If you’ve never done one, a detox might seem like a hard sell and yet, they’re so insanely popular because their purpose is extremely valid and often essential.
Celebrities and health nuts are all over the detox scene which might make you take pause, but we should take time to break down some of proven benefits of a good detox to understand just why so many people are getting on board.
“Detox” itself has become a bit of a blanket term and covers a wildly diverse group of different regimens. There are detoxes that require total fasting for a set amount of time, detoxes that target the removal of specific toxins from the body, detoxes that are meant to reset the digestive system, and detoxes for just about everything else in between.
Since the liver is a major player in your metabolic processes, it’s important to note that one of its primary jobs is filtering and removing toxins and waste from your bloodstream. If your liver is too overworked and unable to properly filter those toxins and other waste, those things will continue to circulate in your bloodstream.
A detox helps clear any residual gunk and keep your liver and other important metabolic functions operating at top form.
A safe and healthy detox in a controlled environment can do wonders for the body. It can cleanse the liver of toxins and act as a reset button for exercise-induced inflammation and digestive problems as well.
Whatever the method or the duration, these various detoxes can be a valuable tool when it comes to giving the body a break from the environmental toxins and various free radicals that accumulate in the body on a daily basis.
Even if you live a healthy lifestyle, exposure to these substances and any accompanying reactions can be difficult to avoid so it’s important to understand what they are and the impact they can have on your body and your health.
Toxins And Free Radicals
Substances that generate these free radicals can be found in everything from the food and water we eat and drink, to the air we breathe and even the various medications we take.
Some of the more flagrant free radical offenders include the following:
- Fried food
- Tobacco use
- Air Pollutants
- Heavy Metals
- Industrial Waste
Antioxidants To The Rescue
Antioxidants are molecules that work to react to or neutralize free radicals. In some cases, antioxidants can prevent free radicals from forming all together. They do this by donating an electron to the forming free radical before it can oxidize other cell components. When those electrons are paired, it effectively stabilizes the free radical and renders it non-toxic to cells.
So what’s the best way to protect against free radicals and start making some changes?
1. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
The best way to fight off free radicals is to eat food high in antioxidants such as fruits, vegetables, certain grains and select sources of protein. Look for foods that are especially high in Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, which can include any of the following:
Sources of Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, melons, strawberries, papaya, tomatoes, sprouts
Sources of Vitamin E: Nuts, seeds, fish oil, apricots, fish oil and wheat germ also contain smaller amounts of vitamin C
Beta Carotene: Orange colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, squash, yams, mangos, apricots egg yolks are high in the antioxidant beta-carotene
2. Buy Organic
Reduce your exposure to pesticides by buying organic when possible. If it’s not feasible to feed you or your family organic all of the time, do it when you can.
The EWG publishes an updated list of the most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables known as “The Dirty Dozen” check it to see which are the worst offenders. The EWG also publishes a corresponding list known as “The Clean 15” of the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables.
You can dramatically reduce your exposure to pesticides and any resulting toxins by making a concentrated effort to buy only organic for the top offenders on the Dirty Dozen list, and add more clean items into your diet as well.
Children are actually more sensitive to pesticides than adults are, so if you have young children in your home it can be especially impactful on their long-term health to make eating organic a priority.
3. Be Picky About Your Protein
Buying grass-fed and local is always more expensive, but you get what you pay for and quality counts.
Unprocessed and free from outside intervention is always the best way to get your food and meat is no exception. Plus, the flavor factor can’t be beat in comparison to factory farm raised.
Those same factory farm raised animals are usually always treated with antibiotics, which can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of staph infections that can potentially affect humans. Undigested antibiotics have the potential to contaminate ground and water supplies through animal waste.
As far as protein powder supplements are concerned, the same rules apply and quality counts.
Protein powder supplements are widely used in the nutrition and fitness world and are typically made with whey protein isolate which can often contain fillers and other unnecessary ingredients. Some people also have digestive or allergen issues related to whey protein isolate, making it difficult to properly digest without a host of side effects like excessive gas and bloating.
All protein powder supplements are not created equal and whey-based protein can be difficult for many to process, which is why many athletes and nutrition experts turn to plant-based proteins instead.
IdealRaw protein is the perfect answer to your need for a clean, plant-based protein source and gives your body the easily digestible and organic source of whey protein it needs.
Protein sources include:
- Rice protein – hypoallergenic and highly digestible, does not cause gas or bloating which are common complaints of whey based protein
- Pea protein – also hypoallergenic and easily digestible, loaded with BCAA’s which are important for muscle repair and recovery, low in carbohydrates, has been shown to lower levels of ghrelin which is the hormone responsible for hunger – helping you feel fuller for longer
- Coconut protein – contains 17 out of 20 amino acids needed for optimal protein formation
- Chia protein – contains 18 of 22 amino acids including 9 essential amino acids
- Sunflower protein – Sunflower is rich in vitamin E, which helps prevent cellular damage.
- Golden flax protein – Contains healthy fats and fiber, which will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss.
- Pumpkin proteins – High in magnesium so they are great for heart health and bone health.
IdealRaw contains no soy and is bolstered with an organic superfruit blend. Its clean formula makes it ideal for daily use or in conjunction with a weekend detox.
4. Definitely Detox
A detox can be defined as a period of time where you give your body a rest from exposure to toxins and free radicals while making a concentrated effort to flush out any that you might have already accumulated.
Take note that a detox extends far beyond the actual physical act of detoxing and into your personal life as well, helping you re-prioritize your physical and emotional health while eliminating excessive stress and other mental and emotional toxins, which is why many choose to practice mindfulness exercises, yoga, and meditations as part of their detox process.
Pick a weekend or a few weekdays where you might have some flexibility in your schedule to allow you to fully commit to a brief detox. 2 days is the perfect amount of time for a quick reset.
The idea is to pack your diet with foods high in fiber and rich in antioxidative properties and drink lots of water to flush your system and any toxins out. Incorporate IdealRaw protein into your weekend detox plan and take comfort that you’re filling your body with the best plant-based protein specifically formulated to fit your needs and fuel your body for optimal performance.
Day 1 & 2 of The Ultimate Weekend Detox Plan
Upon waking, immediately drink two glasses of filtered water with half a lemon squeezed in.
Breakfast – IdealRaw shake made with almond milk and 1 C of fruit (berries are recommended and especially high in fiber) almond milk
Snack – 1 medium sized apple with peel
Lunch – 1-2 C of veggies, fresh or steamed. Feel free to make a salad, the more colorful the better. Add a dab of organic butter to steamed veggies or use olive oil and lemon juice as dressing for the salad.
Snack – 10-12 raw almonds
Dinner – Same as lunch, add 3-4 oz of fish, poultry, or grass-fed beef.
Broth – Unlimited bone or vegetable broth throughout the day
*no food after 6 pm
Repeat detox schedule for days 1 and 2. Upon completion, resume eating a quality high protein and balanced carbohydrate diet rich with vegetables and fruits high in anti-oxidative properties.