16 Foods That Naturally Detoxify Your Body
Detoxing is not about starving… When people think of detoxing, they usually envision drinking tea and basically avoiding food for a while, but did you know that there are foods that are also naturally detoxifying to the body?
If you’re planning on starting a detox soon or doing a daily detox, ensure these foods are being consumed early and often.
A good healthy food detox keeps the body away from free radicals, toxins, and other harmful chemicals that keep the body from optimal health.
One effect people notice immediately from eating these foods is better mental clarity and energy levels.
Try adding these detoxifying foods to your diet, and see how they make you feel.
16 Detoxifying Foods
Plain and simple, water is one of the most overlooked and underused nutrition resources on the planet.
While it’s not technically a food, it deserved a number 1 ranking on this list, because without it, the foods below are pretty useless.
Start with 5-6 cups a day, and work your way up to 8-10. It’s common for people to lose track during the day, so it’s a good idea to download a water tracker to your phone. Water alert is the best app for this.
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols.
These are great for people with arthritis or people just looking for cancer-fighting foods.
It has also been shown to help with liver function and giving the immune system a much needed boost.
Adding ginger to warm water or tea is the most efficient way to get it into the body. While you can also chew on ginger roots, it is more effective to drink ginger, because higher quantities can be consumed that have a better chance of reaching and flushing out the liver.
3. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a terrific detox food for their ability to bind to bile acids and lower the body’s cholesterol levels.
The binding effect in collard greens has been shown to be even stronger than kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
Collard greens are best steamed, because it increases the bile acid bindings. Steam for 5 minutes, and top with lemon juice and a dash of salt to increase the activation of enzymes.
The fiber and nutrient-rich juices in grapefruits make it a powerful detox food.
Not all fruit juices are made the equal, and grapefruit wins in antioxidants.
Even when compared to cranberries, apples, oranges, and pomegranates, grapefruit has the highest overall antioxidant capacity.
The key is to select grapefruit that is rich in color (bright red or pink). This indicates a higher concentration of the carotenoid, lycopene, and other nutrients.
Lemons get a lot of attention, and rightfully so.
There are even a few detoxes based solely on the consumption of lemon juice and organic unpasteurized raw honey.
Lemons are well known for their ability to cleanse the body, aid with weight loss, balance acidity, improve skin complexion, and give the immune system a boost.
Lemon water is always a great solution when detoxing for its various health benefits, but don’t limit them to this. Their skin can be peeled and used as a tasty garnish, or you can simply squeeze the juice over your meals.
Most of the detoxing process happens in the liver, because that is the universal filter for food in our bodies.
Artichokes make for a great detox food, because they help increase bile production in the liver.
The bile is responsible for breaking down foods and helping the body process nutrients more efficiently.
The best way to make artichoke is to boil them or pressure-cook them. They’re great with a dash of salt or a healthy dipping sauce.
While they have a bad rep when it comes to lawn care, dandelions are actually a great detox food for the body.
Similar to artichokes, they increase the bile production in the liver and cleanse the system.
There are a variety of ways to consume dandelion root. Since they are naturally bitter, it’s a good idea to add them to soup or a stir fry for taste reasons. You can also turn them into a powerful herbal tea!
If you don’t have any natural dandelions around but want to give them a try, go for an organic dandelion root tea.
Most people will have only consumed seaweed from eating sushi, but it’s a good idea to get more into the diet when detoxing.
Seaweed has a host of antioxidants, but it also has a rare nutrient that is a common deficiency in the world: iodine.
Healthy levels of iodine are critically important for maintaining a healthy thyroid. Thyroid deficiencies cause muscle weakness, high cholesterol, and fatigue just to name a few.
Organic seaweed also makes for a great snack on the road and comes relatively cheap.
Broccoli is known for its cholesterol-fighting benefits, but it also has powerful detox phytonutrients. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli.
This trio is able to support all of the steps in the body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants.
It’s best when lightly steamed or eaten raw over a salad. Just be careful when ordering at a restaurant, because they tend to cook it with butter or cheese to enhance the taste. Ask for none of the extras and all of the goodness. A little light salt is all you need.
10. Green Tea
When detoxing the body, make sure to throw in some organic green tea.
It is high in antioxidants and has been shown to increase metabolism. When dieting strongly, the body will down-regulate its metabolism over time in order to compensate for the lower food portions.
Prevent this from happening with a cup of organic green tea every day.
Drink it warm or cold, just make sure to avoid adding sugar. If the flavor bothers you, add in a little bit of unpasteurized raw honey or peppermint tea to improve the taste.
This is another herb making it into this list that many people have not tried.
Lemongrass is known for its ability to cleanse the kidneys, bladder, and digestive tract.
It cleans the uric acid from the body through increasing the frequency and quantity of urination.
It is most often used as a tea in the world of detoxifying and can be combined with a variety of items for flavoring. Drink it on a regular basis (every 2-3 days) to help the body get rid of harmful elements.
Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains.
These nutrients have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
Their special detox power lies in their digestion process, which neutralizes toxins and makes them water-soluble, thus forcing the toxins to exit through urination.
Often found on a delicious greek salad, beets can be eaten as a side dish or blended into a green smoothie. Just make sure not to cook them for more than 15 minutes, becasue the betalain nutrients are rapidly diminished by heat.
Basil has many anti-bacterial properties that help to fight sickness and also has active ingredients called tarpenoids that are made to protect the liver.
It supports the functioning of the kidneys and has antimicrobial effects that guard against bacteria, yeast, fungi and mold.
It’s available at any grocery store and can be cut up and used as pesto, in a detox tea, made into an infused oil, used on appetizers, in soups, on salads, pizza, and for a variety of other uses.
Garlic is not typically known as a detox food but provides a significant boost to the immune system as well as helping out the liver.
Its wide array of antioxidants and allium benefits make it a great addition to this list.
Getting a variety of nutrients from different sources is the key to a successful detox program, and garlic provides rare nutrients not found elsewhere.
Add it to the otherwise boring foods on a detox program for added flavor. Expose garlic to as little heat time as possible (5-10 min), because more than that will cook out some of the nutrient benefits.
Watercress helps release enzymes to clean out the body and get rid of toxic buildup.
It also provides cancer-fighting phytochemicals such as glucosinolates that have been shown to counter breast, lung, colorectal, head and neck, and prostate cancers.
Not typical in most diets, but it’s another great and healthy food to try for detoxification.
Making watercress is simple. Trim the stems, wash with water, and place on any salad, sandwich, stir-fry, green smoothie, or any other creative recipe you can think of.
Last but certainly not least, turmeric is well-known for its digestive support to the body.
It’s even been shown to treat inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, and help prevent colon cancer.
It helps the body detoxify xenobiotic chemicals that are often found in the liver. Needless to say, it is a powerful and effective addition to the list of detox foods.
Turmeric is an herb that usually shows up in tea, but you can top many dishes such as egg salad with it. Be careful when handling it, because it easily stains items due to its deep color.
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