Quick factoid: While we all have a natural ability to break down and eliminate toxic chemicals and metals, those systems were designed to eliminate by-products of our daily activities—not overloaded by “better living through chemistry and technology”. Our liver, kidneys, and digestive tract are supposed to balance hormones (activate/inactivate as needed), neutralize cell waste products, balance electrolytes, and keep us energized all day long. But instead…
Overloaded by environmental pollution, anti-food, medications, stressful lifestyles… our body can’t keep up! We quickly go out of balance, the accumulation of toxic substances creates chronic inflammation. Months and years later, we feel the symptoms. After that altered organ function might (or might not) show up on blood tests.
And in any case, without proper elimination of toxics, we see health problems; everything from emotional rollercoasters to weight problems to joint aches to digestive diseases and more.
Let’s enjoy more foods that boost our detox power; here you go!
Cucumber: Very common and delicious, cucumber is rich in B-vitamins, the vitamin C complex, and vitamin K (a group of fat-soluble vitamins needed for blood clotting and other functions). You need these nutrients to put out the free radical fire and produce energy. Try our Mint Green Smoothie.
Chia seeds or Flax seeds: Rich in soluble fiber as well has omega-3 fats, soaking these seeds or grinding them and using them in baked goods helps balance your colon and keep toxic chemicals moving through and out. That’s essential! And their coatings are rich in minerals that help in detoxification. Try them with chocolate.
Garlic: Used medicinally for centuries, garlic has high amounts of true vitamin C (not ascorbic acid), sulfur, and other antioxidants that protect the liver from natural and environmental toxics. When your immune system attacks foreign invaders, garlic helps put out that fire too. Garlic flushes out blood toxins and helps fight cancer and heart diease.
Broccoli: More on sulfur… an essential mineral that helps the liver detoxify harmful chemicals. Broccoli helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, has been used in treating high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and bacteria-related infections.
Turmeric: Beyond the bright yellow color of curry, turmeric is obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa plant. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory used in Chinese and Indian healing to promote digestion and address jaundice, menstrual problems, bloody urine, chest pain and colic. Why? Because it helps support a wide variety of liver functions. Curry, Yummmmm
Red bell pepper: Loaded with the vitamin C complex; one red pepper has more vitamin C than 3 oranges! (and relatively little sugar). The vitamin C complex supports immune function, keeps skin and blood vessels healthy as a cofactor for making collagen, and helps your adrenal glands. As for detoxification, where would we be without anti-oxidants?
Sunflower seeds: Rich in vitamin E and selenium don’t overlook these important nutrients. Vitamin E helps stabilize fats and prevent their oxidation (PS. Cholesterol is not the problem; oxidized cholesterol is!). Selenium is a cofactor in making glutathione, your liver’s #1 detoxifying compound, Selenium is required to activate thyroid hormone—no selenium = hypothyroid. Brazil nuts and other nuts are helpful also.
Walnuts: Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and a good source of proteins to flush toxics out.
Grapefruit: Shown to reduces cholesterol levels, promote digestion and prevent kidney stones. Speaking of kidney stones…
Fresh-squeezed lemon juice: with plenty of water will maintain potassium levels to keep your blood pressure low while flushing out those delicate kidney tubules. Lemon is so good at cleaning us out some people report fewer allergies (no need for antihistamines) and far improved skin health. Why? If your liver can’t keep up (and lemons help that) then your body sends toxic waste out through your lungs and skin (read: inflamed, itchy, and pimply!)
Mung beans: Their use for medicinal purposes dates backs thousands of years by Ayurvedic doctors. Mung beans are easily digestible and help detox by absorbing toxic residue from the digestive tract.
Lentils: The high fiber helps keep bowels moving which eliminates toxins, lowers cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
Watercress: The #1 top nutrient dense plant… watercress is packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals from the cells and boosts cleansing enzymes in the liver. Watercress is also a natural diuretic
Turnip Greens: And-yet-another antioxidant and sulfur-rich food that helps your liver eliminate chemical and metal toxicity as well as balance your hormones (the original job of your liver when not being called to detox duty). Turnip (and most all) greens contain phytonutrients that activate and regulate actions of detoxifying enzymes.
Artichokes: Rich in a compound called cynarin, artichokes help the liver produce bile which is vital for fat digestion, to help eliminate toxic chemicals filtered out by the liver, and to keep the bowel lubricated and moving (think elimination J). And speaking of elimination, artichokes also are high in silymarin; famous for helping many liver functions because of its antioxidant and blood sugar stabilizing properties.