What essential kitchen equipment do I need for my detox diet?

People often ask what kitchen equipment they really need before going on a detox diet. Here is my top 5 list.  If you don’t have any of them yet it can involve a big outlay so you may need to prioritize and invest in what you feel is the most important for you at the moment.

1. A Good Water Filter

It’s best not to drink tap water if you are on a detox diet or not. Leaving aside the dangers of chlorine and fluoride your tap water is likely polluted with prescription drugs.

As long ago as 2002 scientists from the US geological services discovered microbial and viral contaminants, pharmaceuticals and hormones in tap water due to improved lab techniques.

Hundreds of tests on water supplies in the US & Canada found that standard water treatment did not remove the prescription and non prescription drugs or their by products.

Of course the water companies regard the levels as safe. But the fact is that little is known about the effects on our health of continued exposure to trace levels of numerous different drugs through water.

In the UK three major prescription drugs and one chemotherapy drug has been found in tap water.

It’s known that chlorine can react with organic matter in water and form byproducts such as tirhalomethanes. Various studies have found that these substances can double the risk of certain cancers and cause birth defects.

Jug filters

This is the simplest and cheapest method of purifying water but is not 100% effective. They only remove 85% chlorine and and 70% pesticides.

Plumbed in filters

Plumbed in filters can remove chlorine, toxic heavy metals and pesticides. They are more effective than a jug filters.

Reverse osmosis

This is a much more expensive option but removes minerals, metals, bacteria
and chemical contaminants through carbon filters and a membrane resulting in pure water.

The water tends to be acidic but some companies supply mineralizers to their
systems to add back minerals.

Distilled water

Distilled water is the purest water but home distillers are an expensive option. It is a mistaken belief that drinking pure distilled water leaches minerals from the body. In fact it improves absorption of all nutrients, including minerals, and improves elimination of cellular wastes.

Ionized water

Ionized water is tap water that has been filtered to remove chlorine, heavy metals, parasites, organic hydrocarbons and a long list of other contaminants.The mild electrolysis process produces alkaline and antioxidant water.

The process reduces the size and shape of the water molecule clusters making
it much more hydrating. And as it hydrates your body tissue the makers claim that it pushes out the toxins

Why not drink mineral water?

Surprisingly enough one problem is that the purity regulations are far more lax than those for tap water. Some bottled waters were found to be contaminated with bacteria and contain high levels of arsenic and phthalates.

Most mineral water is stored in plastic bottles which can leach a variety of hazardous chemicals into the water.  If you are going to drink mineral water buy it in glass bottles and look for one with low sodium levels ( less than 10mg sodium per liter) and a near neutral pH of 7.

2 A Vitamix Blender

One of the best investments you can make is a Vitamix. In this one machine you can easily and quickly make smoothies, juices, soups, dressings, nut milks and butters and bean pates like humus.

You eat the whole food when you blend fruit and vegetables in a Vitamix. The powerful blender ruptures the cell walls of the produce to release the full benefit of nutrients. The fiber is retained too which helps with bowel cleansing.

You can make juices in a Vitamix by blending the fruit and/or vegetables with extra water and straining through a nut bag or other fine strainer.

3. Juicer

Although you can make juices with the Vitamix a juicer is useful to have if you are going to make a lot of juices or do a juice fast. If you are very sick you may need to take a lot of juices.

Juices need no digestion. The nutrients are absorbed straight into your body. They are ideal if you have digestion problems and need to heal before you can absorb nutrients from whole foods. A juice fast can give your digestive system a rest.

A masticating type juicer is considered better than a centrifugal juicer as the latter destroys the enzymes due to the faster speed and heat generated.

The Champion juicer has been around a long time and is one of the most popular juicers out there. I have used one myself for years and it has served me well but there are some newer ones on the market.

Twin gear juicers such as the Green Star models are the most efficient type of juicer available and can extract higher yields of juice from fruits,  vegetables,  wheatgrass ( which the Champion can’t) , green leaves and herbs. The pulp that comes out of twin gear juicers is the driest of all the types of juicers but they can be difficult to clean.

4.  Non Toxic Cookware

Many people try to follow a healthier diet but have ignored the fact that are using toxic cookware. It doesn’t make any sense to prepare healthy food for detox and cook it in toxic non stick or aluminum pans?

Aluminum pans release the metal into food if it is salty or acidic. Dietary sources of aluminum include cookware, containers, foil, and utensils. The metal is toxic in the body and is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Stainless steel pans have always been considered safe but they contain nickel which some people are sensitive or allergic to.

Non Stick Pans

In tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), in 2 – 5 minutes on a conventional stovetop, cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to hundreds of pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year.

For years DuPont has claimed that their Teflon coatings do not emit hazardous chemicals through normal use.One of the chemicals used in the manufacture of Teflon is perflurooctanoic acid (PFOA) This chemical has led to cancer and birth defects in lab animals, and may have led to birth defects in DuPont plant workers.

Studies have revealed that 95% of all men, women and children in the United States have traces of PFOA in their blood. A recently published study stated that high levels of PFOA were strongly correlated with an increase in both total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol.

DuPont have have recently announced that they have plans to phase out PFOA’s from their cookware by 2015.

Sandwich toasters, griddles and other popular cooking devices such as George Foreman Grills are coated with Teflon.

Swiss Diamond, claim their pans are made of diamonds and contained no Teflon use the chemical PTFE which is the same thing as Teflon.

Ceramic cookware

If you use ceramic cookware like crockpots or slow cookers you may not be aware that some of the glazes used contain lead, cadmium and pigments which may get into your food. Lead and cadmium are toxic metals that you do not want in your body. Look for pots without the lead glaze.

Enameled Cast Iron

Back in the 1970s, there was a problem with enamel cookware due to cadmium in their glazes.  Cadmium is very toxic. Importation of foreign ceramic was prohibited at the time and today’s manufacturers no longer use pigments with cadmium in them, so they are now considered safe.

Which pans should you use?

Safepan Eco Nonstick Cookware is the first EPA and FDA approved pan, having passed their consumer product safety tests. Developed in Australia, the Safepan is a pet-safe, PTFE free and PFOA free pan.

Greenpan is another nonstick pan that is coated with Thermolon. The company claim the pans are safe and they do not use any chemicals that can be classed as toxic or persistent pollutants. No particles can migrate into food that is being cooked in the pan.

Lead free ceramic or glass cookware is safe and will not react with food.

5. Non Toxic Food Storage Containers

Once you have gone to the trouble of preparing healthy food, storing it safely is important too.  Several research studies have found that when plastic comes in contact with certain foods, molecules of the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the food or beverage.

Of most concern to your health are the types of plastic with the recycling numbers #3 PVC,  #6 Polystyrene and #7 Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate has been shown to leach Bisphenol A (BPA), which can disrupt hormones.  It’s best not to use any plastic containers or cling wrap for your food.

Look for glass, lead free ceramic, or stainless steel containers and cellulose bags and wrapping paper.

This might seem like a big investment but you won’t just be using this kitchen equipment for a detox diet. They will be invaluable to continue your healthy eating plan.

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