Tips and Recipes for a Healthy Detox Diet
Come January 1, most of us wake up groggy from a month-long food coma only to find that pants that fit perfectly in the beginning of November are suddenly beginning to feel a bit snug at the waist. That’s okay. The holidays are meant to be celebrated. But if you want to fit back into your skinny jeans before Valentine’s Day, you’ve probably considered trying a detox diet.
Detox diets sometimes get a bad rap. Some are branded unhealthy or even unnatural, but according to Maria Marlowe, author of Detox Without the Deprivation, our bodies naturally detox our systems by releasing toxins through the liver. “When we ingest something, the nutrients pass through the liver before they get sent through the bloodstream,” says Marlowe. “If we ingest toxins, like chlorine and chemicals in water, hormones and antibiotics in meat, or pesticides on vegetables, the liver will either break the toxin down into something less harmful or package it up in preparation to send it out of the body.”
But our systems can sometimes get overwhelmed by too much indulgence (like Christmas cookies and a third helping of eggnog). A detox diet focuses on foods that flush the system and reset our bodies to absorb the nutrients we take in through our regular diets.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to fast or drink only juice to detox. Marlowe actually recommends food-based detox diets. “You don't just have to do a juice fast or a regular fast to detox, and you don't have to just eat carrot sticks,” says Marlowe. “When you cut out the toxic junk foods, you are still left with plenty of flavorful, delicious options. Try cutting out junk and eating detoxifying foods for just three days, which is short and manageable, yet long enough to see a difference.”
If you’re ready to get started, we’ve got some delicious recipes and tips for a healthy detox diet. That way, you can get back on track and feeling your best.
Eat Water-Dense Foods
According to Maria Marlowe, certified nutritionist and author of Detox Without the Deprivation, the most important part of detoxing is getting enough water. “Water is the number one detoxifier," says Marlowe, "so watermelon, which is mostly water, makes a great part of a detox plan. We eliminate many toxins through urine, which is why it's important to drink adequate water (at least 2.2 liters for women, 2.5 for men) per day, and eat water-dense foods (fruits and vegetables) every day, but especially while on a detox.”
Tomato and Watermelon Salad Recipe
Tomatoes and watermelon are both more than 90 percent water, making this salad perfect for a detox diet. If you’re sticking to a strict detox diet, omit the goat cheese. The salad will still be incredibly delicious. Click here for the recipe.