GO NATURAL: 11 detoxifying foods

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Infographic courtesy of The Idea Room

Anyone looking to help flush out the bad stuff out of their bodies needs to read this post. Obviously there are more than 11 detoxifying foods, but these are a good place to start.

  1. Green tea: Green tea contains antioxidants, which help fight the free radicals in your bloodstream that are responsible for some of the effects of aging, as well as being linked to certain kinds of cancer and heart disease. It also seems to amplify other detoxification methods.
  2. Garlic: Garlic contains high amounts of vitamin C, which supports your immune system and your liver. It’s loaded with sulfur, a mineral that helps rid the body of toxins. Garlic has also been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels and has been used in the treatment of high blood pressure and other illnesses. Keep in mind, heating destroys many of the beneficial properties of garlic. If you can’t stomach raw garlic, you can find it in capsule form in most grocery or health food stores.
  3. Onions: Onions have antihistamine effects due to quercetin, an antioxidant that acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory agent. Onions can also help reduce cancer risk when combined with turmeric. The essential oil of an onion lowers blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of free insulin that is available. Onions are involved in maintaining good blood pressure, inhibit hardening of the arteries, and keep the arteries elastic. And while this doesn’t sound appetizing, chewing a raw onion can strengthen teeth and eliminate bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.
  4. Ginger: Ginger is thought to cleanse the body by stimulating digestion, circulation, and sweating. Its digestive actions may serve to cleanse the build-up of waste and toxins in the colon, liver, and other organs.
  5. Lemons: Lemons are loaded with healthy benefits, and particularly, they’re a great vitamin C food source. Lemon juice also offers up a healthy serving of potassium, magnesium and copper. Because lemon juice’s atomic structure is similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach, it tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly. Lemon water also helps relieve indigestion or ease an upset stomach.
  6. Apples: The soluble fiber in apples, pectin, helps prevent plaque buildup in blood vessels while the insoluble fiber, cellulose, helps the digestive system move waste quickly through the intestinal tract by adding bulk. Apples are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium, as well as B-complex folates and vitamins A and C.
  7. Grapefruit: Grapefruit contains high amounts of vitamins A and C (are you sensing a pattern here?). The red and pink varieties are especially packed with bioflavonoids and provide you with an extra immunity boost. It can also be used to help treat brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
  8. Pineapple: In addition to being a diuretic and detoxifying fruit, pineapple is characterized by its content of vitamin C, B1, B6, folic acid, and minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron. A large part of the composition of pineapple is water and it also has an important amount of fiber.
  9. Kale: Kale is high in fiber and iron, as well as vitamin K and a bunch of powerful antioxidants. It’s also noted for its anti-inflammatory properties, and helps lower cholesterol. Lastly, like many of the other foods here, is high in vitamins A and C.
  10. Asparagus: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. It can even help fight cancer, since it’s packed with antioxidants. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12—found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy—to help prevent cognitive impairment.
  11. Beets: Beets contain a group of phytonutrients called betalains that support detoxification through an important phase 2 detox step in the liver. Additionally, beet greens are strongly anti-inflammatory, and have been shown to be much more powerful than almonds and carrots in that capacity. Beets are high in calcium and vitamin K, and are the best plant source for betaine, a compound which lowers C-reactive protein levels, a marker of heart disease and chronic inflammation.

In a series of future posts, I’ll give you all some recipes using these foods. Good luck, and happy detoxifying!

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