Article ● New Year, New Detox (Or Not)
by Joana Teixeira on Feb 03, 2022
With the arrival of the new year, the lists of resolutions often include changes in eating habits, which in turn include the famous detox diets with the aim of purifying ourselves of the excesses that we have been committing during the month of the holidays. We are not in favor of this type of promise because it can generate an unhealthy relationship with food, which helps us to be happier and not the other way around.
Fortunately, we were presented with an organism endowed with a sophisticated machinery (ie organs such as the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, skin, lungs), which, among many other functions, has the ability to expel undesirable substances. In this sense, the idea of having a diet that eliminates food groups and/or replaces meals with alternatives, which are often unbalanced, is something that, from a nutritional point of view, has no benefit. If we think about weight loss, it is certain that what is sold to us as detox will lead us to this goal, since at the limit, the formula to achieve this goal is an energy imbalance (eating less than we spend). However, when a highly calorie-restricted diet is implemented, the weight lost will be more water and lean mass loss than fat.
That said, what to do when the new year arrives and we aim to change (or resume) eating habits?
First of all, stop, take a deep breath and reject everything that is sold to us as a miracle solution.
The beginning of a new year is a time when we put energy into change. And in the case of eating habits, this energy is undoubtedly important and should not be ignored. Therefore, it is a moment that can and should be privileged to implement the long-desired transformations in eating routines.
At this stage, it is important to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff and that's why we leave some reminders:
- Start by consuming what we know is good for us: food in its least processed form: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses, nuts, quality fats such as olive oil, avocado and seeds, quality proteins (whether they are vegan or not);
- A balanced meal consists of vegetables, protein sources (legumes, tofu, tempeh, fish, meat or eggs), carbohydrate sources (whole grains, tubers, fruits) and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds);
- Maintain a good state of hydration;
- Consecutive weeks of juices/shakes and soups are not sustainable and much less synonymous with health.
And because the year changes but life doesn't stop, the idea of using programs where they deliver healthy, ready-to-eat meals, may be the commitment needed to implement the change. However, although detoxification is a natural process of our body, there are nutrients/foods that favor and enhance it. Among them we highlight:
- B-complex vitamins - present in whole grains, seeds, legumes, green leafy vegetables but also animal proteins and natto (fermented soybeans) for its richness in B12;
- Amino acids from protein sources;
- Magnesium - pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, spinach;
- Zinc - in oysters, pumpkin seeds, cashews, grain;
- Selenium - Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, brown rice;
- Antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C, E, flavonoids and bioflavonoids) present in fruits and vegetables;
- Foods such as coriander, ginger or even dandelion and milk thistle teas seem to have benefits and as such they can and should be used in our food, in these phases of change and always.
Last but not least, remember that nutrition is a science and must be practiced based on scientific evidence by duly accredited experts. As such, consulting a Nutritionist when there are specific goals or concerns can and should be a step to consider. On here You can schedule a functional nutrition consultation with one of our nutritionists.
Article written by our certified functional nutritionist Sumeya Osman.