Keen to regain the glow on your skin? Is the heat stopping you from tucking into mutton biryani? Experts tell you how to cleanse your system by opting for a vegetarian detox diet
Does it work?
While most non-vegetarians might cringe at the thought of eating only greens or indulging in curries sans fish, a vegetarian detox does help in cleansing your system, believe experts. "Cleansing a system requires plenty of fibre in soluble and insoluble forms, backed up with plenty of fluids. Non-vegetarian fare; however, contains very little natural fibre as compared to a vegetarian meal.
It requires more time to digest, causing a load on the digestive tract and produces more acids which require a lot more fluid to neutralise and flush out. Hence, vegetarian diets work solely to detoxify the system when administered cleverly in the right proportions and quantities as required by the individual," believes city-based lifestyle nutrition consultant, Tripti Gupta.
"A detox is a change of diet from what you are currently eating, especially if you have overeaten or indulged in something like alcohol. It helps to get your body back to normal. So, going vegetarian is just one of the ways of detoxing," says dietician Eileen Canday. She also feels that getting a good source of fibre and hydration of the body are the most positive aspects of a veggie detox.
What's in a vegetarian detox?
> "Every person has their own dietary allowance according to their body. And while we are supposed to eat right and have our fill of the right nutrients every day, most people don't. Hence, you need to detox. While devising your detox plan, choose all your necessary nutrients in the right amounts to balance out the wrong," says Canday. This includes essential fats too as you don't have to shed the wrong weight off.
> Choose a balance of fibre, a mix of soluble and insoluble, to aid the cleanse. Back it up with sufficient pro-biotics to make it healthy and efficient. Stock up on fibre-rich foods like bananas, berries, oranges, guava, coconut water, a blend of veggie juices, cooked gourd vegetable, low fat yoghurt, buttermilk and carrots.
> Drink fluids like lime water, amla juice, green tea or naturally flavoured water, that are rich in antioxidants to help flush out the toxins and at the same time, fight the damaging free radicals accumulated in the body. "Be careful about the electrolyte balance as excess of flushing out may cause dizzy spells, weakness, dehydration and low blood pressure," warns Gupta.
Why you cannot cheat
If you wish to regain the glow of your skin or wish to clear your system and get your energy levels back on track, cheating during a detox session isn't your best bet. "When your body is detoxifying, that is, removing the already accumulated grime, you can't afford to add more toxins there and expect results.
Cheating in between will hamper and slow down the results. Hence, it is advisable to begin a detox programme only when you are sure you can follow it diligently," says Gupta. Stick to home-made food items and going vegetarian does not mean you can binge on oily pakodas or ice cream and cola.
Meaty questions For the hardcore non-vegetarian
According to experts, a vegetarian detox is often recommended at regular intervals for those who can't go a day without indulging in meat or seafood. "Most meat eaters suffer from indigestion, constipation, flatulence and acidity. If they are experiencing any of this, a periodical detox is always advisable to maintain a healthy gut and system," feels Gupta. However, one can pull it off with the following food items:
Eat nuts on a veggie diet
> Substitutes for protein: sprouts, edamame, low fat yoghurt, buttermilk, almond milk and rice milk.
> Substitutes for carbohydrates: vegetable juices, salads, fruit and fruit juices and coconut water.
A bowl of low fat yoghurt can be substituted for fish
> Substitutes for fats: a few drops of olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts and raisins.
> "The change lies in the preparation methods. Indian meat preparations are loaded in fats because of ghee, oil and spices. When on a diet, grill your meats or have boiled chicken, and poach/grill your fish instead of frying it. Freshly prepared food is most important," suggests Canday.
Celebrities who've gone for the vegetarian detox
The actor suffered from throat infection a few weeks ago and has taken up vegetarian diet as a detox, which has reportedly helped in keeping his energy levels up.
Sometime back, the actor turned vegan and decided to avoid milk products and paneer as well. The actor's decision was supposedly inspired by a YouTube video that his wife and filmmaker, Kiran Rao, showed him. The video showed 15 most common diseases that lead to death, and how a change in diet can help one lead a healthy life.
The young actress recently went off meat to endure the heat in Mumbai. Her dad, director Mahesh Bhatt, is a vegetarian in the family.