Processed sugar is not only bad for your waistline, but it can also cause a myriad of health problems. If you regularly consume processed sugar, here is how to do a sugar detox in a proper way to help you get rid of the harmful toxins it produces in your system and reduce your chance of developing serious diseases like cancer, type II diabetes, and heart disease.
Processed sugar creates havoc in the body by upsetting vital metabolic processes and throwing the body’s chemistry off balance. Sucrose deprives cells of oxygen, produces acidity, creates a deficiency in vitamins and minerals, promotes inflammation inside the body, contributes to obesity and more.
You can detox sugar from your body effectively in a practical, easy-to-implement and even enjoyable way. And, you don’t have to detox all at once – you should actually do so gradually by following simple guidelines.
Sugar detox is best accomplished by substituting sugary drinks with lemon water or cold-pressed juices, replacing processed sugar with natural fruit and plant-based sugar, eating fruits to alkalize the body from inflammation, eating more raw foods and utilizing herbs.
By taking the slower detox approach when implementing all these guidelines, your body will adjust to the changes in a more balanced way, so that your cravings and withdrawal feelings can diminish gradually without causing emotional fluctuations and relapses.
In time, your desire for sugar, your taste buds, and your tolerance for sugar will change, and eventually, you won’t feel compelled to consume it any longer. Stay strong!
When you detox, you are depriving your body of serotonin pleasure signals, so it’s only natural to experience some withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, moodiness or nervousness. To feel better faster, substitute processed sugar for maple syrup, honey, dates, raisins and other natural fruit sugar sources.
How Processed Sugar Affects the Body and Health
Consuming processed sugar is extremely habit-forming and addictive and should be avoided as much as possible. There are many negative effects of sugar that can damage your health in the long run.
Most inflammatory diseases accrue over time due to repeated exposure and accumulation, and as with any toxin, sugar intake causes acidification of the body, which degenerates tissues and their function over time. This raises cholesterol levels in the body, as the body uses the waxy substance to patch over degenerated tissue lesions in order to salvage their function.
Here are just some of the health detriments of a diet rich in processed sugar:
-It’s the leading cause of obesity and related diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer
-Increases oxidative stress in cells, accelerating aging (wrinkles and gray hair) and causing chronic diseases
-Lowers immunity and causes autoimmune disease
-Triggers food cravings, which can lead to overeating and obesity
-It’s a neurotoxin, which is poisonous to the brain and nerve cells
-It can cause nervous disorders and can weaken resolve
-Affects the mood, energy levels, mental clarity and general well-being, because it triggers the release of mood-altering neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine
-It’s been linked to depression
-Causes tooth decay and gum disease
-Lowers the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and increases bad cholesterol, excess triglycerides and LDLs
-Can cause headaches and fatigue
-Can contribute to infertility and menopausal problems
-Creates fluid retention and bloating
-Promotes osteoporosis by creating a deficiency in calcium, magnesium and vitamin D
-Increases risk of cancer and Alzheimer disease
Given all these detrimental effects of processed sugar, it’s essential to take matters into your own hands and heal your body from sugar toxicity and high inflammation!
Before going mostly raw vegan, I was a vegetarian who had a sweet tooth and cravings for pastries and chocolate. Eventually, I was able to replace my favorite processed staples with healthy sweet treats and my body, taste buds, and affinity toward processed goods changed immensely over time.
Here are the most efficient and sustainable ways in how to do a sugar detox to heal the body from its acidic damage. It worked for me, and with the right dedication and patience, I’m certain it will for you as well!
1. Stop Drinking Sugary Drinks and Supplement with Lemon Water Instead
One of the quickest ways to detox sugar is by cutting out sugary drinks. Not only do these drinks contain a lot of sugar themselves, but they usually come with other unhealthy additives that can increase toxicity levels even more! The best thing to do is to substitute processed sugary drinks with lemon water and herbal tea instead.
Water detoxes the body by flushing out harmful toxins, including those from processed sugar. If water seems boring and you require more flavor to keep hydrated, start with various delicious lemon water recipes. You can also try detoxing with coconut water or cold-pressed natural juices.
Lemon water is ideal, since it’s easy to make and is incredibly detoxifying and alkalizing to cells, tissues, and elimination organs. Lemons are comprised of 93% water, contain diuretic properties and are packed with antioxidants.
