With bikini season in full swing, you’re likely tempted to check out diets that can help you lose weight fast. Instead of merely cutting calories for rapid weight loss, detox diets purportedly cleanse the body of toxins that may lead to fat retention. Some people who try detoxing sometimes also experience increased energy. Detox diets are extremely controversial because of the fasting promoted in extreme versions. However, since most of the detox foods are plant-based, it doesn’t hurt to eat more of these selections while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The key is to incorporate a variety of these foods into your diet to make sure you’re getting the right nutrition. Consider the following summer selections to get a head-start.
As the old saying goes: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This theory rings true in terms of this popular fruit, which is both a nutritional powerhouse and a detoxifying food. The high phytochemical and fiber content in apples can aid toxin removal in the body and prevent overall feelings of sluggishness. Pectin may even remove food additives that have been stored in your digestive tract. If available, consider buying organic apples for the best taste and results.
Beets, or beetroots, are often misconceived as holiday veggies. However, beets are also widely available during the hot summer months. These fiber-rich root veggies help promote gastrointestinal function and healthy elimination through the colon. What’s unique about beets is their combination of betalains, which are thought to help promote natural detoxification. As an added bonus, beets are a high source of folate and manganese. For a summer twist, use sliced beets in your favorite salads.
When it comes to weight loss, cherries have garnered a lot more attention in recent years. This is for good reason: not only do cherries contain satiating fiber and protein, but they also have antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin C. The nutrients in cherries are thought to decrease overall body inflammation, which also gives you a leaner physique. Skip the fattening cherry pies this summer and enjoy this fruit in more diet-friendly recipes. You can even add cherries to low-calorie lemonade, lean grilled chicken and oatmeal.
Garlic has long been used in traditional Eastern medicine as a natural antibacterial and antiviral component, as well as an antiseptic. These same features are thought to act as detoxifying agents in the body. Garlic itself is extremely versatile, and may be used in almost all dishes. During the summer, make sure you add fresh garlic to vegetable and pasta dishes, as well as a rub on grilled chicken.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is known for its antioxidants that can potentially help ward off chronic diseases later in life. However, this popular tea is also touted as a detoxifying beverage thanks to catechins and caffeine. One cup contains less the caffeine content of a cup of coffee, which is also important in preventing dehydration during the hot summer months. Try iced versions for the summer with a small amount of organic honey for a touch of sweetness.
Lemons are unique to toxin removal because they release enzymes that can actually help convert them into water. The converted toxins are then removed through urine. Eating a whole lemon is not appealing; the good news is that the detox features of lemons are best derived when using the fruit in water. For the best results, consider drinking a glass of lemon water every morning.
Raspberries are peak summer fruits that are widely available this time of year. These summer fruits may offer detoxifying benefits because of their high fiber and water content. Add these berries to plain yogurt and smoothies, or eat them plain for a low-calorie treat.
Like raspberries, strawberries are widely available during the summer months. While not as nutrient-dense as raspberries, strawberries are full of water that can help rid the body of toxins. This can also help keep you hydrated and prevent water retention. As an added bonus, strawberries contain vitamin C and other antioxidants that help promote overall health. This versatile fruit may be enjoyed alone, or as a topper of fruit salads or bowls of leafy greens.
Tomatoes are an American staple often used in unhealthy foods like ketchup, pizza and lasagna. When considered in their natural state, however, this summer fruit is actually one of the best detoxifying foods. Naturally rich in potassium, tomatoes can help balance sodium levels in the diet and decrease water weight. Tomatoes are available in high quantities in the late summer months, so you still have an opportunity to enjoy them in salads and pasta dishes long before the start of autumn.
Trendy detox diets are unsafe because you ultimately don’t get enough calories or nutrients to sustain basic body functions. However, you can eat a variety of detoxing foods instead to help support healthy weight loss this summer. Ask your doctor before making any significant dietary changes or before attempting to lose a large amount of weight.