The Top 10 Detox Foods and How to Use Them to Detoxify Your Body
You’ve probably read that detox is complicated, requires a lot of special ingredients and certainly requires more willpower than you can scrape together at this point in time. Well, the truth is that detox does not have to be complicated. You could sign up for 14-Day Yoga Detox and Empowerment Course right now and learn fun, simple, real world detox techniques.
In fact, your body is detoxifying itself all day long. The liver is removing the toxins from your system as you read this. And although there are certain detoxification diets that require time, money and a huge amount of effort, there are other ways to help your body rid itself of toxins. You don’t have to make huge changes to your diet to help the liver perform its job. All you need is a little preplanning, some knowledge about which foods help the body to detoxify, and knowledge about the foods that add to the toxic load within your body.
Before you embark on any journey in life, you need to ask yourself if you really need to go there. So in the case of detox, you need to ask yourself whether your system is toxic in the first place. Here are some of the symptoms that your body needs some help removing the toxins.
Signs That You Need to Detoxify
If you are breathing, your body is being exposed to toxins. Air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution mean we live in an incredibly toxic world and it is impossible to avoid toxins even if you are eating the best organic foods and if you are drinking the purest spring water. The great news is that your liver and body are built to cope with toxins naturally.
The problem is that as the level of toxins in our environment increases, the body can’t cope with the amount of toxins coming in. These toxins affect various systems within the body. As they affect various organs and systems, we start to see the symptoms of toxic build-up within the body. But don’t panic if you see the symptoms. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to block off a week of your time to visit a health farm for a week of detox. If you learn to recognize the early symptoms of toxic build-up, you can increase your intake of foods to help the liver cope to get rid of the toxins and learn to manage your health on an ongoing basis.
According to Livestrong.com, here are the symptoms you should be watching for to gauge the level of toxicity within your own body:
Fatigue is a great indicator that your body may not be coping due to toxic overload. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue include muscle aches, a lack of concentration, inability to focus, headaches, general fatigue and insomnia. Essentially if you have general aches and pains for no apparent reason, or you have low energy levels, then you should consider adding some of the detox foods to your diet to support the liver and help your body to get rid of the excess toxins.
Sinus related issues
The sinuses are our first defense against air pollution. They are designed to filter the impurities from the air as we breathe. Sinus problems, congestion, post nasal drips are all signs that the body is not coping with the amount of toxins we are breathing and ingesting.
The body’s immune system responds to any attack through the process of inflammation. When you are stung by a bee for example, the area swells up as the body fights the toxins that are contained in the bee sting. The same is true for toxic build-up in your body except that toxins build-up slowly. If you suffer from inflammation such as gout, swollen joints, arthritis, rashes or bloating then chances are you have a build-up of toxins within the body. By adding detox foods to your diet, you can effectively reduce the inflammation within the body.
Gas, bloating, water retention, and bad breathe are all symptoms that could indicate that your body is becoming overloaded with toxins and needs some added help by adding detox foods to your diet.
Skin complaints can be sign of toxic build-up. Acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis and even excessively dry skin all indicate that the body is not coping with the toxins in the system. Body odor can also be one of the first signs of toxic build-up as the body tries to flush toxins from the skin. Once again, adding detox foods to your diet can help you reduce or eliminate these symptoms.
Now that you know what to look for to decide whether your body needs help to detoxify, let’s talk about what you can do about the build-up of toxins within the body.
Different Detox Diets
There are tons of “detox” diet plans out there. Most of them work because most detox diet plans restrict the foods you eat and the water you drink and include foods that help the liver to cope with and get rid of the extra toxins within the body. If you feel your body is very toxic you could sign up for 30 Day Yoga Challenge & Detox Diet Transformation System course to start a major breakthrough in your life to detox in thirty days, step by step, day by day.
One of the most famous detox diets is the Grapefruit diet. The grapefruit diet was recently featured on the Dr. Oz show, but the actual diet has been around since the early 1930’s. Also called the Hollywood diet, the diet was considered a fad but recently scientific studies have begun to show that there is actually a scientific basis for the grapefruit diet. To read about the science behind the grapefruit diet, you can visit GreenHealthMatters.com and learn all about the grapefruit diet.
