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Top 40 Foods that Cleanse and Detox the Body Naturally
Detoxification of the body has been practiced by thousands of cultures all around the world for thousands of years. Detox is about cleansing, nourishing, and allowing the body to rest from the inside out. In our toxic and chemical filled world, it’s more important to us now than perhaps ever before. Detox can help protect you from disease by removing dangerous toxins, and then renew your body’s ability to maintain optimum health. The list below can help you optimize digestion, improve your metabolism, and stop a dangerous accumulation of toxins to build up in the body. You can eat some of these each day to help detox your body naturally a little bit each day or choose to use these in juices when you are doing a detox routine. No matter which way you choose to consume them, these are all super healthy with powerful cleansing agents.
Wheatgrass will naturally restore the blood to an alkaline level. This helps to detoxify the blood while offering terrific protection for the liver. Wheatgrass increases the red blood cell count and can lower blood pressure. It also stimulates the body’s enzyme systems. Pound for pound, you will find that wheatgrass is 20 times more dense in nutrients than almost any other vegetable. Wheat grass has 98 of the earth’s 102 elements! Now that’s saying something!
These “weeds” are considered to be a powerhouse that is loaded with nutrients. Anyone who regularly eats processed foods should be consuming dandelion daily. The root of this plan is known for filtering toxins and waste from the liver and pancreas, allowing these organs a much needed rest. Dandelions are a great source of phytonutrients and a rich source of minerals, not to mention antioxidants that support a cleansing of the digestive tract. Try some dandelion root tea and add some leaves to your favorite salad.
Artichokes help the liver function at its absolute best, which will naturally allow your body to purge toxins. Artichokes increase the liver’s production of bile and bile is what breaks down foods so that your body can get all the nutrients possible.
Cabbage is well known for supporting healthy bowel movements and greatly lowering the risk of colon cancer. This can help you expel toxins as well as excess waste in the colon so your body can “start fresh”, so to speak. Cabbage is high in sulfur, which helps your body break down chemicals and then eliminate them. Cabbage is also high in a chemical that repairs the DNA in your cells, called indole-3-cabinol, which also appears to stop the growth of cancer cells.
This cheery yellow fruit stimulates the release of enzymes that convers toxins into a water soluble form so that they can be easily removed from the body. Lemons seem acidic, but once inside the body they are alkaline forming, so drinking this first thing in the morning helps to balance the acid from the foods you will eat during the day. Lemons are also great at detoxifying the liver. Fresh, organic lemon juice has more than 20 anti-cancer compounds so it’s a must for every diet, every day.
This has got to be one of the most underrated and underappreciated vegetable in the Western world. McGill University in Montreal, Canada, showed in tests that seaweed actually binds to radioactive waste in the body. It also binds to heavy metals and helps to remove them from the body. Seaweed is also a great source of minerals, especially trace minerals. Seaweed supplements are available at all health food stores.
You probably have some onions in your kitchen right now and you have no idea how good they are for you! Onions are simply overflowing with a sulfur containing amino acids which are quite efficient at detoxing your liver. Eating them raw has the most benefits, so mix some in your salads, put them on your sandwiches, sprinkles some diced onion on top of your eggs. Onions have more polyphenol than garlic, carrots, tomatoes, and red bell peppers.
The bulbs of fennel plants are very high in fiber and can prevent cancer of the colon. Fennel is also a great source of folate, an important B vitamin, as well as vitamin C, which is antimicrobial and vital for the support and proper functioning of your immune system.
Basil is another herb you probably have right in your kitchen. It’s full of antioxidants that protect the liver and has powerful anti-bacterial compounds as well. The active ingredients in basil are called terpenoids, and they help with detox and digestion. Basil also supports kidney function and acts as a diuretic to help remove toxins through the urine. Basil’s antimicrobial affects can help guard your from yeast, fungi, and bacterial infections.
One serving of organic beets can actually do more for your health than many of the conventional foods in the produce section of your store. Eating beets regularly can boost brain cells, reduce arthritis pain, and even fight cancer. Beets have a unique mixture of phytochemicals and minerals that make them super infection fighters, liver cleansers, and blood purifiers. They also help to increase the body’s intake of oxygen, which make beets a super detox food.
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So good tasting and full of wonderful nutrients at the same time! Everything in an apple, vitamins, phytochemicals, terpenoids, flavonoids, pectin, and minerals all add up to super detox power. Apples help to stimulate the production of bile which helps the liver get rid of toxins. Pectin removes heavy metals from the body. Always be sure you choose organic apples as conventional apples are always at the top of the dirty foods list due to excessive chemical contamination.
