If you have just started on the Paleo diet and your previous diet was very different you might experience some detox symptoms for the first week or two and this is to help you understand what is happening.
If your former diet has included grains, dairy, processed foods and sugar all these foods include toxins which will have accumulated in your body for however many years you have been eating them. Water soluble toxins get removed on a daily basis but those that are fat soluble are stored in tissue. Our bodies are very adept at removing things that could be damaging from immediate circulation, but if they cannot easily be excreted they are put into tissue storage.
If you diet and lose weight or when you give your body toxin free nutrient dense foods these toxins become liberated from storage. During weight loss fat stores are broken down, so liberating stored waste, and in healthy food regimes the body has the nutrients and energy to start removing products that could be damaging to health. In both instances your body will start “detoxing”. The long term outcome is always beneficial but the process is not always comfortable. So this is to give you an idea of what to expect so that you can understand what is happening and most important so that you do not give up fearing your diet is hurting you.
Any of the symptoms below are possible, some people will fare worse than others. These symptoms might last for a few days or a few weeks, depending on how much built up waste needs to be liberated and removed and how quickly it happens:
- Mood swings
- Mucous production
- Flu-like symptoms
- Brain fog
- Increased thirst/urination/appetite
SO, during those difficult moments when you are wondering whether or not to continue, remember that after the storm comes the clearing where you will experience:
- More energy
- Emotional balance
- Clarity of mind
- Fat loss/muscle gain
- Strength gains
- Fewer aches and pains
- Less sinus congestion
- Fewer allergic symptoms
- Digestive ease
- Clearer skin
- Fewer colds
It will all be worth it.
So long as your diet contains nutrient rich foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables, a feature of the Paleo diet, I usually do not recommend many supplements are taken during the detoxification period. The body needs green foods and bitters to promote bile flow, vitamin C to optimise function of Phase 1 and 2 detoxification enzymes.
If you have been on, or are on, medication you also need other nutrients found in green tea and turmeric to make sure phase 2 liver detox enzymes are synchronised and working to their best, to override the phase 1 binding of some groups of pharmaceuticals. These could be useful additions for people who have come off medication, but needs thought and consideration before being taken by those who are still on the medication.
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