When you hear the term detoxing, you might be in the category that sees this as a fad, but in fact, our bodies are exposed to many harmful toxins which can come from the foods we eat and can be made worse the more we consume them.
If you’re still doubtful, one way to look at it is like cleansing the body through ingredients packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which can leave your body feeling refreshed, and it isn’t hard to do either.
You can try many detox smoothies, but for one that gives you a creamy and sweet-tasting smoothie, you can try a cucumber and pineapple smoothie, which you can learn to make below.
First Of All, Gather Your Ingredients
For this smoothie, you will need the following:
- Two cups of chopped pineapple
- Half of a banana, preferably sliced and frozen
- Half a cup of cucumber, peeled and cubed
- A quarter of a teaspoon of chopped ginger (see also “How To Make Ginger And Turmeric Kombucha“)
- One and a half tablespoons of lime juice and a quarter of lime zest
- Three mint leaves
- One cup of water or half a cup of green tea
- Two pitted fresh dates and two tablespoons of brazil nut (optional)
- One cup of ice (optional)
How Do I Make It?
All you need to do then is add all the ingredients except the water or green tea, which should go in last, blend it all together and serve once it’s at the perfect consistency.
You can add ice into the blender, or you can serve some as you fill up your cup, which can make the smoothie taste much more refreshing, but it is optional, as are the dates and brazil nut, which are ways to tone down the sweetness from the pineapple.
If you find it still lacking flavor, you can add more mint leaves or peppermint for a bit more tang to the overall taste.
You can store any leftovers in the fridge for 24 hours or freeze them into molds or cube trays if you want them to last for more than a week.
Is Detoxing Beneficial To Me?
Once you get used to combining flavors, you may see a difference after a while, as detoxing is said to improve issues such as inflammation, headaches, nausea, digestion, acne, and fatigue.
You can find mixes beyond this that can do wonders to things like skin, hair, and nails, as the key ingredient is zinc, which you can find in spinach, chia seeds, dates, and avocados, so it can all depend on the ingredients you use.
When starting a detox, some people may find their symptoms worsen, but this is a reaction to the sudden change in your system and should gradually improve over time.
By doing this, you can give your liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs more of a break, as years of toxins can become overwhelming to these organs as toxins can be trapped in the cells, and this can be an accumulation of bad habits and create a build-up of waste products (if you want to find some supplements to support your liver, read here).
It can also be used to cut out any caffeine, sugar, and carbs in your body, as these can be both addictive and harmful when used in high amounts over a long period. Still, like giving up any habit, you may notice headaches or nausea when you start.
Where Detoxing Can Go Wrong
While they can be beneficial to a lot of people, it is said that detox diets have no overall effect when it comes to toxin elimination or provides a way of sustainable weight loss, as your body on its own can eliminate these toxins, and there are other ways of detoxification.
Some of these involve drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, limiting alcohol (see also “How To Make Healthy Alcohol Free Harry Potter Butter Beer“), eating foods that are rich in antioxidants and prebiotics, staying active, and cutting the amount of salt you consume.
So while these methods are all good for a healthy lifestyle, there’s nothing wrong with a smoothie as they can give you these nutrients anyway, so they’re ideal for those lacking certain nutrients or who have existing symptoms.
However, there is always too much of a good thing, so prolonged cleanses have been said to kill helpful microbes in your gut and, in some cases, can cause more stress on your kidneys and cause your metabolism to spike and fall, especially if you’re fasting as well.
How Will I Know If I Need To Detox?
The primary purpose of this type of clean eating is to clean the fuel we put in our bodies, so the symptoms that arise from this can range from discomfort to emotional problems, and an example of these symptoms can include:
- Irritation of the skin
- Repeated infections, a sign of poor immunity
- Disturbed concentration or an irritated mind
- Feelings of depression, a lack of motivation, mood upsets, and a lack of energy
- Poor gastrointestinal elimination or signs of inflammation
You should be aware that some of these symptoms may be linked to something more serious, so if you decide to detox, be sure to consult with your physician, who may even be able to point to supplements that could remove the need to detox.