You can detox with lemon water by squeezing half a lemon into a glass of warm water every morning on an empty stomach.
2. Replace Processed Sugar with Natural Sugar
The best way to ease into a proper sugar detox is to substitute processed sugar treats with natural sugar treats. Not only are they delicious and can easily satisfy your sugar cravings, but they are very healthy for you!
For example, there are many raw vegan desserts made from natural sugars derived from fruits and plants and that are very healthy, sweet and delicious – and that are alive with enzymes and nutrition.
For me, they have been such a treat on my own healing journey and after eating them solely as a dessert for many years, it is without a doubt that they are much more tasty, flavorful and nourishing.
You can also use dates and figs as snacks and to sweeten up your food. They are very healthy and detoxifying (and especially very cleansing the elimination organs), as well as very delicious, portable and promote a healthy metabolism.
In fact, my favorite sugar substitute is date sugar, since it is simply made of dried and granulated dates without any processing. Unfortunately, most of the “health sugar” substitutes that we know and find in health food stores like coconut sugar, agave syrup, and maple syrup, are all processed using high-heat methods, which chemically change their healthy nutritional value. Granulated date and fig sugars are the healthiest sugar alternatives you can find on the market, as they will retain all their whole-fruit nutritional benefits!
3. Eat Fruits to Heal Inflammation in The Body
Organic fruits contain detoxification enzymes that help to detoxify the body. These detoxifying fruits should make up a large portion of your diet while you detox from sugar, and can also reduce cravings for unhealthy processed foods.
But why eat sugary fruits when you are looking to detox from sugar? That’s a great question! Actually, fruit sugar (fructose) is very healthy and is “the” fuel the cells need to work optimally.
Fruits are composed of simple sugars that are essential for the body in terms of maintaining optimal health. Their sugars are chemically different from sucrose, the complex sugar found in processed foods. Whereas fructose chemistry is detoxifying and healing in its fruit form, sucrose (and processed fructose) is damaging and inflammatory. In the words of my teacher, Dr. Robert Morse:
Fruits have the highest amounts of antioxidants and astringent properties of all foods. Their sugars are slow burning but powerful, and will enhance the vitality of cells faster than any other food, and with much less digestive effort. They also have the highest electrical properties of any food. The energies in raw fruits are so high that they speed up neuron transport and endocrine function.
The Detox Miracle Sourcebook, Dr. Robert Morse, pg. 300
In this following video, Dr. Morse goes into depth about the sugar controversy and why what the mainstream thinks about ‘sugar’, especially fruit sugar, is chemically incorrect. He has over four decades of healing expertise with fruits that show otherwise:
In his insightful Liver Rescue, Anthony William also advocates for fruit sugar for body health and healing, given its electromagnetic chemistry that energizes and electrifies cells for optimal performance and tissue healing:
Sweeteners such as table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, which aren’t attached to nutrients, aren’t doing anyone any favors—they’re a drain on health. Certain sugars, though—natural sugars from whole foods, like those found in fruits, coconut water, raw honey, sweet potatoes, and the sugars you get from digestion of good carbohydrates like squash and potatoes—are wildly beneficial. That may sound scary or flat-out wrong, given the common anti-sugar advice out there.
Maybe you have fruit fear. That’s probably because you’ve been told at some point that the sugars in fruit feed everything from Candida to cancer. You might have heard, too, that the condition fatty liver can be caused by sugar, so you should therefore avoid fruit. Well, you don’t need to live with that burden anymore. The truth is that you need those natural sugars—and all the other nutrients you get from fruit—to function at your best.
Liver Rescue, Anthony William (Medical Medium), pg. 5
Some of the most detoxifying fruits include berries, grapes (particularly red grapes), apples, melons (especially watermelon), pomegranate, citrus and watery exotic fruits such as kiwi. And if you had to pick the top two to intensify and speed up your detoxification process, red grapes and watermelon are my top picks for their astringency, toxin elimination and tissue regeneration.
4. Eat More Raw Foods That Alkalize the Body
Another detox tip is to eat plenty of detoxifying foods that support detox pathways in the body. These foods include dark leafy greens like kale, artichokes and seaweed, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, sulfur-rich foods like garlic and onions, detoxifying spices like turmeric and cayenne pepper, detoxifying fruits like raspberries, detoxing seeds like chia seeds and flax seeds, and detoxifying superfoods like spirulina and Chaga mushroom.