The truth is, depending on how toxic you system is, you may want to consider a detox diet to help your body to rapidly get rid of the toxins. But a detoxification diet is not your only option. Instead of a radical dietary change, you can opt to slowly increase the foods that aid the liver in detoxifying the body while at the same time limiting your intake of foods that cause toxic build-up. This will tip the balance and your body will slowly begin to get rid of the toxins naturally.
Depending on what diet or other method you choose to detoxify, you may want to consult your doctor before you make any drastic changes. If you are following the advice in this article, and slowly adjusting your diet by adding foods that will help your body get rid of the toxins, then that may not be necessary. Be aware though, that any major dietary changes can affect your health so it’s best to change your diet in moderation or consult your physician.
If you are keen to implement a rapid detoxification program in your life, then sign up for the Transform Your Health In This 30 Day Body Renovation Detox course for complete holistic body renovation program that will transform your body, health & diet, and help you create healthy habits for life.
In order to safely detoxify, I would advise small changes to your diet. The reason your body is toxic is because you are eating and drinking foods that contain more toxins than your body can eliminate. By decreasing the foods that cause the toxins to build up and slowly increasing the foods that help the liver to keep the body clean, you will reach a stage where your body begins to naturally detoxify.
So let’s take a look at the foods that you should start to cut down on.
Foods to Avoid on Detox
According to Wholeliving.com, foods you should avoid when you want to help the body get rid of toxins include the following:
Processed foods – these are the highest sources of toxins
All carbonated and fizzy drinks
All dairy and eggs
All butter and mayonnaise
Grains including corn, wheat, rye, oats, and barley
Oranges, corn, and creamed vegetables
Vegetable proteins like soya and tofu
Animal proteins like beef, pork, lamb and chicken
Condiments like ketchup and other ready made sauces and salad dressings
Now before you read the list above and panic that there is nothing left to eat, remember that to detoxify the body slowly and naturally, you just need to cut down the amounts of the foods you eat and not necessarily everything all at once, unless of course you want a rapid detox plan, in which case you should find a detox diet that fits your needs and definitely consult a doctor.
Top 10 Detox Foods
So now that you know the foods you need to restrict in your diet, let’s look at the foods that you can increase in your diet to help the liver and digestive system cope with the toxins in your body. The following foods are not the only foods you can use for detox but they are ten of the top foods that support the liver or body in some way. Adding all of them, or even just some of them to your diet, will help you to go from a state of toxin build-up to toxin release within your body and you will start to see the benefits in the relief of symptoms you are experiencing.
The top ten foods to include in your diet to help the body detoxify are:
Lemon and Lemon Juice
The Power of Beetroot to Help you Detoxify
Beetroot is truly one of the most powerful foods to help you detoxify the body. The reason that beets or beetroot make the top of the list is because extensive research has been done on the compounds that beetroot contains. Studies have found that beetroot helps to cleanse the liver. Studies show that Beetroot improves liver function. And studies found that beetroot protects the liver and the body from toxins.
According to AllonHealth.com, Beetroot boosts the body’s production of glutathione. Glutathione is the body’s natural antioxidant and detoxifier. The individual cells in the body need glutathione to help them release the toxins that result as a natural consequence of metabolism. Glutathione protects the eyes, skin, liver, kidneys and most of the other vital organs from toxic build-up. Good levels of glutathione are therefore essential if you want to help your body to get rid of the toxins it is storing.
Beetroot also contains large amounts of betaine. Studies show betaine is essential for good liver function and may actually help to prevent or even reverse liver disease. Betaine promotes the regeneration of liver cells and also aids and increases bile flow. The liver is the main organ responsible for detoxifying the body. By supporting the liver in bile production and regenerating new liver cells, you are improving your body’s ability to cope with the toxins you are ingesting.
Beets are also rich in antioxidants and folic acids which also help to detoxify the body and protect and support the liver. They are also high in fiber, both soluble and insoluble fiber, which also increases the detoxification effects of beetroot.
But beets don’t only support detoxification. Other health benefits of beetroot include increased weight loss, the regulation of blood pressure, the reduction of high blood pressure, increased colon health, the prevention of constipation, improvement of eye health and relief of eye strain. Beetroot also helps to fight and prevent cancer due to its very high levels of antioxidants. Beetroot helps to protect the heart against heart disease.
So now that you know about the fantastic health and detox benefits of beetroot, all that remains is to add this delicious food to your diet. Beets can be safely added to your diet by drinking beet juice or eating raw or cooked beetroot. Be aware that the cooking process can break down some of the beneficial compounds found within beetroot.
