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Whole Foods Detox Diet

author image Sava Tang Alcantara
Sava Tang Alcantara has been a writer and editor since 1988, working as a writer and editor for health publications such as "Let's Live Magazine" and "Whole Life Times." Alcantara specializes in health and fitness and is a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer. She does volunteer work regularly and has taught free public yoga classes in Santa Monica, Calif. since 2002.
Whole Foods Detox Diet
Fresh fruit on a breakfast table with hot tea. Photo Credit: Ahmadmahmood/iStock/Getty Images

Detox diets have become very popular as a way to jump-start a weight loss plan or to cleanse the colon as part of a body-wide targeted detox regimen. One way to determine if you might benefit from a detox diet is if you have a daily bowel movement. If you don’t, a detox diet can help to re-establish regularity. By consuming a detox diet based on whole foods, you consume the insoluble and soluble fiber needed to help clear the colon. You won’t be hungry on a whole foods diet, unlike liquid-only diets. Get medical clearance if you have any serious medical issues before trying any kind of detox diet.

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Drink Herbal Detox Teas

Beginning each day with a cup of hot water with lemon juice will help to promote regular, daily bowel movements. Sip herbal teas that assist elimination, such as senna, buckthorn or cascara sagrada teas, as Carrie L’Esperance, author of "The New Seasonal Detox Diet," advises. Drink at least eight, 8 oz. glasses of water every day to stay properly hydrated, as recommended by the American Cancer Society.

Eat Whole Fruits, Vegetables

Eat at least two cups each of fruit and vegetables per day, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eat fresh and dried fruits and vegetables of all kinds and organic whenever possible. Some fruits, such as strawberries, are normally grown with pesticides and as part of detox diet would be counterproductive to consume. Eating apples provides fiber and pectin that helps to soften stool and assist in cleansing. Include papaya, which has papain, an enzyme that helps in digestion. Pineapple provides bromelain, also a digestive enzyme.

Consume Whole Grains for Fiber

Include whole grains such as brown rice, millet, oats, quinoa, legumes, nuts and small amounts of lean animal protein as part of a whole foods detox diet, advises Elson Haas, M.D., author of "The New Detox Diet." He also advises people to consume heart-healthy, non-saturated fats such as olive, canola, flax, hemp seed and fish oils. These provide important essential fatty acids that have a beneficial effect on mood.

Whole grains provide complex B vitamins that are known as the “stress vitamins” and also provide roughage to help prevent constipation. The idea is to eat whole foods in place of processed foods that are generally high in refined sugar, salt and saturated fats, which contribute to high blood pressure and cardiac disease.

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