves cancer cells, reduces seizures in epileptics, helps the brain recover from brain injuries better, and improve symptoms of Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.
3. Move more
Start pumping the oxygen naturally by getting in some light to moderate exercise each day for 45 minutes. When you exercise, you get your heart pumping harder, which increases your circulation and circulating oxygen.
Exercise also helps to stimulate your immune system and get your lymph system in gear removing toxins and clearing out dead cells. Exercise and oxygen actually help to starve cancer cells as well. And, exercise helps improve your mood by increasing your endorphins—your ‘feel good’ chemicals. A positive mood actually helps the body heal better and faster.
However, keep in mind your body is working hard to rid itself of toxic waste and you may be tired, so keep exercise moderate, and avoid heavy weights and high intensity workouts for now.
4. Get plenty of sleep
Part of a detox is allowing your body to rest and reset. A good detox will most likely make you feel more fatigued and lethargic, and possibly moody as you being to mobilize toxic substances out of your body. Your body needs to focus on cleaning and healing, so be sure to give it the rest it needs to do its best work. After a couple days of fatigue and rest, you may feel especially energized as your body starts to regain its balance and strength.
5. Distance yourself from electronic devices
Cell phones, WIFI, computers, electronic pads, even televisions all emit electromagnetic waves that can totally disrupt not only our own bio-electric functions, but they have been linked to a variety of cancers, especially brain cancers. To be safe, keep your cell phone as far away from your body and your head as possible, and avoid being bombarded with WIFI if you can. Try to limit your time on electronic devices and if you cannot avoid WIFI, at least get outside and far away from it as much as possible!
6. Remove the chemicals
Commercially-prepared shampoos, soaps, lotions, creams, hair products and deodorants are all loaded with hormone-disrupting, DNA damaging chemicals and carcinogenic ingredients. Revamp your toiletries by tossing out the chemical-laden ones and replacing with organic, natural products or stop using them all together. Also avoid using plastics and aluminum foil and baking dishes for cooking food storing leftovers, drinks, or microwaving.
7. Use only natural cleaning products
Home cleaning products are often extremely toxic. Avoid using window cleaners, antibacterial hand soaps, commercial laundry soaps, toilet cleaners, bathtub/sink scrubs, dish-washing liquids, etc. These products are full of carcinogens that get released into the air, onto surfaces, and absorbed by your body.
Replace all with natural cleaning supplies like vinegar, water, essential oils and natural/organic cleaning products. And if you are using any chemicals on your lawn or weeds like weed killer, bug spray and fertilizers, toss these out immediately! Better to have a weed or two in your lawn and garden than to have cancer!
Drinking copious amounts of clean spring water helps to cleanse and detox the kidneys, liver and digestive system and even improve cellular function. You should aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of clean, pure water either from a reverse osmosis system or fresh spring water. You can also add in a pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt to get necessary nutrients, trace minerals, and electrolytes.
Organic herb teas contain powerful nutrients and antioxidants which help to purify and strengthen the body. Herb teas also contain natural detoxifying antioxidants and immune boosting ingredients such as green tea, rooibos, peppermint, dandelion and licorice root.
Include lots of lemons in your water. Fresh lemon juice contains an atomic structure similar to the body’s own digestive juices and the stimulate the liver into producing bile, which moves waste through and out of the body. Lemon water also acts as a mild diuretic, draining your system of excess fluids and furthering the detoxification. And lemons are full of vitamin C, an important antioxidant for your immune system.
9. Eat REAL organic, naturally-raised foods
Eat only one-ingredient/real, mostly plant-based foods, including lots of raw foods, naturally-raised meats/poultry/fish and healthy fats including coconut oil, grass fed butter and avocado, along with lots of nuts and seeds.
- Include lots of bitter greens—like dandelion, chard, kale and mustard greens—which help cleanse the kidneys, liver and gall bladder, as well as the digestive system. Dandelion greens, arugula, mustard greens and watercress contain powerful detox chemicals which cleanse and strengthen the body. Also include other deep green leafy veggies like chard, spinach, and kale. Cilantro and parsley naturally remove toxic metals from the body, and contain massive amounts of chlorophyll, phyto-chemicals, antioxidants and magnesium to boost your health.
- Brightly colored organic vegetables like deep green leafy veggies, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and kale, red peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic all contain the highest amounts of antioxidants. These are super-foods and will not only help to detoxify the body but will strengthen and build up the body’s defenses by adding in tons of powerful phyto-chemicals, antioxidants and massive amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- While many detox diets recommend you follow a purely plant-based diet, there are many good reasons to include small amounts of high quality, organic, and naturally-raised/wild caught meat/poultry/seafood.
Grass fed and grass finished beef, bison, and poultry along with wild caught fish are full of healthy, anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats. Omega 3’s not only help to strengthen cells, lower inflammation, power up the immune system, but they also help to fight cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic conditions. Omega 3’s help supply your brain and nerve cells with the healthy fats they need to work efficiently.
A study at California State University also showed that the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of healthy fat in grass fed/grass finished meat helps fight cancer, discourages weight gain, and helps build healthy lean muscle. CLA is also in butter from grass fed cows.
After a few days to a week or two of a detox diet, you may want to consider Intermittent Fasting. Researchers have also found that intermittent fasting lowers the risk of degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and even helps with recovery from strokes. It is thought IF protects the neurons against various kinds of damaging stress.
The point of intermittent fasting is that the periods of food deprivation allow your body to rest, further detoxify, renew and regenerate. Plenty of scientific studies on both animals and humans show that periodic fasting not only helps you lose weight but also increases your longevity.
Caloric restriction through fasting also helps to turn on genes that repair DNA and cells. This adaptation of IF may allow certain cells to actually live longer, preserving the body’s energy, according to a study published in the journal, Cell Metabolism. This may also be part of the reason that fasting helps to extend longevity as well.
There you have it. A good detox diet can open the doors to better health and well being and keep you on a healthy eating track. And, the basic principles of a detox diet like this can be utilized long term to help you sustain a healthy diet beyond a few days or a week—or help you get back on track after a period of poor food choices.
Stick to these basic rules of thumb, and include the healthy, detox-boosting foods in your diet regularly to stay on track with your health!
Most people who want to detox are looking to release a few pounds from their body while lifting brain fog, gain more energy, reduce bloat, and just simply feel better.