In fact, if you’ve ever eaten or cooked beetroot, then you will be familiar with the bright red color this vegetable is famous for and some of the compounds responsible for the detox benefits of beetroot are the same compounds that are responsible for the red color of beets. The color leeches if beetroot is cooked for too long, so all those benefits leech out of the beetroot. This is why it’s advisable to either eat raw beetroot or drink beetroot juice for the best detoxification results.
Green tea has been used in Chinese and ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years for its medicinal qualities as well as it super detoxification properties. Green tea contains high levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are potent antioxidant compounds that are especially beneficial in helping the body to get rid of toxins by getting rid of free radicals within the body.
Green tea is also very high in compounds called catechins. Studies published in the International Journal of molecular medicine showed that the catechins in green tea improve liver function and protect the liver from damage. Green tea has been widely recognized as a powerful antioxidant and detoxification aid. You will find numerous detox diets that revolve around the use of green tea.
The benefits of green tea are not limited to acting as an aid for detoxification. According to Thirdage.com, green tea can help to reduce the risk of cancer. Green tea helps to lower cholesterol levels, thus helping to protect you from strokes and heart attacks. Green tea boosts the metabolism and helps to fight weight gain. Green tea fights free radicals which causes wrinkles and skin aging. Green tea can help to prevent arthritis. Green tea can help to prevent obesity by interfering with the glucose in cells.
With all the amazing benefits that green tea offers, it is truly a great addition to your daily diet to help your body rid itself of toxins and to stay healthy. Green tea also contains some caffeine, which makes green tea a great substitute if you want to avoid coffee but need a boost of caffeine to help you to get going in the mornings.
Green tea can be consumed as a hot beverage or prepared and left to cool and then consumed as iced tea. Green tea also forms a great base for other detox teas. Adding mint and lemon to green tea can help you eliminate bloating and boost detox even more.
Fresh lemon is another powerful detoxification agent you can add to your diet. Fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon have a number of health benefits. Lemon acts as a natural energizer which helps to you fight some of the symptoms of toxic build-up as well as containing large amounts of Vitamin C and other antioxidants which protect the body.
Lemon is high in citric acid. Citric acid aids digestion of food in the stomach. Citric acid also promotes the production of gastric juices which are responsible for the digestion of food. Lemon juice also aids the bowels in their job of eliminating waste from the body. This action helps the body to rid itself of toxins which takes some pressure off the liver and its functions. Lemon juice stimulates the liver to produce bile and sufficient bile is required for detoxification. Lemon also aids detoxification because it acts as a blood purifier.
Lemon is however not only beneficial as a detoxification aid. Lemon has natural antibiotic properties, so lemon and honey have been used for centuries as a cough remedy to soothe sore throats and help to fight tonsillitis. Studies show that lemon in warm water in the morning significantly aids weight loss. The high vitamin C content means lemon and lemon juice is excellent for the skin and can help to combat acne and other skins complaints.
Adding lemon to your diet is one of the simplest things you can do to aid the body in its detoxification process. Just squeeze half a lemon into a glass of warm water in the morning and drink it before you eat breakfast.
You can of course add lemon juice to your salad dressings for a fresh salad dressing taste. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is also delicious on asparagus, fish and even avocado. In fact you can triple your detox value by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to your avocado guacamole and get the benefits of lemon, avocado and garlic to support your body in its detoxification process.
As you saw above, the grapefruit diet has been around since the early 1930’s and the benefits of grapefruit as a detoxification aid are well documented. Grapefruit is high in vitamin C and it is also rich in pectin, soluble fiber and antioxidants.
The soluble fiber and pectin aid the digestive system. The soluble fiber and pectin help to cleanse the colon which in turn aids the detoxification process. Grapefruit stimulates the digestive system, it helps to relieve heartburn and also helps to reduce gas and bloating.
Although grapefruit can aid in digestive detoxification, grapefruit can also interfere with some of the liver’s functions and can decrease the efficiency and absorption of certain pharmaceuticals.
Adding a small glass of grapefruit juice may be healthy in the morning but if you are taking any medications then its best to check with your doctor before making grapefruit a regular part of your diet.
Grapefruit can be consumed as a freshly squeezed juice but it also makes a great addition to smoothies and you can make a delicious kale and grapefruit salad using grapefruit, kale, lemon juice, olive oil, and yogurt to get the added detox benefits of lemon juice and yoghurt at the same time.
