Periodically on our wellness journeys, we hit a plateau or feel sluggish. Perhaps it’s your physical endurance or maybe foggy thinking. Giving your body a chance to detox from all of the chemicals and additives in our modern food is a great way to get back on track.
Several systems at work in your body continuously detoxify; your liver is the most powerful organ for filtering out toxins, so anything that supports liver health will aid in a detox. Your kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, lymphatic system, and even your skin all contribute to keeping your body clean from impurities—so choose these foods and drinks that will lend maximum support to your body’s robust detoxifying systems!
This category of vegetables is very nutrient-rich, especially with antioxidants and phytonutrients that support cell growth; broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage—all fit into this category. Cruciferous vegetables also support liver health through anti-inflammatory properties. Broccoli sprouts are a particularly potent form of this veggie, containing enzymes that can protect against cancer-causing chemicals.
If you’re lucky enough to like the taste of cilantro, go ahead and add a healthy dose to as many dishes as possible! This herb is known as a “chelator,” meaning it binds easily with heavy metals. Cilantro may aid in flushing out these heavy metal toxins, especially lead. Herbs are an excellent addition to smoothies that many people overlook, so toss in a handful next time you blend something for a snack.
A medicinal aid for centuries, green tea is well-known for its health benefits. Studies have shown that it can also increase the production of enzymes that help detox cancer-causing chemicals in your body. Its antioxidants also help reduce free radicals that can cause other health problems. Use green tea powder in smoothies if you don’t want a hot cup of tea!
This well-known fruit is perhaps the most common on the list—everyone knows to eat apples! One study found that the pectin in apples helps in the excretion of toxic metals. The high levels of fiber will help your digestive system work most efficiently.
While not a popular vegetable in the U.S., beets have high levels of antioxidants that can help your body reduce harmful free radicals. Their high fiber and pectin content also help your body’s natural detox systems. Studies also show that beets can boost the production of enzymes that help improve liver function and detoxification.
Of all the foods on this list, chlorella might be the most challenging to find and the least familiar, but don’t overlook its benefits! This freshwater alga is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. It has everything from antioxidants and beta-carotene to amino acids and potassium. Its high levels of chlorophyll help absorb heavy metals and reduce liver inflammation. Add the powder to juices and smoothies for an easy detox boost.
You probably already incorporate leafy greens for their iron and vitamin C, but add them to the list of detox foods, too! The fiber helps slow digestion, giving your body more time to pull out toxins along the way. The general immune support from these vegetables (especially kale, spinach, and parsley) helps your whole system work better as it detoxes.
This detox ingredient is one of the most versatile. The citric acid in lemons can help protect your liver and prevent stress damage. You can easily squeeze some fresh lemon over salads and rice or add it to your proteins. But be sure to add it after cooking, so the heat doesn’t break down all the beneficial enzymes. Keep in mind the best way to use lemon for a detox is to drink it in healthy quantities daily. Squeeze some into your water or add it to an evening tea.
Ginger is another ingredient that can be used with food or in drinks. It’s great for digestive health and reducing inflammation. Make a green tea with ginger and lemon for a power-detox boost!
Start incorporating these foods into your diet right away for maximum benefits!