The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.
Guys, this will be a longer post with tons of examples of detoxifying foods that can be eaten daily. These foods will assist in boosting your metabolism and in optimizing digestion, while allowing you to lose weight and fortify your immune system. Always remember variety is key!
In part III of our IV part detox series we discussed the basics of cleansing and detoxing. Part II gave you an idea about the many benefits of eating a cleansing diet, ideally on a daily basis. Improved energy, radiant skin, better digestion, increased concentration, and clarity are just a few of the „goodies” you will experience. Part III of this series gives you an idea of what foods to eat. At the end of this post you find a sample menu plan for a detox diet. Are you ready? Here we go:
Artichokes help the liver function at its best, which in turn will help your body purge itself of toxins and other things it doesn’t need. They up the liver’s production of bile, and since bile helps break down foods, which helps your body use the nutrients inside them, an increase in bile production is desired.
Apples are full of wonderful nutrients. You get fibers, vitamins, minerals, and many beneficial phytochemicals such as D-Glucarate, flavonoids and terpenoids. All of these substances are used throughout the detox process. One flavonoid, phlorizin, is thought to help stimulate bile production, which again helps with detox as the liver gets rid of certain toxins through the bile. Apples are also a good source of the soluble fiber pectin, which can help detox metals and food additives from your body.
Almonds are the best nut source of Vitamin E. In fact, just one ounce contains 7.3 mg of “alpha-tocopherol” vitamin E. They’re also high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and useable protein that helps stabilize blood sugar and remove impurities from the bowels.
Not only does asparagus help detoxify the body, it can also help you wage the anti-aging battle, protect you from getting cancer, help your heart to stay healthy, and is a general anti-inflammatory food.
This wonder fruit is packed with antioxidants, lowers cholesterol and dilates the blood vessels while blocking artery-destroying toxicity. Avocados are high in Vitamin E and contain the antioxidants glutathione, which blocks at least 30 different carcinogens while helping the liver detoxify synthetic chemicals. Consuming avocados is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake level, lower intake of added sugars, lower body weight, BMI and waist circumferences, higher “good cholesterol” levels and lower metabolic syndrome risk.
Basil has anti-bacterial properties, and is full of antioxidants to protect the liver. The active ingredients are terpenoids. It promotes digestion and detoxification. Basil not only supports the functioning of the kidneys but also acts as a diuretic to help the body expel unwanted toxins. Basil has been known to have anti-ulcer qualities as well as antimicrobial effects that guard against bacteria, yeast, fungi and mold. Basil seed can also help with constipation.
Beets may boost your energy and lower your blood pressure. Eating beets may also help fight cancer, reduce arthritic pain, boost your brain, and help you lose weight. Beets contain a unique mixture of natural plant chemicals (phytochemicals) and minerals that make them superb fighters of infection, blood purifiers, and liver cleansers. They also help boost the body’s cellular intake of oxygen, making beets excellent overall body cleansers. When you detox, beets will help by making sure that the toxins actually make it out of your body. Detox cleanses may go wrong if toxins are reintroduced to the body but don’t find their way out.
Blueberries contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, while lessening pain. Just 300 grams of blueberries protects against DNA damage. Blueberries also act as antibiotics by blocking bacteria in the urinary tract, thereby helping to prevent infections. They have antiviral properties and are loaded with super-detoxifying phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins. Did you know that blueberries are also super healthy for your overall brain health?
Broccoli specifically works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into substances your body can eliminate easily. They contain the very powerful anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-microbial substance sulforaphane and may also help prevent diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain allergies.
In addition to cleansing your liver, cabbage will also aid in helping you go to the bathroom, which in turn helps you eliminate toxins. It contains sulfur, which is essential when it comes to breaking down chemicals and removing them from your body. Cabbage is a good source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.
Cilantro contains an abundance of antioxidants. It also helps bring mercury and other heavy metals out of the tissue by attaching it to other compounds and allow them to be excreted from the body.
While they are more popular as fruits that help prevent urinary tract infections, cranberries are also antibacterial and are known to remove many different toxins from your body. Cranberries feature a rich profile of anti-inflammatory nutrients, provide immune and cardiovascular support. They also promote digestive health.
Dandelions are considered a powerhouse food full of nutrients that are essential for anyone regularly eating processed foods. Dandelion root is known to act on the liver and pancreas by straining and filtering toxins and wastes from the bloodstream. Its beneficial effects on liver complaints have been well documented. They are a rich source of minerals, provide a variety of phytonutrients, and are antioxidants that support cleansing of the digestive tract.
When detoxifying your body, it’s essential to ensure toxins are eliminated properly. Ground flaxseeds provide a wonderful source of fiber, which helps bind and flush toxins from the intestinal tract. They are also a great source of health promoting omega 3 oils. University of Copenhagen researchers report that flax fiber suppresses appetite and helps support weight loss.
Garlic boosts the immune system and supports the liver. Sulfur is found in high quantities in garlic — which makes it a good detox food. Its antibiotic properties heal your body. Garlic is proven to be 100 times more effective than antibiotics.
Along side turmeric, ginger is one of the world’s most potent disease-fighting spices. Ginger spikes your metabolism, flushes out waste, and is thought to help liver function. Basically any way you can think of getting it into your system is going to be beneficial.
Grapefruits can prevent weight gain, treat diabetes, lower cholesterol, fight cancer, heal stomach ulcers, reduce gum disease and even keep stroke and metabolic syndrome at bay. The rich pink and red colors of grapefruit are due to lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient. Among the common dietary carotenoids, lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells. The big takeaway on grapefruit is that it gets your liver fired up and ready for action, while infusing the rest of your organs with nutrient-laden fruit juice. Be careful with grapefruit if you are on any kind of medication as eating grapefruit may interfere with the efficiency of your „drug“.
