Purifying diet: how to cleanse yourself inside ?
Spring and autumn are the best seasons to enjoy the healthy effects of a purifying diet. Not only do they face the scale with excellent results, but they also help the body to remove toxins.
What are toxins and what do they cause in our body ?
Toxins are substances from plants or animals that may be harmful to the organism. They come from germs such as bacteria or even heavy metals and some pollutants such as synthetic chemicals. They can also be present in ultra-processed foods.
Some of these substances from these elements can affect the health of the body and our main filter against them, the liver.
The circulatory system, kidneys, lymphatic system, hormonal factors and other body systems help maintain healthy fluid levels. However, if a problem arises with one or more of these systems, there may be fluid retention, also known as oedema.
The main symptoms of fluid retention are swelling and discomfort. Depurative diets also help to relieve these discomforts by facilitating the removal of these fluids as they cleanse the body.
What causes fluid retention ?
The body is mainly made up of water. It is present in the blood, muscles, organs and even bones, however sometimes the body exceeds the amount needed and retains it.
Fluid retention may be caused by many factors. Hormonal factors, the cardiovascular system, the urinary system, the liver and the kidneys all play a key role in fluid elimination. If one of these parts has been affected, the body may not be able to eliminate fluids as it should.
Therefore, lifestyle and diet affect fluid retention. For example, sitting or standing for long periods of time may affect their occurrence.
Fluid and hormone retention
Changes in levels of hormones in women may also lead to fluid retention on the days before menstruation, during pregnancy, or due to thyroid disease.
It may be due to heart problems, overweight or even the intake of some medicines.
Fluid retention in legs
The legs are one of the parts of the body where fluid retention is most frequently felt, although it is also common in hands, abdomen or chest. There may be swelling in the area, changes in skin colour, tenderness, stiffness in the joints or weight gain.
Another symptom that may appear, by which the fluid retention can be noticed, is that the skin area becomes scarred when pushed with the finger for a few seconds.
Detox diet to improve cleansing
Our body is well prepared to eliminate toxins, however there are also ways to help the natural detoxification of the body. This process involves not only the liver, but also the kidneys, the digestive system, the skin and the lungs.
Therefore, it is convenient sometimes to make a détox diet based on purifying foods that help to purify and eliminate liquids, in order to help cleanse the body.
What is a cleansing diet or detox diet ?
A cleansing diet usually consists of including foods that are healthy for the intestines and at the same time excluding from the diet, for the duration of the cleansing, some foods such as certain meats, fish, dairy products, coffee, tobacco and stimulants, as well as refined foods.
Some detox diets also provide for diets based mainly on juice or fruit. Lemon juice, skimmed yoghurt and plenty of water are also often present in this kind of diet.
Fruits and vegetables
Some of the most recommended fruits for a diet that facilitates purification are apples, cherries, strawberries, grapes, pineapples, grapefruit, papayas and medlars. Vegetables include artichokes, thistles, onions, endive, radishes, leeks and celery.
Remember that a healthy, balanced diet is also essential. A purifying diet is a very important matter which can have advantages for our organism but it is always convenient to do it under the advice of a doctor or a professional therapist. The recommendations of a nutritionist will help you to make a depurative diet or detox in a healthy way.
Keys to a purifying diet and tips for cleaning up yourself from inside
Keeping a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet and regular exercise is vital for a healthy body. In order to follow a détox diet, our diet must be based on the consumption of:
- Vegetables, fruits and nuts are the main foods. It is recommended to eat them raw or cooked, but avoid excessive consumption and at a low temperature (70ºC). Fruit is recommended before meals or after two hours.
- Substitute white bread and cereals with wholemeal bread and cereals.
- Consume pulses at least 3 times a week.
- Avoid sugar and replace it with honey or sweeteners, but always avoid abuse.
- Drink at least two litres of water a day, or else supplement your water intake with infusions.
- Tea is a traditional infusion that can help with the process of eliminating liquids, especially green tea, due to its properties and its low caffeine content. Green tea is also composed of phytochemicals such as catechins, which have an antioxidant effect.
- Slow eating is another key. One of the most important tips for good digestion is to chew your food carefully.
Foods rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants protect cells against damage caused by molecules called free radicals, whose excessive production causes oxidative stress.
Our body produces these molecules in a natural way during energy metabolism, for example, in digestion. However, alcohol, tobacco smoke, a poor diet and exposure to pollutants can lead to an excess of free radicals.
A diet rich in antioxidants can help combat oxidative stress including foods with vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, lycopene, lutein or zeaxanthin.
Berries, fruits and vegetables, nuts, cocoa, and drinks such as green tea are examples of foods with high amounts of antioxidants.
Things to avoid in a cleansing diet.
There are also a number of foods or tips to avoid in our daily lives if we want to keep our bodies free of harmful toxins:
- Avoiding fried foods. If you cook them, do it with little oil.
- Try to avoid stimulant substances such as coffee, tobacco and alcohol.
- Reduce the consumption of salt, spices and canned or processed products.
- Replace carbonated, fermented and unnatural drinks with fresh fruit or vegetable juices.
- WebMD, reviewed by Minesh Khatri, M. Why Am I Retaining Water?. Ene, 2020.
- Brazier Y. What to know about water retention. Ene, 2020.
- Hrefna Palsdottir H. 6 Simple Ways to Reduce Water Retention. Jul, 2018.
- Van De Walle G. Full Body Detox: 9 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body. Mar, 2019
- Dugdal D., MedlinePlus. Toxins. Abr. 2018.