Who can resist a delicious creamy avocado? Avocado is another food that is very rich in glutathione – the natural antioxidant and detoxifier we discussed under beetroot. Avocado is also very rich in Vitamin K which helps to protect the liver from free radical damage. Eating just 100g of Avocado a day can account for more than half of your daily vitamin K requirements.
Avocado contains plant cytochromes that benefit the colon by aiding detoxification of the colon and rectum. A clean digestive system goes a long way to supporting the body in its detoxification process. Avocados are also rich in other vitamins that help the body in its detoxification process.
Avocados are rich and creamy in texture and taste, but the actual taste of avocado is very subtle, making it an ideal ingredient for other detox and diet recipes. Substituting avocado for bananas in your smoothies for example, will allow you to create a rich and creamy smoothie with far less sugar and calories than if you had used a banana. Avocado can also be used as the base ingredient for a rich and creamy chocolate mousse that is diet friendly and low in calories.
To increase your intake of avocado in your diet, add diced avocado to your salads, creamed avocado to your smoothies or eat plain avocado sprinkled with some fresh lemon juice for added detoxification benefits.
For more information on how you can add avocado to your diet to aid detox, you can read the Avocado Detox article available from Australian Avocados.
According to Mercola.com, the health benefits of broccoli outweigh any made-man substance available today. Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. These vegetables offer amazing digestive and health benefits. Just one cup of Broccoli provides your body with 130% of your daily vitamin C requirements.
Broccoli is packed with phytonutrients including glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin. These compounds work in the same way as the glutathione mentioned above and they therefore support liver function and aid detoxification directly. Broccoli is also high in fiber which ensures a healthy digestive system so that detoxification is more effective. Broccoli also contains compounds that decrease inflammation within the body so they help to reduce the symptoms of toxicity.
Other health benefits of broccoli include the fact that broccoli benefits the skin and may help to repair skin damage.
Broccoli makes a delicious healthy addition to your regular diet. Broccoli can be used raw in salads. It stays crunchy, has a wonderful, tangy taste and in my opinion beats lettuce hands down as a green base for any salad. One of my favorite salads is a combination of Broccoli, cauliflower, and nuts with a dressing of made of yoghurt and apple cider vinegar. The salad is tasty, it stays super crunchy for hours and it offers the detox benefits of cauliflower and broccoli along with yogurt.
Cauliflower is another vegetable that forms part of the cruciferous family, along with cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and kale. One cup of cauliflower contains 73% of your daily vitamin C requirements and 19% of your daily Vitamin K requirements. As we mentioned above, Vitamin K helps to protect the liver from damage and fights free radicals. Cauliflower is very high in glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are what gives cauliflower its unique smell but that’s not all that these super compounds do. Glucosinolates actually help to trigger the body’s detoxification process. Cauliflower is also a natural anti-inflammatory and helps the body fight inflammation. This also supports the detoxification process within the body.
Other health benefits of cauliflower include the fact that cauliflower helps to prevent cancer. Cauliflower is high in antioxidants including beta-carotene which help to fight the damage caused by free radicals within the body. Cauliflower is high in fiber so it supports the digestive system and aids digestion. Studies have found cauliflower has been beneficial in a number of diseases including Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
It’s really a simple and versatile vegetable to add to your diet. Raw cauliflower florets can be added to your salads to provide a crunchy detox boost. Cauliflower can be sautéed, steamed or boiled. Once cooked, cauliflower loses some of its strong flavor and can therefore make an excellent rice substitute if you are trying to cut down on your carbohydrates and calories. And if you have Kale on hand, kale has similar advantages to cauliflower for detox and here is another article on How the Nutrition in Kale Chips Can Help You Shed Seven Pounds a Year .
Garlic has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. It was used by the Egyptians for various different ailments and healers in the middle ages even used garlic to ward off the infamous black plague. World war I soldiers used garlic to ward off gangrene. Many studies have shown that garlic is a powerful antibiotic. In fact one study undertaken by researchers at the university of Washington found that garlic is one hundred times more effective at fighting certain bacteria than two well known modern antibiotics. The sheer volume of studies based on the medicinal properties of garlic prove that garlic really deserves its title as a superfood. For a list of some of the studies on garlic, read this article on MedicalNewsToday.com. Garlic helps to fight and reduce cholesterol levels, it can be used to help regulate blood pressure, it protects the heart, protects the body from cancer and can help to prevent preterm babies.