Green tea is often thought of as a great addition to any detox program because of its high antioxidant value. It is the least processed tea and thus provides the most antioxidant polyphenols, notably a catechin, which is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits linked to green tea.
Hemp might just be one of nature’s most perfect foods since it is full of antioxidants like Vitamins E and C, as well as chlorophyll, which is wonderful for cleansing the body from toxins of all kinds, including heavy metals. The soluble and insoluble fiber in hemp can also keep the digestive tract clean and therefore, reduce the toxic burden on other internal organs.
Kale as well as other cruciferous vegetables are recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. It’s packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties as well, not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals it contains. Leafy greens are likely the number one food you can eat to regularly help improve your health. They’re filled with fiber along with crucial vitamins, minerals, and plant-based phytochemicals that may help protect you from almost every disease known.
This wonderful fruit stimulates the release of enzymes and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily excreted from the body. In addition, they contain high amounts of vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make glutathione. Glutathione helps ensure that liver works smoothly. Drinking lemon water, which is alkaline-forming, first thing in the morning will help to balance out the acidity of foods we’ve consumed. Fresh lemon juice contains more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps balance the body’s pH levels.
Onions are brimming with sulfur-containing amino acids, which help efficiently detox the liver. Raw onions deliver the most health benefits. Even a small amount of “overpeeling” can result in unwanted loss of flavonoids. For example, a red onion can lose about 20% of its quercetin and almost 75% of its anthocyanins if it is “overpeeled”. Onions will soak up arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and tin in contaminated foods. The total polyphenol content of onion is not only higher than in its fellow allium vegetables, garlic and leeks, but also higher than in tomatoes, carrots, and red bell pepper. Onions have been shown to inhibit the activity of macrophages, specialized white blood cells that play a key role in our body’s immune defense system, and one of their defense activities involves the triggering of large-scale inflammatory responses.
Parsley boasts plenty of beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and K to protect your kidneys and bladder. Diuretic herbs such as parsley prevent problems such as kidney stones and bladder infections and keep our body’s plumbing running smoothly by causing it to produce more urine. The flavonoids in parsley–have been shown to function as antioxidants and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, which gives it its yellow color. The rate at which your detox pathways function depends on your genes, your age, lifestyle, and a good supply of nutrients involved in the detox process. Curcumin is used a lot in Ayurvedic Medicine to treat liver and digestive disorders. Turmeric has specifically been studied in relation to the positive effect that it has on the liver.
Wheatgrass restores alkalinity to the blood. The juice’s abundance of alkaline minerals helps reduce over-acidity in the blood and thus is also a powerful detoxifier, and liver protector. It cleanses the organs and gastrointestinal tract of debris. Wheatgrass stimulates the metabolism and the body’s enzyme systems by enriching the blood. It also aids in reducing blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body. Nutritionally, wheatgrass is a complete food that contains 98 of the 102 earth elements.
DETOX DIET SAMPLE MENU
This little plan is meant to give you a short overview of foods for a rejuvenating, detox diet. A detox plan is best to be specifically designed according to your goals, needs and health condition. Here we go again:
First thing in the MORNING
Drink a glass of lukewarm, filtered water with lemon.
A typical cleansing breakfast consists of at least 50 percent fruit (choose low sugar fruit) and/or vegetable (such as baked sweet potato or green vegetable juice).
Ideas for breakfast include:
– Fresh berries or other fresh fruit
– Gluten-free bread with avocado or raw nut butter
– Gluten-free cooked cereals
– Gluten-free Oatmeal
– Nut milk
– Herbal tea, spice tea, or green or white tea Examples of MORNING and AFTERNOON SNACKS
– 10 to 15 raw almonds
– Apple or pear (sliced) with 1 tablespoon raw almond butter
– Carrot, celery and/or cucumber sticks with hummus
– Unsalted gluten-free crackers with guacamole or hummus
– Kale chips
– Fresh Beet, Carrot, Apple, and Ginger Juice Recipe
– Green Juices LUNCH
A typical lunch on a detox diet consists of approximately 60 to 80 percent vegetables, preferably raw, such as greens, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and hemp seeds. Fill in the remaining 20 to 40 percent with other plant foods, such as cooked chickpeas, steamed broccoli, gluten-free grains like brown rice or quinoa, baked sweet potato, or steamed fish.
A salad is an easy, packable detox lunch. Assemble a bowl or plate based on the ratios above. Make a simple dressing using 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, and an optional 1teaspoon of fresh-chopped herbs.
Other lunch ideas include:
– Chickpeas and vegetables seasoned with turmeric, ginger, and cumin
– Salad with vegetables, such as arugula, cucumbers, onions, and steamed beets.
– Lentil soup
– Kale salad with pine nuts and cranberries DINNER
Try for a dinner that consists of 60 to 80 percent vegetables. An easy dinner is a Buddha bowl. You don’t have to follow a recipe to make one, just combine 1 cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa, 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive or coconut oil, vegetables, beans and legumes, seeds and seasonings. Chickpeas, spinach or kale, steamed broccoli, avocado, hemp or chia seeds, or seaweed are great ingredients for you bowl.
Other dinner ideas include:
– Portobello mushroom cap, brushed with olive oil and baked or lightly sautéed
– Steamed kale sprinkled with pine nuts and tossed in lemon juice and olive oil
– Steamed salmon with fresh herbs and lemon with bok choy
– Vegetable curry with brown rice
– Broccoli soup
– Black bean salad with quinoa
– Thai cashew vegetables with quinoa
Curious to learn more about lifestyle habits that support cleansing & detoxing? In part 4 we will talk about the ideal lifestyle to make sure your new habits are a success on all levels.