Can a Vegan Detox Improve Your Health?
Body cleanses or detoxes are popular treatments within alternative medicine. Advocates maintain that a special diet or a Vegan Detox of a limited duration will remove accumulated toxins and other unwanted substances from the body. As such, they see regular cleanses as providing desirable effects or health benefits. The belief is that our modern lifestyle, with its stresses, strains, unhealthy food choices, lack of exercise and habits such as smoking all contribute to a lack of well-being.
There are various cleanses and diets to choose among. A vegan detox is one possibility. Advocates claim it helps our body eliminate the toxins and therefore shift the scales in favour of good health.
A vegan detox is rooted in veganism, which for some people is a permanent way of eating and living. Before discussing the vegan detox, it is good to understand what veganism is all about.
Veganism is a subset of vegetarianism, but with greater restrictions. Vegans eat or use no animal products. Vegetarians, for example, might consume cheese, eggs, butter, milk, cottage cheese and yogurt. Vegans do not. Vegans also do not use animal products in clothing or for other purposes.
If a temporary vegan detox is what interests you, then you have no need to go the length of eliminating leather, suede, and other similar products from your life.
How Much Can a Vegan Detox Promote Health?
By definition, detoxification is a process in which you remove environmental pollutants from your body’s system. These pollutants enter our bodies in the foods we eat, through the use of alcohol and drugs, through exposure to environmental hazards and through breathing in fumes and pollutants in the air.
Vegans and people who follow the raw food diet are likely to tell you that the benefits of a temporary cleanse or detox are limited. They insist that the very idea that a simple diet can detoxify the entire body in a few days or a couple of weeks is impossible. The truth us that our bodies already have the capacity to repair, restore and regenerate tissues as well as eliminating toxins.
Although they agree that a detox diet might speed this process up a wee bit, this temporary diet cannot undo a lifetime of damage or even years of damage. Similarly, it is not especially helpful to slightly speed up the removal of toxins that would have moved through the system with forty-eight hours anyway.
However, advocates explain that a detox diet can be helpful if maintained for longer periods of time — at least a month, ideally more.
If you continue this way of eating for several months, advocates state that you will start to experience optimal benefits. You may feel some improvement after a few days, but a few months down the road, you will experience a heightened feeling of well-being, improvement in any pre-existing diseases or illnesses and increased mental alertness.
The Real Benefit: Improved Nutrition
Vegans point out that the real health advantages to a vegan diet do not stem from the cleanse or the detox, but rather because you have stopped eating unhealthy foods and are now eating foods that are in keeping with Nature’s plan for us. The improved nutrition leads to more stable blood sugar levels, better cholesterol levels and other indicators that suggest good health.
A Sample Vegan Detox
If you choose to try a vegan detox, you will have several choices at your disposal. The best approach is to acquire a book written by a respected writer and expert on the topic.
If you do it on your own, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you consume no animals products while you are on a vegan detox. This means no fish, seafood, meat, poultry, dairy, cheese, eggs, honey, chicken bouillon cubes, etc. Most vegans would advise you to avoid refined carbohydrates as well — meaning sugars (both white and brown), white flour, white rice and so on.
You are advised to eat whole grains. You want foods that are as low on the glycaemic index as you can find. Fruits are great, especially those with stones. You can also eat seeds such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. These are high in nutritional value.
In addition to eliminating sugar, it is also advisable to stop consuming caffeine and alcohol. These substances are plant products, but they hinder digestion and sleep patterns. Should you consume sugar, alcohol or caffeine during your detox, these substances are likely to undo the benefits you would otherwise experience.
Caffeine is found in coffee, black and green teas, some soft drinks and certain non-prescription medications sold over the counter.
Other variations on the vegan detox diet are the vegan raw food diet or the fruitarian diet.
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