Detox diets: they’re a celebrity gossip magazine staple and regularly make the rounds on TikTok, sparking dieting trend debates. Whether they come in the form of juice cleanses or tactics such as intermittent fasting, these eating fads make headlines again and again. It’s no question that these topics are buzzworthy, but the real question is — can a detox diet actually be healthy?
A healthy diet is a vital part of both mental and physical health. While some dieting fads are a definite don’t for healthy eating, it is possible to reap the benefits from a detox diet when it’s done right. In this article, find out everything you need to know about how diet can influence mental health and how high-fiber foods can be utilized for a natural detox diet.
Diet and Mental Health
When you think about the best way to benefit your mental health, your diet might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Diet, however, is very influential when it comes to mental health. At Native, we follow an integrative and comprehensive approach to well-being and mental health. It’s important to consider all aspects of your lifestyle and how they contribute to your overall health to find the mental health solutions that work best for you.
What you eat has a significant impact on how you feel both physically and mentally. Here are just the benefits a proper diet can have on mental health:
- Sharp mental clarity
- Feeling more alert
- Reduced fatigue
- Improved decision-making
- Better reaction time
Paying attention to what you’re eating and how you feel after individual meals and in general is an important part of taking care of your overall health. While dieting fads make the news daily, they’re often not the best way to alter your diet. If you decide to change your diet, make sure you’re changing it for the better. Read on to find out why popular detox diets can be misleading and how high-fiber foods can be a natural detox solution that can benefit your mental and physical health.
What is a Detox Diet?
The attention-grabbing term detox diet seems simple enough — it sounds like a way to get toxins out of the body. However, there’s a difference between what those tabloids want you to think a detox is and what it really should be. Popular detoxes and cleanses promise to remove unnecessary or harmful substances from the body and stimulate weight loss or skin health processes. Still, they can be detrimental to your wellness.
Fad diets suggest that there should never be any toxins in your body and market themselves as a surefire way to eliminate them. The truth is that the body has its own natural process of detoxification through which it gets rid of unnecessary substances. It’s also natural for toxins to be present in the body — whether they are produced at the cellular level through biological processes or are taken in throughout the day as you eat, drink and breathe.
The body knows how to ‘detox’ itself and removes the toxins that it regularly encounters, but there are ways that you can help promote the natural process it goes through daily. Drinking plenty of water, consuming enough protein and enjoying a variety of fruits and vegetables are all great ways to support your body’s natural detoxification process. Incorporating high-fiber foods into your meal plan can also help your body go through a natural detox and benefit overall health.
High-Fiber Foods for a Natural Detox
While it’s true that the body doesn’t need you to spend a week drinking rainbow-colored cold-pressed juices to function appropriately, there are adjustments you can make to your diet to boost natural processes. For example, eating high-fiber foods can act as a natural detox that supports the process of digestion and benefits colon health. High-fiber foods help promote regularity and keep the digestive system running smoothly and efficiently.
Benefits of High-Fiber Foods
The benefits of adding high-fiber foods to your diet extend beyond just helping improve digestion and giving your body a natural detox. In fact, high-fiber foods can positively influence both your physical and mental health in several ways. Here are a few key reasons to incorporate these foods into your everyday meals:
- Promote Healthy Weight
- Improve Physical Health
- Reduce Risk of Diseases
- Benefit Mental Health
Promote a Healthy Weight
Eating high-fiber foods is a healthy way to maintain an optimal weight and benefits weight loss, unlike crash diets or cleanses that aren’t sustainable long term. When you eat high-fiber foods, you stay full longer, so you’ll be less tempted to sneak in unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
Improve Physical Health
High-fiber foods can positively influence other aspects of physical health as well. For example, eating plenty of fiber can help decrease cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation throughout the body. High-fiber foods can also help the body maintain proper blood sugar levels.
Reduce Risk of Diseases
High-fiber foods can improve gut health and benefit how you feel in the short term, but they can also have a significant influence in promoting your long-term health. Regularly eating high-fiber foods can decrease the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.
Benefit Mental Health
Fiber can also be beneficial to mental health. Studies have shown that eating plenty of fiber can both decrease the risk of developing depression and help combat the symptoms of depression that are already being experienced. The exact reason for this interaction is not entirely known, but the influence of fiber on mental health may be related to the gut microbiome. Fiber promotes gut health. The gut and brain work together, and one system’s health has been shown to affect the other. Prioritizing both digestive and mental health is a great way to benefit overall wellbeing.
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Key High-Fiber Foods
Adding high-fiber foods to your diet for a natural detox diet is easier than you might think. Many of the best high-fiber foods are easy to incorporate into meals and offer several health benefits aside from providing the body with fiber. Here are some key examples to try adding to your diet:
- Oats — Oats are a great source of fiber. Starting the day off with one cup of oatmeal makes for a filling breakfast and accounts for 16% of the recommended daily fiber intake.
- Apples — Apples contain both fiber and a healthy serving of antioxidants. Additionally, they are a great way to get some vitamin C. There are many ways to eat this fruit, whether it’s on a salad, as a snack or even baked into a delicious pie.
- Avocado — Avocados are packed with fiber and vitamins E, C, B3 and B5. Avocados also contain antioxidants and are considered a “healthy fat” that promotes heart health. Best of all, they’re easy to enjoy on toast or paired with some chips in a bowl of guacamole.
- Artichokes — Artichokes might not be the most common food, but they are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin C. Some research has also suggested that artichokes can decrease cholesterol and maintain blood pressure.
- Blackberries — Blackberries are high in fiber and antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the mineral manganese. Sprinkling some blackberries on top of your oatmeal makes a great fiber-packed meal.
Consider a Diet Consultation
If you want to change your diet to improve your overall well-being and mental health, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional. Whether you are looking for guidance on meditation practices or dietary modifications, you shouldn’t have to feel alone in any part of your mental health journey.
At Native, we follow a functional medicine approach to mental healthcare. We can help you decide if vitamin or mineral supplements, amino acid therapy or other dietary changes could benefit your health. If you’re in Pennsylvania and would like a consultation to discuss your diet or any other mental health concerns, we would be happy to work with you to find the right healthcare plan for you.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.