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Digestion : The Minimalist's Guide To Detoxing Your Body Using Healthy Foods

Posted November 10, 2014

By Michael T. Murray, ND

When you hear the word "detox," do you cringe a little bit? Many people associate detox diets with fasting, but the best approach may be to detoxify gradually, with fresh and delicious food. Detoxing your body doesn't have to be unpleasant.

A sound approach to aiding the body's natural detoxification mechanisms can include a long-term approach to detoxing combined with the use of periodic short juice fasts (three to five days).

Our body is in a constant state of removing harmful substances, and we can give it some help.

The Long-Term Approach To Detoxification

To truly support the body's detoxification processes, you must support the health of your liver. This is more of a long-term lifestyle decision.

To do so, you definitely want to stay away from:
  • Saturated fats
  • Refined sugar
  • Excessive alcohol
Load up your diet with foods that are rich in components that help protect the liver from damage and improve liver function. These include:
  • High sulfur-containing foods (garlic, legumes, onions, and eggs)
  • Good sources of water-soluble fibers (pears, oat bran, apples, and legumes)
  • Cabbage family vegetables (especially broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage)
  • Artichokes
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Dandelion
  • Many herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger
But if you're looking for results quicker than that, detoxing your body can also be done through cleanses. Those are probably the ones that make you cringe, but don't worry -- you'll enjoy this!

Steps To A Short-Term (And Tasty!) Detox

1. Use fresh juice.

Most healthy people do not need to go on a strict water fast to aid in detoxification. Instead, a three-to-five-day fresh fruit and vegetable juice cleanse actually provides the greatest benefit.

Drinking fresh juice for cleansing reduces some of the side effects associated with a water fast, such as light-headedness, fatigue, and headaches. In fact, while on a fresh juice fast, individuals typically experience the contrary: an increased sense of well-being, renewed energy, clearer thought, and a sense of purity.

Just make sure to only use only fresh fruit or vegetable juice in order to aid elimination, because fresh juice provides valuable enzymes to our system.

2. Prepare.

Although a short juice cleanse can be started at any time, it is best to begin on a weekend or during a time period when adequate rest can be assured.

The more rest, the better the results, as energy can be directed toward healing instead of toward other body functions.

Prepare for a cleanse on the day before solid food is stopped by making the last meal one of only fresh fruits and vegetables (some authorities recommend a full day of raw food to start a fast, even a juice fast).

3. Make the juice the right way.

Only fresh fruit and vegetable juices from a home juicer (ideally prepared from organic produce) should be consumed for the next three to five days, four 8- to 12-ounce glasses throughout the day.

Virtually any fresh juice provides support for detoxification; however, some of the better juices to consume during a fast include pineapple-ginger; cranberry-apple; spinach-celery-kale-apple; kale-broccoli-cabbage-carrots-apple; and parsley-carrot-spinach-celery-tomato.

The Takeaway

The ability to detoxify is one of the critical factors for health. After all, it's amazing just how well the body handles the constant onslaught of modern living! Detoxing your body regularly is very important. Periodic juice fasting, as well as a long-term approach to detoxification, can keep your body strong.

More information on detoxing and juice fasts, including more than 150 recipes, are in The Complete Book of Juicing, Revised and Updated: Your Delicious Guide to Youthful Vitality (Clarkson Potter, January 2014).


Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.

© 2014 doctormurray.com
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