12. Green Tea
This is one of the best things you can add to your detox program as this tea is simply loaded with antioxidants. Green tea is the least processed of all teas so you will get the most antioxidant bang for your buck. Green tea contains a polyphenol called catechins, which has been linked to numerous health benefits in hundreds of studies.
This must be one of nature’s most perfect foods. First, you won’t get high from this, so don’t worry about eating it at work or giving it to your kids. Hemp is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins such as C and E, as well as chlorophyll, which is perfect for cleansing the body from all kinds of toxins. Help contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, so it keeps your intestines clean and reduces the toxic load on other organs.
14. Sesame Seeds
Yeah, those little sprinkles on hamburger buns, those! Sesame seeds have beneficial phytosterols, which are so strong they have been extracted and added to processed foods to improve their nutritional profile. But why eat processed foods when you can get all the benefits of this seed naturally through oils and the seed itself? Sesame seeds are one of the top 10 healthiest seeds on the planet!
Watercress offers your liver a huge dose of powerful cleaning action. If you use smoothies for detox, then add some watercress to them. This plant releases enzymes in the liver to naturally cleanse it and get rid of the toxic overload. Some studies show that eating watercress daily can help prevent breast cancer. Be sure you buy organic watercress and rinse it super well as some sources of watercress come from outside the US and have been found to have parasites.
You might have some turmeric in your kitchen right now. The active ingredient in this spice is called curcumin, and in Ayurvedic medicine, this spice is often recommended to treat liver and digestive problems. Turmeric has been well studied and has been shown to have a very positive effect on the liver, not to mention it’s high in healthy antioxidants. The more antioxidants you can get into your body, the better!
You knew this would be on the list, didn’t you? Broccoli woks with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into a source that your body can eliminate. The less you cook broccoli the better it is for you. If you aren’t crazy about the taste, try it dehydrated. Broccoli has strong anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer compounds which helps to prevent allergies, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer.
One of the best nuts around. Almonds are the best nut source of vitamin E, as well as being high in calcium, magnesium, fiber, and an available protein that removes impurities from the bowels. Just a handful a day is all you need to get all these benefits.
Right up there with turmeric, ginger is one of the strongest disease fighting spices you can buy. Ginger helps liver function, and flushes waste. Many detox diets suggest that you chew on the root itself, but if you find that is too strong for you, try adding a few slice of that organic root to some boiling water and make a cup of tea. For some reason, just the addition of hot water makes this spice enjoyable instead of spicy.
This herb is popular in many parts of the world but has yet to really catch on in the US. In Thailand and Mexico this herb is used as a means of naturally cleansing several organs at once. Lemongrass is beneficial to the bladder, kidneys, liver, and your entire digestive tract. Try drinking lemongrass tea if you find the herb a bit too strong for your cooking tastes.
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So much more than just a plate decoration, parsley is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamins K, A, and C, which help protect your bladder and kidneys. Parsley is a natural diuretic so they can help prevent kidney stones and bladder infections. Parsley contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants which help stop free radical damage to your cells.
This sweet treat contains a digestive enzyme called bromelain, which helps to clean out your colon and improves the digestion process. In studies, bromelain stops the growth of certain types of tumors, excessive inflammation, even blood clots. Always eat organic pineapple or drink pineapple tea.
It appears you can’t eat too much guacamole! This fantastic fruit is packed full of antioxidants, while it’s known for lowering cholesterol levels and dilating the blood vessels. Avocados contain glutathione, which in studies is shown to block at least 30 different carcinogens. Avocados also help the liver remove synthetic chemicals from the body.
24. Broccoli Sprouts
No, not Brussels sprouts, but BROCCOLI. These are actually more beneficial than the broccoli itself as the sprouts contain more than 20 times more sulforaphane. They have more phytochemicals that are actually released when these sprouts are chopped or chewed. Try adding these sprouts to your salads or stir fry meals.
Another tasty spice you probably have in your kitchen. The oils from cinnamon have several active compounds that are known to prevent blood clots as well as antimicrobial compounds that stop the growth of fungi and bacteria.
Although most people know that cranberries or their juice help to stop urinary tract infections, did you know that they are also antibacterial and are well-known for removing toxins from the body? It’s true! Cranberries are rich in a wide range of anti-inflammatory nutrients, and provide both cardiovascular and immune system support.
When doing detox programs, it’s important to be sure that all toxins are properly eliminated. Ground flaxseeds are a terrific source of fiber that not only bind toxins, but then they flush them out through your intestinal tract. These seeds are also a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. A good way to get these healthy benefits is to add two tablespoons of ground flaxseed into a glass of hot lemon water every morning.