Garlic is especially beneficial for detox. Garlic contains high amounts of vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system and support the liver. Garlic is full of powerful antioxidants that protect the body and remove harmful free radicals from the bloodstream.
Garlic can be added as whole cloves, crushed or sliced. You can add raw or cooked garlic to your favorite savory meals. Cooking or roasting garlic helps to mellow the flavor, dampen the pungency of the garlic. Place whole cloves in an oven dish with your roast or roast vegetables next time you are making a Sunday lunch and you may be surprised at how sweet and creamy garlic can be.
Whilst diet plays an important part in detox, diet plus a detox plan based on exercise can be even more beneficial in helping you rid your body of excess toxins. Udemy.com offer a 14 Day Hatha Yoga for Detox and Weight Loss course that features major aspects of Hatha Yoga to help you detox and lose weight.
Keeping a clean, healthy, relatively toxin free body largely depends on an effective digestive system and when it comes to foods that support the digestive system, yogurt should be placed at the top of that list. Our digestive system depends on thousands of different bacteria that help us to break down and digest food. Toxins, pharmaceutical drugs and illness kill off those bacteria, so it is essential to keep replacing or supplementing the digestive system bacteria. Yogurt is the highest natural source of those helpful bacteria. Yogurt also keeps the body’s elimination system healthy. Yogurt keeps the urinary system healthy too which also aids in effective detoxification.
Yogurt also offers a number of other health benefits besides its detoxification properties. Yogurt supports the immune system. Yogurt is high in calcium and has been shown to help fight against obesity. According to WebMd.com, yogurt has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis. It has also been shown to decrease the risk of high blood pressure. For a course on blood pressure, sign up for Blood Pressure Control- A Map to Medication Freedom course and learn about this unique lifestyle therapy.
The greatest benefit of yoghurt is that it makes an effective substitute for other dairy products if you are trying to avoid dairy. Yogurt makes an excellent substitute for mayonnaise or cream in salad dressings. It is far healthier to eat your cereals with yogurt than milk due to the nutritional values in yogurt. And yogurt is a great source of essential calcium.
Cabbage is also one of the cruciferous family of vegetables and therefore also makes a great addition to your diet if you want to support the body in its efforts to remain toxin free. The glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables is what makes this group of vegetables such powerful detoxifying foods. Cabbage is also high in fiber that supports the digestive system and aids in the elimination of waste and toxins from the body.
Cabbage, like all of the other foods on our list don’t only offer health benefits for detox, for a more comprehensive list of the health benefits of cabbage, you can refer to the article published on SacredSourceNutrition.com.
Cabbage can be consumed raw in salads, it can be juiced to add to your daily smoothie or it can be steamed, sautéed or cooked and used in soups and stews. Cooking may affect some of the compounds found in cabbage so for its best benefits it preferable to eat cabbage raw. My favorite salad is coleslaw made with cabbage, carrots, raisins with a dressing made from a combination of yogurt and honey. It’s a really healthy detoxifying salad that includes the benefits of both cabbage and yogurt for their detoxification properties.
Creating a Detoxification Program that Suits Your Lifestyle and Diet
As mentioned above, depending on your current level of toxic build-up within your body, you may want to consider a rapid detoxification program, but living a healthy life and lifestyle is an ongoing process and whilst rapid detox programs or detox diets can help, it is still necessary to include detox foods in your everyday diet to avoid the build-up of toxins in the first place.
Knowledge about the food you are eating and the nutritional value of food is essential for a healthy, happy lifestyle and a course like 10 Weeks: holistic nutrition program will go a long way to helping you to understand the nutritional values of the foods you eat.
Instead of subjecting your body to harsh detox programs, why not try adding a few of the above foods to your diet or better yet, substituting some of the detox foods for the foods you currently eat so that you can support your body in its natural detoxification process.
It is alarming that lifestyle diseases have become the leading cause of death in the western world. These diseases can all be prevented with the right nutrition and diet. In the 1900’s the top causes of death were tuberculosis, pneumonia, and diarrhea and by the 1990’s – just ninety years later, it is estimated that 60% of deaths are caused by lifestyle related diseases. Food is your very best defense, in fact your only defense against diseases like obesity, heart disease and arthritis. Sign up for the course Food is Your Best Medicine from udemy to learn the key roles of each nutritional building block for healthy cells.
Last Updated March 2016
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