Before I became well informed, I used to always imagine detoxing as involving some hocus pocus pills, powders and potions that cost the earth and tasted like mud! I could not have been more wrong. Did you know that the average person’s kitchen already contains much of what your body needs to conduct an effective detox and that the products you might need to buy can all be found at your local supermarket for a pittance? Nope, I didn’t either! There are a host of very common ingredients that have incredibly effective detox properties. Allow me to fill you in on some little known detox trivia.
The new buzzword on the street is “superfoods”. Everyone is talking about them. Now you would be forgiven for thinking that these were some kind of newfangled magical foods with their umbrella moniker, but in fact these are actually ordinary foods that have been around since the dawn of time. The only difference is that now modern science has been able to study them and their chemical components and put a label on what they can do for you. The truth is, these foods really do deserve the title “superfoods” and should all have little superhero capes to boot! They truly do amazing things to and for your body.
Well the first thing is good old H20 – drink it – drink a lot of it – drink a bucketful – it’s good for you – the end! If you are one of those people who are always complaining because you have to rush to the toilet every half an hour – HIGH 5 – you drink enough water! Seriously though, water helps to flush toxins and eliminate waste from our system. Drinking plenty of water is the golden rule of detoxing!
Golden rule number 2 – your mom is always right! Do you remember when you were little and she used to nag you to eat your fruits and veggies? She did that for a reason – they are good for you! Fruits and vegetables are the building blocks of any detox program. They are packed full of all kinds of healthy goodness and you should eat them – a lot.
Juiced and raw fruits and vegetables cannot be beaten no matter what your goal for detox is. The liver is the core of your detox program. It is the most important organ for metabolism (losing weight) and cleansing the system (detox), so anything that makes the liver happy is going to give you results. Many of the foods discussed below contain vitamins and minerals that are specifically geared to helping the liver function optimally. Consider the following:
- Lemons – regulate the digestive tract and rev up your metabolism. They are packed with vitamin C and give your immune system a boost. They help to restore the alkaline-acid balance in the body, enabling us to remove toxins more effectively and they stimulate the production of bile in the liver (bile breaks up all those horrid fat cells preventing you from fitting into your skinny jeans)! Include this potent detox food daily!
- Cucumbers – are very hydrating and have a diuretic effect (remember the more you urinate the more toxins you eliminate). They are very low in calories and so support weight loss and they help to keep your body in an alkaline state.
- Kale – encourages the liver to excrete toxins and loads the body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and phytochemicals.
- Cranberries – are one of the most powerful antioxidants and also have astringent properties especially with the liver. Cranberry juice is also very cleansing.
- Blueberries – are a top detox food with a very high antioxidant value. In addition, they are packed with Vitamin C and are low in calories and high in fiber.
- Apples – this high fiber food literally sweeps toxins out the body through the intestines. An apple a day really will keep the doctor away. (Mom was right again!)
- Carrots – are anti-aging and cancer preventing.
- Citrus fruits are full of Vitamin C and ascorbic acid, which prevents cancer forming cells from developing.
- Grapes – are loaded with Vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system. They also have antioxidant properties.
- Beets – are an amazing superfood and are definitely worth going out of your way for. They are packed full of potassium, antioxidants, fiber and folates. They help to prevent liver damage and help the liver to process fats. They are also very low in calories and so support weight loss.
Golden rule number 3 – herbs and spices are so much more than simple flavor enhancers! Certain herbs and spices are incredibly valuable to include when detoxing. For example:
- Turmeric – gives your metabolism a huge boost, strengthens the immune system, gets your digestive tract working optimally and protects the heart. It also gives the liver a jump start and helps in the production of bile which in turn flushes toxins out the body.
- Ginger – this healing root has phenomenal cleansing properties. It acts as the catalyst that helps other ingredients to work their detox magic on your body. Including ginger in your detox program will amplify the benefits of the other superfoods it is combined with. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory food, it helps to improve digestion and promotes detoxification by making the food move faster through the intestines.
- Cayenne pepper – just gives your whole system a good rev! It boosts metabolism, gives you energy, has healing properties and has an incredible cleansing effect on the body.
- Cilantro – while this is an acquired taste, I strongly urge you to persevere with consuming it. Its cleansing ability is phenomenal. It gets the digestive system working in tip-top shape by helping the body to process foods, break them down, use their nutrients and then effectively eliminate the waste.
- Garlic – If you can get past the smelly side effects, this is an ingredient that is jam packed full of vitamins that help to cleanse the body. Garlic helps to fight harmful bacteria and yeast in the intestines and increases the body’s ability to detox by boosting the production of glutathione which is needed to effectively eliminate toxins. If you absolutely cannot stomach the odor from consuming fresh garlic, you can buy garlic tablets and take it as a supplement. It doesn’t matter how you get it in your body just so long as you do!
- Parsley – is the best natural source of carotenoids and is packed full of vitamins and minerals. It also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer phytonutrients.
- Mint – helps to relax cramped stomach muscles and thus aids in digestion. Mint also is instrumental in improving the flow of bile through the system which helps to break up fats and remove toxins.
- Cinnamon – this yummy spice is one of the best antioxidants on the planet. It is the best spice for balancing blood sugar levels and contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It reduces the amount of triglycerides in the body (this is the free floating fat in your blood stream), improves digestion and lowers cholesterol.
So you see, you don’t need to make things complicated. If you are serious about detoxing, you can do it simply without all the bells and whistles. All it takes is a little willpower and a lot of know-how. So raid your kitchen cupboards today – I bet you will unearth a treasure trove of detox ingredients!