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.
- Cucumber: on average around 95% water, this veggie helps flush out toxins and alkalize the body while delivering a powerful nutrient punch.
- Garlic: stimulates the liver to encourage production of detoxification enzymes.
- Broccoli: delivers a large dose of vitamins while neutralizing and eliminating toxins.
- Lentils: extremely fiber-rich (1 cup cooked has 62.5% of your RDA!), lentils aids in toxin elimination, lower cholesterol, and balance blood sugar.
- 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.
- 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.
- Walnuts: infuse the body with healthy omega-3 oils to assist detoxification.
- Turmeric: stimulates liver function. (Also a great addition to your diet for all-around health).
- 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.
- Citrus fruits: see above.
- 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.
- Watercress: keeps free radicals away from cells, energizes cleaning enzymes in the liver and is a natural diuretic.
- Mung beans: used by Ayurvedic doctors for thousands of years, this easily digestible bean absorbs toxic residue from the intestinal walls.
- Artichokes: chock-full of cynarin, which increases bile production and promotes healthy digestion.
- 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!?