15 foods that naturally detox and cleanse your body

The words “detox” and “cleanse” may have you conjuring up an image of a miserable version of yourself two days into a seven-day plan to consume nothing but water, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. I don’t know about you, but this idea makes me cringe.

Fortunately, such extreme measures are not necessary for you to bring your body into balance. Nature has provided us with an abundance of foods that naturally detox and cleanse our systems, helping us achieve balance and sustenance. Double win!

Consider including the below foods in your everyday diet to help maintain balance, or try a diet primarily consisting of these foods for a set period of time (2-4 days) to hit the reset button on your health. It is bound to be much less painful than a more dramatic cleanse.

  1. Cucumber: on average around 95% water, this veggie helps flush out toxins and alkalize the body while delivering a powerful nutrient punch.
  2. Garlic: stimulates the liver to encourage production of detoxification enzymes.
  3. Broccoli: delivers a large dose of vitamins while neutralizing and eliminating toxins.
  4. Lentils: extremely fiber-rich (1 cup cooked has 62.5% of your RDA!), lentils aids in toxin elimination, lower cholesterol, and balance blood sugar.
  5. Turnip greens: loaded with antioxidants and sulfur-containing nutrients (Without sulfur, the body cannot properly detoxify substances such as pharmaceuticals, environmental toxins and heavy metals), turnip greens also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates that help activate and regulate detoxification enzymes.
  6. Sunflower seeds: these little slivers of sunshine are not only high selenium and Vitamin E, but also assist liver’s detoxing capabilities and prevent cholesterol build up in the blood and arteries. Be sure to choose  organic as their high fat and oil allows them to easily soak up chemicals used in the production process.
  7. Walnuts: infuse the body with healthy omega-3 oils to assist detoxification.
  8. Turmeric: stimulates liver function. (Also a great addition to your diet for all-around health).
  9. Red pepper: when it comes to cleansing, vitamin C is one of the cream of the vitamin crop because it transforms toxins into digestible material. One red pepper contains about 3 times more vitamin C than an orange.
  10. Citrus fruits: see above.
  11. Grapefruit: a class of its own, grapefruit lowers cholesterol, prevents kidney stones and aids the digestive system, which set it apart from the other citrus fruits.
  12. Watercress: keeps free radicals away from cells, energizes cleaning enzymes in the liver and is a natural diuretic.
  13. Mung beans: used by Ayurvedic doctors for thousands of years, this easily digestible bean absorbs toxic residue from the intestinal walls.
  14. Artichokes: chock-full of cynarin, which increases bile production and promotes healthy digestion.
  15. Whole grains: full of nutrients and antioxidants, whole grains are incredibly high in insoluble fiber, keeping you regular, which is especially important while detoxing.

Remember to always hydrate, which further helps dispel impurities. For an extra kick, add green tea which has a special type of antioxidant called catechins (a flavonoid) that increases liver function and helps flush impurities.

Doesn’t this all seem so much more pleasant than lemon and pepper water!?


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13 Responses to 15 foods that naturally detox and cleanse your body

  1. […] Sunflower: Just a quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides you with over ninety percent of your RDI for vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals and has significant anti-inflammatory effects. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of selenium, which has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and to induce their apoptosis, the self-destruction mechanism the body naturally produces to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells. Sunflower seeds are also rich in magnesium, which is necessary for strong bones and helps lower blood pressure, decreases muscle tension, migraine headaches, soreness, and fatigue. Sunflower seeds are one of the foods that help naturally detox and cleanse the body. […]

  2. Great article about cleansing the body naturally, my favorite method is using lemons and adding the juice to filtered water which I do often.

    I think we now live in a toxic environment and by adding more natural produce into our diet, we can gain better health.

  3. Great site! Just came across it today while looking for ways to detox naturally. Someone sent me the master cleanse last week and I thought there is no way I’m doing that, doesn’t seem healthy. So very glad to find your blog.

  4. Hi, Theresa! Thanks so much – I’m so glad you stumbled across my blog! Yes, I agree. I am 100% not a fan of that “cleanse.” Hope this post is helpful to you!

  5. Question for you: you recommend grapefruit as a detox boosting food, but a primary flavonoid in grapefruit (naringenin) inhibits the liver’s ability to detox; specifically phase I detoxification. This is the liver’s ability to neutralize unwanted chemical compounds, and phase I processes are necessary before phase II can initiate (unless you’re talking turmeric–it somehow inhibits phase I and induces phase II, which is best for things like cigarette smoke exposure).
    The encyclopedia of Natural Medicine recommends oranges and tangerines but never grapefruit for purposes of detoxification. I was wondering on your sources?

  6. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I am going to need to dig into this more and edit the post.

  7. Hi Nadia,
    Was just wondering about the Mung bean that you mention on your blog. Do you know any tasty recipes for Mung beans ? Do I use these like any other beans ? For instance, could I make these like rice and beans? Also, the turmeric you mentioned I am not a fan of the taste of this but am aware of all the benefits and I could certainly use its medicinal benefits. Would it be okay to take just a turmeric capsule supplement as oppose to putting it in food? Would it have the same effect?

    Thank you for this very helpful blog !

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