Ditch the Detox Diet!

Pittsburgh Dietitian Blog Posts
December 23, 2017

With the coming New Year, you’re probably thinking about what diet & exercise resolutions to make this year. You are also sure to see countless “detox” diets & cleanses popping up all over the internet.This year, instead of opting for a restrictive, potentially counterproductive “detox diet” support your body’s natural detoxification pathways via liver, kidneys & digestive tract with the following tips from a dietitian:Include more plant based foods:These foods contain antioxidants, B-vitamins & fiber help support our body’s natural detoxification processes.

  • Antioxidant rich foods: Berries, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, orange veggies, coffee, tea, dark chocolate & spices such as cinnamon
  • B-Vitamin rich foods: Whole grains, beans, fruits & veggies
  • Fiber rich foods: Beans, legumes & cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels, cabbage)

Aim for ½ of your plate to be filled with a variety of veggies. Add fruit to breakfast, a snack or dessert – 1-2 servings per day is a good goal.Build a wholesome plate:Including veggies, protein, complex carbs & healthy fats at meal times will help promote satiety & energy levels that keep you going until your next meal!Drink more water:Staying properly hydrated allows your kidneys to remove waste products from your body via urineFluid recommendations vary from person to person- in general, you can estimate by dividing your body weight by 2.Moderate alcohol intake:Excessive alcohol intake can be taxing and damaging on your liver & kidneys. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as up to 1 drink per day for women & up to 2 drinks per day for men. A note on red wine: Red wine contains polyphenols (antioxidants that help prevent cellular damage which can lead to heart disease & cancer.) If you choose to consume alcohol, including a 5 oz glass of red wine with dinner may have some protective effects.Get enough sleep:Sleep is the time for our body’s to rest, repair & recover. Adequate sleep promotes cardiovascular, kidney health, immune health & healthy weight (by balancing our hunger hormones ghrelin & leptin) as well as our insulin levels (the hormone responsible for healthy blood sugar levels.) Adults over the age of 18 require 7-9 hrs of sleep per night. Move your body:Not only can regular physical activity help support cardiovascular health, blood sugar control, bone health, mental function & sense of wellbeing, but it is also essential for regular bowel movements (one of our bodies detox methods!) Adults should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Clean up your social media:Although social media does not directly impact our physical health, it can have an impact on our self-esteem, mood & overall sense of well-being. If you’re currently following accounts that make you feel less-than or poorly about your self & self-image, it may be time to replace those accounts with ones that bring you joy&enhance your life!

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