Have you ever wondered why we are the only species that still drink milk as adults? Have you considered cutting dairy out of your diet but the belief that dairy is essential to our health has held you back?
Detoxing can be a very good way for you to experience the benefits of reducing or withdrawing a certain ingredient from your diet.
So, if you are up to a challenge or just curious about the impact of dairy in our health.
Keep reading because today we are talking about what a dairy detox is and if the absence of dairy in your diet has a good or bad impact as well as exploring the dairy replacements available today.
What is a Dairy Detox?
A dairy detox is when you completely remove dairy from your diet.
Some people do it for 2 weeks but the best results should be noticed if you do it for 30 days. That's because a 30-day detox will allow your body to eliminate toxins.
Dairy products are filled with growth hormones and antibiotics, that is injected in the cows so they keep reproducing milk and to avoid them getting infections, which will of course be absorbed into the milk that we drink.
That can affect us by leading us into antibiotics resistance in the long run as well as the dangers of developing diseases due to the hormones found in the milk.
Among other things, dairy can increase our levels of IGF-1 which our body produces.
IGF-1 is a growth hormone and has tremendous benefits in our health like building muscle, decreasing mental health issues, helps to fight diabetes, and boosts growth and development.
But it also comes with really bad side effects such as developing cancer and decreasing your lifespan by half!
Is a Dairy Detox Good for Me?
Removing dairy from your diet during detox is extremely beneficial to your body. The benefits of excluding dairy are:
- Clearer skim a detox can help improve acne and other skin conditions
- Better digestive system
- Weight loss (because milk raises insulin levels, it might be easier to lose weight without dairy in your menu)
- Prevent milk allergies
- Decrease your risk of cancer
Did you know that women get double the risk to develop ovarian cancer if they consume more than 1 glass of milk a day?
And that men get a 34% increase in developing prostatic cancer when they consume 2 portions of dairy a day?
How do you Know When You Should Detox from Dairy?
Our body is like a machine, it turns what you eat into energy and gets rid of things that it has no use, yet a lot of toxins and chemicals get accumulated in our system just as a clothed pipe.
With time your body might struggle to work properly or at least at its full function due to the accumulation of toxins and bacteria.
Our liver is also one of the main things that get mainly affected by the toxins in our bodies.
A detox excludes any potential chemicals that you consume and is based mostly on fruit or vegetables (that will depend on which detox you are doing).
Your Mouth Tells You Why Dairy is Bad…
People choose to detox for many different reasons especially when it comes to dairy, but the main goal of a detox is to get rid of toxicities or not so healthy substances from our system.
A lot of us are able to recognize when things go wrong in our system by some of the warning signs that our body gives us.
But were you aware that our tongue or our mouth tries to warn us even before then?
Think about this, have you ever experienced bad breath or feel there’s a bad taste in the mouth after taking dairy products such as milk and cheese?
That’s because the amino acids contained react with your oral bacteria and that’s what make your mouth smells like rotten egg.
Besides, all dairy-themed food are acid to the body, which tend to cause digestion burned more easily. Your mouth or your tongue is a part of the digestion tract. It’s a great indicator that can notify you whether you eat is good or bad for your body.
Of course, you can remove the smell with a tongue scraper or some kind of mouthwash, but it doesn’t change the fact that you give your body unhealthy or somewhat “toxic” food.
Apart from seeing the warning signs on your tongue, there are other symptoms that will let you know that your body needs a detox:
- Struggling to lose weight
- Constant cravings
- Excess Sweating
- Skin problems such as acne and itchy skin
- Fatigue that doesn't go away with resting/sleeping
- Mood and burst of anger
- Insomnia, especially if it happens between 1-3 am (usually a sign of a toxic liver)
Fun Fact: your liver purifies your blood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without stopping.
During a Dairy Detox, What Other Foods You Should avoid?
The worst foods to have during detox are wheat, meat, alcohol, caffeine. and of course, dairy. And why?
As mentioned, dairy is acid towards our body which affects our cells function and that will massively decrease the process of detox.
As for meat, it slows down our digestive system and helps bacteria to grow (and breed) in our gut. Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it?
Wheat is harmful to our intestine's lining which decreases our ability to intake nutrients, also not to mention that wheat irritates our gut which leads to bloating, constipation, and ingestion.
Coffee leads to an increase of toxins in our body, and alcohol is harmful to our liver and will jeopardize our detoxication.
Also, processed foods, too much salt or sugar should be avoided and removed during a detox.
Keep in mind that during a dairy detox, or detox in general, the best foods to have are vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole-grains, as well as omega-3 fishes such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines.
Besides, drinking plenty of water is essential during a detox, so you should keep yourself hydrated at all times.
Not only because water is crucial for your health, but water accelerates the detox.
What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of a Diary Detox?
Although the symptoms of a detox are never a pleasant feeling, you should know that for most people the symptoms will subside in about a week.
Let's remember that most of us have been consuming those types of food for a very long time.
So, it might be a challenge to remove it from your diet at the beginning.
But what to expect from a detox?
Here are some of the effects and withdrawal symptoms during a detox:
- Lots and lots of cravings, esp. for things like cheese and creamy dessert
- Moody and irritability
- Change of sleeping patterns
- Stomach issues
If after the detox you wish to start to consume dairy and anything else that you have excluded from your diet, you should reintroduce them into your diet slowly, so your digestive system has time to process it.
What Are Recommended Dairy Replacements and Why These?
1. Almond Milk
Almond milk is lower in calories and protein compared to cow's milk. It is a natural source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that protects the body from diseases.
Almond milk is also the least caloric replacement. It contains a slightly sweet and nutty taste. It's perfect for baking and desserts.
2. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk has the lowest levels of protein and carbohydrates from the dairy replacements.
This might not be the best option for someone who needs high levels of protein in their diet, but it might be the best choice for someone who is on a low carbs diet.
Coconut milk contains a creamy texture with a sweet yet coconut flavor.
3. Soy Milk
Soy milk is the closest replacement of milk, it has a similar amount of protein as cow's milk, but with practically half of carbohydrates and calories.
Soy is also one of the few plants that can be a complete source of protein. Soy milk is very often used to replace milk in coffee or cereal. It has a creamy texture and mild flavor.
4. Oats Milk
Although oats milk contains almost the same calories as cow's milk, it has half of the protein and double the carbohydrates. And it is also high in fiber.
Oats milk is mild in flavor and naturally sweet, a great option for cereal and smoothies.
5. Rice Milk
Rice milk is the best for anyone who has allergies. It has the same calories as the cow's milk but it contains double the carbohydrates and a lot less of protein.
The downside of rice milk is how fast it can raise sugar in the blood, so it might NOT be the best option for people with diabetes. Rice milk is a little watery and with a sweet flavor.
By now, you must be thinking, it’s nice to have replacements for milk, but what about other tasty things such as yogurt, butter, and cheese?
Luckily, it’s possible to turn most types of nut milk into other forms and they taste really delightful.
I guess many of you have already tried almond or coconut yogurt.
You can also easily find plant-based butter that is made of avocados or almonds.
It’s also possible to get cheeses that are fermented from cashew nuts or soybeans.
Believe me, it’s really not that hard to cut off dairy products because are tons of alternatives to choose from.
Your body does so much for you every day all day, so maybe it's time to give something back and listen to the warning, Your health matters!