Foods That Help With DetoxificationJan 02, 2023
Detox Diets are all the rage, especially with the arrival of spring. But short-term detox diets may not be the path to optimal health. Our bodies have the ability to detox all on their own. Our liver is the main organ that removes toxins from our bodies. In addition, the kidneys, skin, lungs, digestive and lymphatic systems all play an important role as well. It is important to do things every day that can help support our body’s natural ability to remove toxins. This can include drinking adequate water, making sure we are consuming lots of fibre, sweating, and of course, eating the right types of food. Here are some of my favourite foods to eat to help boost my body’s natural detoxification processes.
Some of my favourite vegetables are cruciferous vegetables! These vegetables belong to the Brassicaceae family and include vegetables such as cabbage, kale, arugula, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy and much more. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulphur compounds such as glucosinates that aid in your body’s detoxification flavoursprocesses. In addition, these vegetables also contain a compound called indole-3-carbinol that has been shown to prevent cancer as well as balance hormones. Cruciferous vegetables are also high in fibre and packed with nutrients and antioxidants as well. Due to their many health benefits, I try to eat at least one serving of cruciferous vegetables each day.
I love grapefruits. They taste sweet and sour at the same time and are so juicy and refreshing! Their bright clours and flavours are reflective of the high amount of antioxidants and phytochemicals that they contain. These compounds have been shown to have a range of health benefits such as reducing inflammation, preventing cancer, improving heart health and much more. Grapefruits also contain pectin, which has been shown to support your liver and kidneys in removing toxins from your blood. Their high vitamin C content can help to strengthen your immune system and improve skin vitality. Despite these benefits, grapefruit can sometimes interact with certain medications. If you are taking medications, it is important to do your research or talk to your doctor about possible drug interactions.
Lemon water is made by mixing some freshly squeezed lemon juice into water. This simple beverage has a myriad of health benefits. Lemon water helps your body detox by supporting liver and kidney function. The acidity from the juice helps to stimulate and improve your digestion. This can help to reduce bloating, keep you more regular and aid in the removal of toxins from your body. Lemon water can also help to balance your body’s pH and optimize overall health. I make sure to start off each day with a warm glass of lemon water because it is so beneficial for health. Squeezing some lemon into your water is also a great alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages and sodas.
Garlic is one of the healthiest vegetables around. This deliciously pungent vegetable really packs a punch in its nutrient content. Just like cruciferous vegetables, garlic contains a high amount of sulphur compounds. In fact, these compounds are actually responsible for their pungent taste and smell. One specific sulphur compound called allicin is responsible for many of the health benefits of garlic. These sulphur compounds in garlic have been shown to support detoxification processes in the body as well as reduce the risk of cancer. Raw garlic has powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties which can help ward off infections and colds. One of my favourite cold remedies is munching on some raw garlic! Allicin has also been shown to support cardiovascular health by improving cholesterol levels, decreasing blood pressure and removing plaque from arteries. When I cook with garlic, I like to first crush the garlic and then mince it. After mincing it, I leave it to sit for at least 10 minutes. This helps to activate the allicin and many of the beneficial compounds in garlic.
Cilantro, you either hate it or love it. And I love it! Besides adding flavour and depth to food, this herb is incredibly nutritious as well. Cilantro is especially useful for removing heavy metals from your body. It does this by binding to heavy metals that are bound to tissues or cells and facilitating their removal from the body. Cilantro is rich in antioxidants, particularly quercetin. Antioxidants are important to protect your body from oxidative damage and can improve overall health. Cilantro also has antibacterial compounds that can reduce the risk of infection. It has been shown to be especially useful for treating urinary tract infections. I like throwing this herb into curries, salads, marinades and stews to add a little bit more nutrition to my food.
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