I don't know about you, but after this holiday season, I could certainly clean up my diet a little. A new year is a great time to start a detox regimen. Contrary to popular belief, a detox does not always mean you must drink horrible concoctions that taste like mud, and then proceed to empty out your bowels for the next few days. That may be one way to do it. But detoxing could also mean an active adjustment to your diet to include whole food nutrition, especially plant-based foods, in order to safely and gradually balance your digestive system, enhance the body's waste elimination, and improve the absorption of proper vitamins and nutrients from your food.
Why is whole food nutrition important? When you eat a whole plant, there are many naturally occurring proteins within the plant that help to bind and preserve the macronutrients. Eating whole foods means you don't need to take as much supplements. It can also translate to better energy, a healthier immune system, and can even be better for your grocery budget.
Eating whole foods also means that you are eating foods that have not been processed. An apple flavored fruit snack may be tasty, but is exponentially less nutritious than eating a whole apple, full of other vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Instant oatmeal packets may be fast and easy, and may even seem like a healthy breakfast. But if you examine the added sugar and other flavoring ingredients, it is much less ideal than say, cooking whole oats and adding fruit.
Why plant-based for detox? Most of the time, animal proteins tend to be more difficult for your body to break down. Also, eating animal protein does increase the acidity level of the body. If you are not choosing the right kind of meat, there could be hormones and other antibiotics or food additives that animals are exposed to. Many processed meat products will also contain preservatives. When trying to detox, it's best to avoid animal protein altogether. In addition to food changes, drinking at least 2-3 liters of water, and increasing cardiovascular exercise will also help you accomplish your detox goals.
When trying to detox, sticking to a plant-based, whole food diet is one of the best choices you can make for yourself in the new year.