Health trends in the 21st century are leading people to seek out foods that naturally detox the body. In today’s day and age, much of our food has been processed, preserved, or modified in some way, many of these methods can be toxic. We’re also exposed to a variety of toxins from cigarettes, machinery, and all many unknown ingredients put into deodorants, shampoos, etc.
Thankfully detoxing isn’t a recent concept, but rather a natural process in our bodies. There are many different ways that our body naturally detoxifies itself. We’ve got the liver, the gallbladder, the kidneys, lymphatic systems, colon, and believe it or not, even your skin is used to detox.
If you’d like to help streamline the detox process, there are certain foods that you can eat that help the body. Let’s explore 7 different foods you can eat to naturally detox your body.
Apples and/or Apple Cider vinegar.
Apples and apple cider vinegar (ACV) are common detox foods, and here is why. Apples contain a generous amount of fiber, a well known healthy digestion promoter. The healthier your bowel movements, the more efficient they are at removing toxins from your body. They also contain a carbohydrate known as pectin. When pectin reaches the gut, it becomes a thickening agent. This helps root out toxins that have built up within the gut lining.
The best way to prepare and take ACV is in its raw, unfiltered form, and diluted in water. Take 1-2 tablespoons and mix it in with 1 cup of water. It is important to dilute the ACV, as it can be potentially harmful to your teeth. If you’d like to mask the taste of the ACV, stir in a tablespoon of honey. Drink this 2-3 times daily for 3-4 weeks for optimal detox benefits!
Wheatgrass is a popular option nowadays at many smoothie bars and cafes. When juiced, wheatgrass delivers a potent shot of many vitamins and minerals, including A, C, and E, as well as magnesium, calcium, and iron. Though these vitamins and minerals are wonderful aids in your detox process, the plant compound most worth mentioning here is chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll, when ingested, has the ability to attach to a variety of toxins (including heavy metals) and remove them from the body. This powerful green substance also carries heavy antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, helping further eliminate toxins from the body.
The best way to get your daily dose of chlorophyll would be through wheatgrass shots. Linda Page, Ph.D. has stated that the alkalizing minerals you receive from wheat grass compliment the blood cleansing action from chlorophyll. The end result, being a wonderful anti-inflammatory alkalinizing effect on the blood and its passageways.
Chia seeds are a fantastic multipurpose dietary addition. They are filled with an abundance of both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are some of Nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Chia seeds also contain a generous amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber. These fibers add water and bulk to the stools, supporting the overall elimination of your waste. The soluble fibers found in chia seeds can also bind to toxins, leading them out of the colon.
The best way to consume chia seeds is in the form of a drink or pudding! Both of these will take about 15-20 minutes to fully soak. This soaking process is important, as it softens the cell membranes of the seeds, increasing nutrient bioavailability. Take 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds and mix them into any liquid, stirring occasionally. You can use fruit juices, coconut water, or even plain water for a drink version. If you want pudding, increase the number of tablespoons per liquid ratio and use any sweetened milk of your choice. Stir, let sit for about 15-20 minutes, and enjoy!
Lemon is another great food to help detox the body. Drinking lemon water each day increases your levels of potassium, magnesium, and of course, vitamin C. While these goodies are nourishing your body, the lemon will also play a part in cleansing the liver. Daily consumption of lemon water will aid the production and flow of bile, an important digestive agent involved in digesting fats and eliminating toxins.
Lemon helps detox the urinary tract as well! Lemon juice is a very effective diuretic. Along with a cleaner and more functional urinary tract, you’ll also be flushing more toxins from your body. The faster rate of flushing ensures reduced risk of toxin build up.
The best way to consume lemons is with daily lemon water. This is an extremely easy and beneficial way to wake up your digestive system in the morning. All you need to do is cut and squeeze half a lemon into a glass of warm water (you can use cold water if you want, but your body will have to warm the water up to body temperature before assimilating it). Drink this first thing in the morning, and you’ll quickly realize how much better your body feels with the early hydration and nutrient nourishment.
Beets are a well-known blood cleanser and liver detoxifier that have been used for years. There are many reasons why beets are great for you, they’re notably high in vitamins and minerals as well as other lesser known antioxidants like betacyanin, betaine, betalains, and a special fiber known as pectin. Pectin, as mentioned earlier, is that soluble fiber that helps clean out the gut.
The best way to prepare beets for optimal detox benefits is to make sure the fibers are ingested. While juicing your beets does provide a delicious and nutritious drink, eating them diced and roasted (or grated raw over a salad) keeps the fiber involved in the process, ensuring a pectin-rich experience.
Avocado is another rockstar in the detox world. They supply the body with a wonderful balance of fats, fibers, and anti-inflammatory nutrients. All of which leads to a happy liver and happy colon, efficiently evacuating toxins from the body.
Avocados help the human body produce a powerful antioxidant known as glutathione. This antioxidant is used by the liver to filter out toxins, while also helping protect the liver cells from damage. This antioxidant is paired with two other well-known antioxidants, vitamin C and E, all together creating free radical destroying, liver protecting, and inflammatory suppressing experience.
The best way to prepare avocado would be guacamole, of course! Stir in some antioxidant-rich cilantro, get some extra vitamins and minerals from the onion, garlic, and tomatoes, and enjoy!
This cruciferous green is a well-known health food. It packs a solid nutrient-dense punch with protein, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamins C, A, and K. It’s no surprise that a super green like kale would also be fantastic for detoxing the body.
Studies done at Iowa State University show a higher nutrient uptake from kale salads with oil based dressings. The reason behind this is the carotenoids found in kale are fat soluble. When consumed with fat, these antioxidants have increased bioavailability and can contribute to the anti-inflammatory effects and reduce oxidative stress.
To amplify kale’s antioxidant and detox effects, grab your favorite oil-based dressing and make a tasty massaged kale salad. If you’d like, feel free to grate some beets over top of it for a little extra pectin!
Going Beyond Foods that Naturally Detox the Body
Diet is important, but it isn’t everything when it comes to the body’s natural detox processes. As stated before, your skin is an organ that can be used for detoxifying the body. Regular exercise can stimulate both your muscles and your sweat glands. This is your skin’s way of detoxifying your body. Step into a sauna for extra detox potency! Other actions you can take are removing environmental toxins like smoking, certain lotions and soaps, perfumes, and even exposure to the car fumes in traffic. Yes, the sheer amount of toxins we are exposed to every day can seem overwhelming. But, keep up these healthy habits, keep up that water intake, and you’ll be just fine.