5 Foods to Help Cleanse and Detox your Body

5 Foods to Help Cleanse and Detox your Body

We’ve all been there…we’ve had a few days, weeks, or even months of overindulging or not being super nice to our bodies.  Even if we are relatively healthy, we live in a pretty toxic environment, so it’s important to try to rid ourselves of these toxins on a regular basis. Why?  Well the buildup of these toxins can lead to all sorts of health problems ranging from acne to cancer.  No bueno!!

There are many ways to cleanse your body besides getting hard-core with detoxes such as water-fasting, juice-fasting, or total elimination diets.  One relatively simple way is to incorporate foods into our everyday diets that will pull toxins out, and ultimately help our bodies run at an optimal level so we can feel fantastic, and maybe even lose weight!

Frisches Gemüse Fresh vegetables

My top 5 foods for detox:

1.  Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is just a fancy word for what makes plants green; it’s the life-blood of plants.  Not only is it full of antioxidants and good for your immune system, it also releases xenobiotics (fat-stored toxins) so that we are able to flush those toxins out (exercise can be extremely important in this process).

You can find chlorophyll in any green vegetable, especially dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, chard and dandelion greens or cereal grasses like wheatgrass and barley grass.  Juicing these is great, but you can also just incorporate the leafy greens into your diet.  Spirulina, chlorella and blue-green algae supplements are all also very powerful, concentrated sources.  Be careful with any kind of concentrated juice or powder as it may detoxify your body too quickly and make you feel a bit nauseated…it’s always best to start small and work your way up.

2.  Beets

These are my fave! Not only are they great for making all kinds of food puns, they are one of the best detoxifiers for your liver and kidneys and the queen of blood purifiers!! They are also rich in very absorbable iron.

You can juice these as well, roast them, or put them on salads.  If you juice them, you don’t need more than about 1/2 of one as they do have a fair amount of natural sugar, so a little goes a long way.

3.  Garlic

I totally wish it was acceptable to walk around smelling like garlic all the time because I love this stuff!  Sulfur is a strong detoxifier and Garlic has 2 sulfur-containing amino acids (hence the aroma).  Garlic is good for you on so many levels…it helps kill bacteria, lowers high blood pressure, lowers LDL cholesterol….but on a cleansing level it’s also a superstar!  It pulls heavy metals out of the body (that we get from the air we breath as well as the food we eat), it reduces fatty acid deposits and it detoxifies the liver and kidneys.

Garlic is great to use in dressings or to cook with (which will help it not be so pungent).  You can buy capsules as well if you really dislike the taste. You can also follow it with parsley or a chlorophyll-rich food which will help freshen the breath.

4.  Seaweeds

Sea vegetables, or “seaweeds” are another superfood that often get overlooked. They are full of 56 minerals and trace elements and a good source of natural iodine. As detoxifiers, they contain sodium alginate–which is a chelating substance that binds to heavy metals and radioactive isotopes in our bodies and carries them out. We are exposed to radiation more than we even realize and it is the most toxic for us, so it’s extremely important to cleanse ourselves of it.

Besides the common Nori seaweed that is wrapped around sushi, there is also kelp, dulse, and many other varieties that you can often find in the Asian section of the supermarket or health store that you can add to soups, use as wraps, add to sandwiches, or even use to top stir fries and fish dishes.

mix salad seaweed with vegetable

5.  Nutritional Yeast

I know, it has a bad name…but it’s really a superstar food! Nutritional yeast will not cause candida, despite having “yeast” in the name.  Nutritional yeast is not only full of protein and B vitamins, but it also helps pull out a lot of heavy metals, especially from your brain (where they can cause many neurological disorders).  It also helps protect DNA from irregular replication of cells (the definition of cancer) so there are many reasons why this should be incorporated into your daily diet.

This is actually quite easy to add to your diet.  I personally put in on top of eggs and veggies, mix it in with quinoa or rice and add it to soups and casseroles. It has a mild, nutty flavor that blends well with most savory dishes.

In addition to these superfoods…drink lots of water!  You want to be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water a day…and that could vary depending on how much you are sweating and how dry the air is.  Water will help carry toxins out, not only through your urine, but also through your bowels.  Add a squeeze of lemon for an extra alkalizing and cleansing effect!

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