Are There Other Ways You Can Detox?
Yes, there are, as we have mentioned, some of these methods, and some may work more for people than others, so there isn’t a clear-cut way to detox, and there isn’t a guarantee that you will see any results for a while if you are looking for quick relief or results.
We will look at some of these methods below, and be sure to get advice before trying some of them, as they could be counterproductive to your goals.
Although this has become a popular way of detoxifying the body by limiting calorie intake or as a way to lose weight, some studies have shown that this method isn’t necessary with healthy diets.
For multiple-day fasts or water fasts, this can be dangerous.
That is why the 16/8 method is a safer way to fast as you limit your intake of foods and beverages containing calories to 8 hours a day, and this method is believed to improve sugar and help with cell repair so that you can get results without much change or disruption to your diet.
However, this could be counterproductive to some people looking to lose weight.
Some people may eat more than they usually would during the 8-hour window and may not even give you better results than other diets, so here you may want to lower your calorie intake instead.
Reducing Your Intake
Simply cutting down on sugar and processed foods can instantly give your body a break and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
These can hinder your body’s ability to detoxify your body, as these issues can damage your liver and kidney function naturally.
The amount of sugar you consume is also a reason you may want to lose weight to begin with, so you can aim for natural sugars found in things like apples instead of added sugars which don’t give you the extra nutrients and give you empty calories.
If you’re looking to cut down on sugar, aim for these naturally occurring ones and substitutes.
In that case, you can try raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar, monk fruit, and brown rice syrup, which are lower in calories and give you more nutritional benefits.
Increasing Your Water Intake
Water is something that we can sometimes neglect.
Here you have another way to detox, as it has no calories, and you can add cucumber, mint, blackberry, orange, lemon, lime, strawberry, cinnamon, turmeric, and even cayenne pepper.
There are many claims about what these kinds of infusions can do for the body, and most of these can be attributed to the water itself, so you can see this by drinking half a liter before a meal, where you could lose 40% more weight than those who don’t.
As well as this, it can improve your digestion, improve your mood, raise energy levels, and helps your immune system.
Still, these can depend on the type of infusion you use, as some of these may be more effective than others, especially if you get a balanced mix of flavorings.
Increase Your Intake Of Antioxidants And Prebiotics
As well as reducing your risk of developing diseases like heart and liver disease, they are also ideal for those who may feel bloated or experience inflammation of the digestive system, as you can feed the good bacteria in your gut, which is a way of detoxification.
However, limit how much you consume, as with prebiotics, this can shift the healthy nature of this bacteria and could, as a result, weaken your immune system and the natural detoxification system in your body.
This is important as things like antibiotics, a poor diet, and poor dental hygiene can alter this balance in your gut, so you may want to address these first and then determine if you need to increase your prebiotic intake or not.
Is It Safe To Consume Detox Smoothies?
It depends on how you use them, so if you’re juicing and using a smoothie as a replacement (see also “10 Great Meal Replacement Smoothies“) , you’ll find you are fatigued as you don’t have as many carbohydrates in the beverage as they have been said to increase food intake, which could lead to unhealthy eating habits.
That is why, if you’re looking to lose weight, you can drink a smoothie as a way to top-up your nutrients, but you shouldn’t ignore the other nutrients, which may seem unappealing and higher in calories but give your body the ability to function correctly.
As well as buying organic foods, cutting out processed foods, and eating a good mix of fruits and vegetables can naturally detoxify your system without taking any drastic measures which may end up making you worse in the long run.
What’s A Healthy Portion To Consume Daily?
One of the worries of smoothies is overconsumption, as it can be tempting to go for seconds or thirds, but ideally, you want to have no more than one portion a day so that a 150ml glass can be classed as one portion.
With this smoothie, you not only get those sweet nutrients that can go overlooked, but you can consume a healthy portion per day which means you have more flexibility over the other meals you have during the day, but as a pick-me-up, a smoothie is a great option.
Before you go into any type of restrictive diet, it is a good idea to seek advice, as you don’t want to be harming your body more than you’re helping it.