With the increasing public awareness of all the unnatural modifications and additives in food and the toxins in the environment these days, it’s not surprising to see detox become so popular. People all over the world are turning to natural cleanses so their bodies get that much-needed break and are able to reset.
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Your body is able to naturally rid itself of the toxins from environmental factors, such as smoke and a poor diet, but it does use various nutrients, including minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, for this process.
A lot of the detox process in the human body happens in the liver and digestive tract, and also in the lungs, skin and kidneys. Detoxification not only removes toxins from the body, but it also neutralizes the free radicals that can cause damage at the cellular level and aging.
While detoxing has come to mean cleanses with juice nowadays, you can actually detox by simply eating the right foods. Generally, beverages and good foods that are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, alkalinizing, full of nutrients and high in both probiotics and prebiotics are the best bets for a natural detox in a way that you can easily keep doing.
Check out the nine finest foods below to start your natural detoxing today!
1. Remember “A” Is For Artichokes
Artichokes, according to WebMD, can boost your liver function by stimulating the flow of bile. They also contain silymarin, an antioxidant that works to help your liver process toxins.
The Jerusalem variety of artichoke also has especially high levels of the prebiotic inulin, and this helps keep your gut in shape by fueling the growth of “good bacteria,” also known as probiotics.
To get some artichokes in your diet in an easy way, try pruning and steaming them with some garlic and lemon juice. You can also trim them, add some olive oil and garlic, cover them with foil and bake for an hour and twenty minutes at 425 degrees F for a no-fuss roasted version.
2. Add Some Asparagus
Asparagus is high in anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties and prebiotics, and it also has enzymes that are known to help your body break down and detox from the effects of alcohol and food.
Look for asparagus in your local farmers market, as it’s best when it’s fresh. Try trimming the stalks, covering them with olive oil and pepper, and baking on a baking sheet at 425 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes for an easy snack or dinner side. This reedy green vegetable is also the star in many pestos and stir fries, so feel free to be creative!
3. Bring On The Broccoli
Although possibly the bane of your childhood, broccoli really is as good for you as your mother used to say. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, broccoli can help your liver convert toxins into substances that are easier to remove from the body, and it’s also packed full of fiber, vitamin D and has cholesterol-lowering properties.
Your best bet with cooked broccoli is the steaming method in terms of healthy preparation. Rinse the veggies under cold water, and cut the florets into quarters for the most even cooking. Steam at no higher than 212 degrees F and for around only five minutes. Overcooking broccoli not only makes it unpleasant in terms of texture, but it can also cause some of the veggie’s benefits to be lost.
4. Aim For Avocados
An avocado has both insoluble and soluble fiber, both of which help to cleanse your colon. It also is a great source of antioxidants and helps your liver remove carcinogens and other artificial substances.
Avocados can be a bit intimidating to work with, but they blend in well in many recipes. For instance, you can make a delicious burger topping by simply mixing together a mashed avocado, two tablespoons of chopped, fresh basil leaves and quarter of a tablespoon each of salt and pepper.
5. Keep Up On Kale
Kale is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and vitamins and minerals. It also has a high level of vitamin K, per Authority Nutrition, which helps promote strong bones and healthy blood.
You can add kale into your diet in a number of ways, from a raw salad addition to a replacement for cooked greens in some of your favorite recipes. You can even make kale “chips” for a snack by removing its stems and laying the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray, and sprinkle some salt over the kale leaves. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes until the kale becomes crisp but before it starts to brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
6. An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Apples are full of substances that your body uses to detox, including flavonoids, terpenoids, and D-glucarate. These delicious fruits are also packed with pectin, a soluble fiber which binds to food additives and metals to help your body remove them.
You can enjoy apples raw, or get a little adventurous by adding them to salads and even pairing them with some meats for a memorable dinner.
Apple chips are a fast way to get this natural detox food into your diet, and you can make them yourself by slicing apples, placing them on a baking sheet and baking at 225 degrees F for about 45 minutes until they dry and their edges curl upwards. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar and/or cinnamon on the apples before baking for a flavor boost.
7. Go For Goji Berries
Goji berries pack an incredible beta-carotene and vitamin C punch, containing more of the vitamin than oranges and more beta-carotene than even carrots. Vitamin C works to neutralize free radicals before they do damage and helps your body make glutathione, an antioxidant used in the liver detox process.
To work these beneficial berries into your diet, try adding them to your favorite cereal and granola or mixing them with nuts for a snack. They also work well in smoothies and as a muffin or protein bar addition.
8. Lay On Some Citrus
Lemons and lemon juice are popular parts of detox cleanses because they have a lot of vitamin C, help stimulate enzyme release and work to convert toxins into a form more easily removed from the body. Grapefruit also has a high level of vitamin C and lycopene, which helps fight free radicals in the body.
Since lemons are tart, it can be hard to think of a way to consume them that doesn’t involve sugar, but you can use them as a dressing base or in your entree glazes. Grapefruit juice can also be used this way and is a fine drink on its own.
Once you start on your detox-food adventure, you’ll find there are even more items that can help you hit your feel-good goals, such as water and green tea. Be creative and enjoy your all-natural and tasty detox!