Legumes – Yoga DIY Detox Done Right

detoxification and legumes

So many detox programs out there – and so few of them really make good sense. That was a problem for me, a physician wanting to do a thorough detox myself.

After reading several books and talking to people who love various programs, I was at a loss for good, solid plan that fit my intimate understanding of physiology and toxicology, sciences I’ve spent years studying.

Ultimately, I decided to design my own detailed program based on thorough medical research as well as traditional yogic advice. It’s a healthy, natural detoxification without any gimmicks or potentially harmful practices.

Two important components are fiber and the right kind of protein, amino acids that aid the functioning of the body’s innate detox machinery. They help to clear metabolic and environmental toxins. Without them, there is no detox at all.

Legumes are packed with fiber, and they’re recommended in classic Yoga texts as beneficial food for a practicing yogi, so they’re an integral part of the plan. As the two week program is vegan, plant protein is a must.

Along with a side of brown rice, legumes are a complete protein, and they provide lots of fiber to trap toxins secreted by the hard working detoxification powerhouse, the liver, into the gut through bile. Toxins in bile bind to fiber and are expelled from the body within feces.

Do lentils and beans, quintessential Yoga foods, really help a body to detox?

You betcha. There’s yet another recent study pointing to that truth. During my two-week detox program, a bean or lentil dish is eaten every other day, and this recent research shows that people eating these legumes at least three times a week reduce their development of pre-cancerous colon polyps by 33 percent.

Adding brown rice reduces the risk by 40 percent.That’s because, in addition to their plant-based vitamins, minerals, protein, and phytochemicals that aid in detoxification, the strong fiber component does the dirty job of escorting bad guys that cause cancer right out of your body.

Tantamango YM, Knutsen SF, Beeson WL, Fraser G, Sabate J. Foods and food groups associated with the incidence of colorectal polyps: the Adventist Health Study. Nutr Cancer. 2011 May;63(4):565-72.

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