Almost all detox programs include garlic as part of the regimen. Garlic improves the immune system function as well as offering liver support. One of the best things about garlic is that you can consume a lot of it and your body won’t become accustomed to it nor will you have adverse reactions. (Well, except, perhaps, for some strong breath!) This makes garlic a great detoxing agent no matter how you choose to use it; in tea, in cooking, in salads, or just plain raw. Garlic has been proven to be 100 times more effective than antibiotics and kills bacteria in a fraction of the time.
New research shows that the ITC’s made from the glucosinolates in kale can help regulate detox at a genetic level. This study proves that kale provides comprehensive support for the body’s own natural detox system. Kale is packed with a multitude of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, not to mention vitamins and minerals; it’s no wonder that many doctors suggest eating a good deal of kale to patients who have kidney disease. This one green can help protect you from just about every disease known to man.
30. Olive Oil
Some liver cleanse programs state that olive oil mixed with fruit juice triggers your liver to remove gallstones. Olive oil is a definite go-to oil when you want to detox the body. This is a much better, healthier oil than any other vegetable oil when it comes to detoxification purposes. Just don’t use it for cooking as it breaks down under high heat. Use it as a salad dressing or mixed with some garlic to drizzle over veggies.
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Not only does asparagus taste great, but it detoxifies the body while fighting the free radicals that cause pre-mature aging. Asparagus also protects you from certain types of cancer and has anti-inflammatory compounds. Asparagus is known to help the liver to drain, which might sound strange, but having a backed up liver is like having a backed up toilet; not a good thing! So chow down on that asparagus and feel good about it!
Although all berries are excellent for your health, blueberries are the best of the best. Blueberries contain natural compounds that lessen the damaging effects of chronic inflammation and protect you from DNA damage. Blueberries are loaded with healthy antioxidants and have natural antiviral compounds, along with super detoxifying phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins. The antioxidant levels of blueberries only increase when they are frozen, so you can eat these goodies all year long.
33. Brazil Nuts
The key to flushing mercury from your body is with selenium, which Brazil nuts are loaded with! Regular consumption of Brazil nuts has been found to help protect the body from pancreatic cancer. It only takes about 2 Brazil nuts per day to get all the benefits, so stick one or two in a salad or as a snack and you are set for the day!
Cilantro, sometimes called coriander or Chinese parsley, is full of antioxidants. It’s also known to attach itself to mercury and other heavy metals so they can be removed from the body. Cilantro has powerful antibacterial compounds which lab tests show is twice as effective as many antibiotics in killing Salmonella.
35. Goji Berries
Replace the raisin in your diet with goji berries. These are nutrient dense and improve your vitamin C and beta-carotene intake like raisins never could. Goji berries have more vitamin C than oranges and more beta-carotene than carrots so this is a smart addition to any diet. For detox purposes, the vitamin C in goji berries removes waste, while the beta-carotene improves the performance of the liver.
Grapefruit can be a bit sour, yes, but mixed in a smoothie or with a drizzle of honey, these are delightful and so good for you. Grapefruits treat diabetes, prevent weight gain, lower cholesterol levels, heal ulcers in the stomach, keep strokes and metabolic syndrome at bay, and even fight cancer. Grapefruit is known to treat many diseases as well as pharmaceutical drugs with no side effects. There’s a reason many people eat grapefruit in the mornings; they stimulate your liver and get it ready for action!
Yep, plain old water! Often overlooked regarding detox programs but oh so important! Water is what your body will use in combination with these other foods to flush the toxins from the body. Without sufficient water, your liver cannot remove toxins properly. Read how to choose water for detox.
38. Brussels Sprouts
OK, now here come the Brussel sprouts, you knew they would be here. If you have major yuck that you want to get out of your body, start cooking up some of these puppies. These veggies are high in sulfur, which remove toxins from your bloodstream. Just one serving a day will help you get rid of environmental toxins or dietary ones. These little greenies boost your body’s production of glucosinolates, an antioxidant which forces your live to release protective enzymes.
Like Brussels sprouts, carrots are also high in glutathione, which helps to detoxify the liver and stimulates it to produce protective enzymes. Carrots are loaded with other vitamins that help to improve your immune system, such as vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K. Try to eat a carrot raw every day.
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40. Raw Tomatoes
Tomatoes are underrated! Not only do they do a terrific job at detoxifying the liver, but they also contain a whopping 169mg of glutathione with each serving. The lycopene in tomatoes have been shown to help protect you from lung, breast, and skin cancer. Eat them fresh, organic, and raw whenever you can. Try eating one with a little sea salt and balsamic vinegar for a nice taste treat!