Eating lots of fresh produce will detox your body naturally because most fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, water, enzymes and antioxidants, which help kidneys filter toxins and detoxify the liver by neutralizing toxins.
Consuming kidney-friendly foods will also ensure that your lymphatic system – the body’s sewage system – functions correctly and is properly circulated around the body. The kidneys filter the lymphatic system and detoxify the blood, so helping these organs will heal inflammation caused by sugar damage.
Alkaline foods clean acidic chemistry in our body’s sewage system and move it to the kidneys for elimination. They help hydrate the body, loosening up congestion, mucus, and cholesterol build-up caused by sugar consumption.
Since the body’s ideal interstitial fluid pH balance is 7.365, it is slightly more alkaline than acidic and relies on an 80% alkaline and 20% acidic balance of chemistry for optimal health.
Unfortunately, most of our modern diets (which are heavily processed and full of processed sugar) and lifestyles are highly acidic and create an internal environment that is a precondition for chronic inflammation and all disease.
Thankfully, raw organic fruits and vegetables alkalize the body and balance its pH levels so that acids are expelled and hydration of cells and tissues occurs. In its homeostasis (7.365), the body is strong, vital, and disease-free.
This means that detoxing sugar should go hand in hand with a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, which will help detoxify the liver, kidneys, colon and skin (the main elimination organs) and alkalize all the cells and tissues.
5. Supplement Your Diet With These Herbs For Best Results
Herbs are nature’s medicine cabinet that has healed the animal kingdom since time immortal. In naturopathy, herbs are used to assist the body with the process of detoxification and to enhance the function of cells in weakened tissues, organs and glands.
In addition to their healing properties, herbs are also highly nutritious and exist in their original form since the dawn of time. Here is what the wise Dr. Robert Morse states about the power of botanicals from his own extensive experience as a healer:
When I started using herbs and herbal formulas over twenty-seven years ago, my success in my clinic skyrocketed. I began to see much deeper cleansing and healing—true regeneration and vitality—in tissues. Previously, with supplements, I would see some improvement, and maybe some symptoms eliminated. However, these symptoms would return when the supplementation was stopped.
Today, the use of herbs (botanicals) is vital to the restoration of the human race. Their power to invoke the cleansing and regeneration process can’t be equaled by manufactured supplements or chemical medications.
The Detox Miracle Sourcebook, Dr. Robert Morse, pg. 48
Indeed, some of the best herbs for detoxifying processed sugar include kidney cleansing herbs and liver detox herbs like dandelion root (or dandelion plant), burdock root, milk thistle, nettle, cilantro and parsley. This is a list of some of my favorite detoxification herbs and advice on how to get started cleaning and healing the body with herbs!
The best detox herb for sugar is dandelion, which not only detoxes the kidneys and the liver but also breaks down fat and cholesterol for elimination, helping to prevent atherosclerosis or blood vessel disease.
Each detox herb has its own set of detoxification pathways in the body, and therefore utilizing various different detox herbs will clean your cells at an even deeper level!
Now that you know more about the health detriments of processed sugar and how to do a sugar detox, taking the first step in the right direction is vital! These micro-changes will eventually escalate the detox momentum, and you’ll feel more capable to take the final and ultimate step of removing processed sugar from your diet for good.
While detoxing, don’t go cold turkey and expect miracles to happen immediately. Your system is likely overloaded with inflammatory build-up and your body should not be overwhelmed with detoxing and purging all the acidic waste at once.
It is likewise recommended to clean up your diet and eat a raw food diet in order to strengthen the elimination pathways and aid in regeneration.
Detoxification is a truly personalized process that takes a scientific, artistic and intuitive approach to healing. Since inflammation takes time to build up, it also takes time to purge and for tissues to regenerate.
Knowing the whys and hows of detox is essential so that each system is built up to handle the detoxification process (purge of acids from the body), which has physical and emotional side-effects, most popularly known as a ‘healing crisis’.
If you’d like to know more about your body and how to detoxify and heal properly, I’ve written a very informative, free guide on body detox that will teach you the most essential knowledge you’ll need to heal naturally with food, herbs, and a healthy lifestyle. I wish you a smooth sugar detox journey, and please feel free to ask any questions about my own experience quitting sugar below!