Total body flushes…Weekend cleanses…3-day fasts…Sound familiar? With the new year comes a fresh round of detox-mania. But do these concoctions and weird diets work? Do they really clear your liver, kidneys and colon of toxins?
No. Your liver, kidneys and colon do this naturally. All they need from you is a balanced diet rich in produce to keep them functioning properly. I know, I know…That’s not trendy or quick-fixey. A produce-rich diet won’t lose you 10 pounds in a week like the detoxes claim (What they don’t tell you is that you’ll gain this water weight back later)…but it is the simple truth.
“There’s little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Indeed, the kidneys and liver effectively filter and eliminate most ingested toxins. The benefits from a detox diet may actually come from avoiding highly processed foods that have solid fats and added sugar,” said Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., a registered dietitian at the Mayo Clinic.
Fruits and veggies have the micro-nutrients and fiber we need to detoxify naturally, lose fat, and gain energy, vitality, and natural health. Add healthy fats, lean protein and whole grains for a completely balanced diet. The key here is unprocessed, or as close to nature as possible. What about detox juices, you say? While juices have nutritional benefit, they also have tons of sugar and calories without keeping you full. They don’t provide you with the fiber you need…fiber that keeps you full and aids your digestive system.
Eating fresh, whole fruits and veggies is, in actuality, much easier and more pleasurable than downing that apple cider concoction. And, it will get you started with new habits that can lead to real change, the kind that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Not a veggie fan? Branch out! You can roast, saute, grill, or just eat ’em raw! Check out new options at the supermarket, find what produce you like, and come up with creative recipes to use it in, like this one.
Kale Rainbow Detox Salad
For the salad:
- 2 bunches kale (about 6-8 cups), de-steemed and finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup roasted almonds
- 1/2 avocado, diced
For the Vinaigrette:
- Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, if desired to sweeten it up
- salt and black pepper, to taste
From the kitchen of: Ambitious Kitchen