Everyone always asks me what I think about cleanses, detoxes and drinking only fresh pressed juices for a couple days to clean out the system.
Well what do I think of them? If you use them as a reset to get your system back in place after binging on processed food, too many late night pizzas and days of libations, then I would say yes, they are a great idea if this will be your platform to set yourself up to start eating Nourished again.
But if you are going to just go back to a meat and potatoes, cake and bread, chips and cheese kind-of-diet than I think it is a waste of time and you are doing more harm than good.
But instead of making seem like this daunting task to detox, it is easy to add in foods that are naturally detoxifying foods and can be easily added to your plate.
So what does a detoxifying food do? On a really basic level, they support your liver, which reacts to fat-soluble toxins, and help excrete those toxins from the body. Nutrients like vitamin C, beta carotene, and fiber are all essential for getting those processes to work right, so foods that are rich in them are key.
Whether you’re feeling sluggish and bloated or just want to stock your fridge with health-boosting essentials, these detoxifying foods have a super healthy track record.
- The ultimate inflammation-fighter, this bright orangey root is also a great detoxifier. Add it to your diet by mixing up turmeric tea or simply using it to spice up your dishes.
- Beets break down toxins, help support the liver and gall bladder, and even relieve constipation. It helps to build red blood cells and is really good for your heart and calming your spirit. This is hands down one of my all time favourite salads.
- Starting your day with a warm cup of water with lemon juice helps alkalize your body and set you up for helps to convert toxins into water soluble form, and helps to stimulate the liver. I seriously could not live without lemon. It is an absolute essential in this house.
- Cucumber has soluble fiber, which helps your body absorb nutrients in the intestine. It also has a lot of electrolytes in it, and silicon and sulfur, which are good for hair and skin. Add cucumbers to your salad or toss them in your juicer for a hydrating and detoxifying drink.
- Celery contains lots of water, making it a diuretic (AKA, increases urine and flushes your system). It also lowers acidity in the body and inflammation.
- Kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard…any dark leafy green will get the job done. They’re full of detoxing chlorophyll, which binds to heavy metals, helping to extract them from the body. Dark leafy greens also help build blood cells, which helps increase energy levels to support a healthy detox.
- The reason this fruit gets so much praise? Apples have a lot of fiber, which not only helps to lower cholesterol, but also helps the intestines scrub out the accumulated waste. They’re also low-glycemic, which means they spike your sugar sky high. Studies also show that pectin in apples can bind to heavy metals, helping your body expel them efficiently.
- Thanks to beta carotene, carrots actually help to detox the liver (and are good for your eyesight!). But “if you really want to get a ton of beta carotene, you really have to juice them”—you couldn’t eat enough carrots. A good time to whip up an orange elixir: when you feel like you’re getting sick. Snack on them raw, too, but watch out for cooked—the starch content skyrockets.
- Garlic is high in sulfur and helps stimulate the liver. It is also antimicrobial, which basically acts as a natural antibiotic to support the immune system. Avoid overcooking it to avoid diminishing the sulfur content and, therefore, its detoxifying benefits.
- Avocado’s amazing healthy monounsaturated fats help balance blood sugar levels and keep cholesterol low. They’re also rich in antioxidants that are essential to healthy liver function. Bonus: avocado’s delicious, essential fatty acids promote healthy skin and hair growth.