It’s November 1st, and you’re filled with regret.
Because you allowed your family to devour waaaaay too much candy as you observed one of the staples of American culture by celebrating one of the most debated “holidays”: Halloween. Trick-or-treating is all fun and games until the wrappers start being pulled off and before long the whole family has consumed more colorful sugar in one hour than they did the entire rest of the year.
Well, regretting that y’all ate all that candy isn’t going to get much done. Now it’s time to detox from food dyes, sugar, and all of the other devilish ingredients that circulate through neighborhoods for Halloween every fall.
Here is some practical (while still requiring some legitimate effort) advice on how to detox after a Halloween candy binge.
Detoxing from too much candy, especially after Halloween, involves several strategies to help the body recover from the sugar overload. Here are some methods to consider:
- Do a Liquid Cleanse: Drinking lot of water with some natural detoxifying ingredients will flush the bad stuff through your system. You’ll likely need to use the bathroom more than normal, but you’ll feel a lot better for doing. Some of the most trusted ingredients to add to water for a liquid cleanse include: lemon (my favorite), watermelon, aloe vera, cucumber, ginger, and blueberries. There are lots of herbal teas out there that incorporate these healthy items into them, so it may be easier for you to consume them that way.
- Take a Sugar Break: A 5-day sugar break is suggested to help reset the body’s response to sugar. This period helps get back on track, especially if the indulgence lasted more than a single day. It’s noted that cravings and irritability might peak by the third day of the sugar break1.
- Eat Low Carb: After filling up on candy, which is high in carbohydrates, switching to a low-carb diet for the next 2-3 days can help the body start using the stored energy. Foods high in protein and healthy fats, such as lean meats, low-fat cheese, nuts, and vegetables, should be emphasized2.
- Avoid Additional Sugars: Post-candy binge, it’s important to avoid further sugar intake to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, which can lead to cravings and potential binge eating3.
- Load up on Vitamin C: Boosting the immune system with vitamin C can be beneficial. This vitamin can be found in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. To ensure the nutrients are retained, these vegetables should be cooked with minimal water and for a short period4.
- Use Turmeric: Turmeric, specifically the curcumin it contains, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It has been used in traditional medicine to aid digestion, detox the liver, and relieve pain. Turmeric can be added to foods or taken as a capsule5.
Regarding flushing out food dyes and other artificial components from a child’s system, the body’s natural detoxification processes, such as metabolism and excretion, are generally efficient at eliminating these substances. However, increasing fluid intake and consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can support the body’s detox pathways. Consulting a healthcare provider for personalized advice is always a prudent step, especially for concerns regarding children’s health.
The Worst Offenders: Halloween Candy That Takes a Toll
While it may already be too late for this year, here’s something you might want to consider in the future. There are some types of candy that are known to be super unhealthy. Let’s talk about those.
The most unhealthy candies often contain high levels of sugar, unhealthy fats, artificial colors, and other artificial ingredients. Some of the most notorious offenders include:
- 3 Musketeers: Despite being marketed as lighter chocolate, a single bar contains five grams of saturated fat and more sugar than three Krispy Kreme doughnuts. It also has hidden trans fats from hydrogenated oils1.
- Starburst: They’re gluten-free but loaded with different forms of sugar, with 22 grams in just nine pieces2.
- Reese’s Pieces: They may taste like peanut butter, but they’re packed with sugar, hydrogenated oils, and numerous artificial colors3.
- Skittles: Known for their rainbow of colors, these contain nine different artificial colors and trans fats, which are harmful to cholesterol health1.
- Whoppers: The first ingredients are sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated oil, and 18 pieces contain 24 grams of sugar and seven grams of saturated fat4.
- M&Ms: These colorful chocolates contain GMOs, sugar, soy, and artificial flavors5.
- Candy Corn: A Halloween staple that is sticky, sugary, and loaded with artificial colors, with 28 grams of sugar per serving1.
- Sour Patch Kids: Mostly sugar and corn syrup, along with artificial flavors and colors1.
- Twizzlers: High in sugar, with artificial additives, and because they’re chewy, they stick to teeth, which can cause dental issues1.
- Mounds: While they contain coconut, they also have corn syrup, artificial flavors, and a high amount of saturated fat1.
Let’s review again how to get this crap out of your body as efficiently as possible.
- Liquid Cleanse: Drink water with lemon or one of the other natural cleansing ingredients.
- Sugar Break: This helps reset the body and reduce cravings6.
- Eat Low-Carb: Focus on high-protein and healthy-fat foods to use up stored energy from the sugar7.
- Avoid More Sugar: Prevent further spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels8.
- Increase Vitamin C Intake: Foods rich in vitamin C can boost the immune system9.
- Use Turmeric: It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which can help with digestion and detoxification10.
For children, and anyone else, the body naturally eventually eliminates food dyes and other artificial components. To aid this process, ensure a balanced diet and increase fluid intake to support the body’s natural detoxification pathways.