Almonds are a wonderfully delicious snack and have long been revered as the promoter of wellness and health. Almonds are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are packed with numerous health promoting antioxidants. Almonds contain unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids which have been shown to lowerblood LDL(bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels. These healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants play an important role in supporting the detoxification process.
Apples contain pectin which keeps the liver from absorbing cholesterol and also binds to heavy metals in the body to help their excretion. This reduces the load on the liver and its detoxification capacities, making it easier for your body to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process. The malic acid in apples also helps to break up gallstones.
The liver is your body’s main detoxification organ. The globe artichoke is a powerful liver detoxifier, actually few veggies are as potent as the globe artichoke in helping an ailing liver. Globe artichoke contains caffeoylquinic acids, which protect and regenerate liver tissues. It helps stimulate production of bile in the liver as well as promote the movement of bile through the system. These two functions are vital to the liver’s well-being. One of the jobs of bile is to remove toxins through the bowel. If bile is not transported adequately, the liver has an increased risk of being damaged. Some studies suggest that 30 minutes after eating globe artichoke, bile flow is increased by over 100%.
Avocados are an amazing superfood with a rich flavor and powerful wide-ranging health benefits. Among many other benefits, avocados improve cardiovascular health, stabilize blood sugar, and reduce cholesterol. Avocados are rich in folate, potassium, vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, and heart healthy monounsaturated fats. They also contain more folate per ounce than any other fruit, with 90 micrograms per cup. The oleic acid in avocados can help lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels while increasing the HDL (good cholesterol) levels. They are rich in fiber and beta-sitosterol, both of which help keep cholesterol levels low. Avocados contain many anti-inflammatory agents including phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient-dense superfood also helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the body to get rid of harmful toxins. For all these reasons, avocados are one of the healthiest things you can add to your detox diet.
Beets are one of those often-overlooked foods, but adding beets to your diet can greatly increase your well-being and immunity. The roots and leaves of the beet have long been used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Beets are among the most well-known vegetables that help cleanse the liver. This is mostly due to the betaine and fiber. Betaine encourages the liver to get rid of toxins and the fiber helps to clear out the toxins that have been released into the colon, allowing them to be eliminated from the system instead of reabsorbed by the body.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, as well as copper, selenium, zinc, and iron. Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatories; they increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins which help reduce inflammation. Blueberries also contain catechin, which is a natural phenol and antioxidant known to activate fat burning in abdominal fat cells. Studies have shown that eating blueberries regularly increases abdominal fat loss and total weight loss.
Brazil nuts are extremely tasty treats and are loaded with health benefits. They contain exceptionally high levels of selenium. Just 1 ounce of these nuts provides about 800% of the recommended daily intake of selenium making them the highest natural source of this mineral. Your body needs selenium in order to detoxify the bloodstream. Studies have also shown that higher concentrations of selenium in the blood are associated with reduced risk of heart disease.
Citrus fruits like lemons and limes are particularly useful foods in supporting the digestive organs and the cleansing process. Citrus fruits help to stimulate bile to enter the blood and clean up the debris of undigested food particles. They contain high concentrations of citric acid, an effective chelator of heavy metals like lead and mercury. Drinking freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the detoxification process.
Coconut Water (fresh is best)
Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is fat free, packed with electrolytes which hydrate and help cellular metabolism. Potassium is one of the main electrolytes your body uses to replace, and retain the fluids needed to operate at full capacity helping the body counteract the harmful effects of a high-sodium diet of processed and refined foods. Coconut water has anti-microbial properties and has been used for treatment of some liver ailments like hepatitis. Choose fresh coconut water whenever possible to get the most benefit. Otherwise, be sure to check the ingredients and choose the unsweetened natural varieties.
Cruciferous vegetables provide nutrients that support optimal functioning of most body systems. Eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage stimulate the activation crucial detoxifying enzymes which help to flush out carcinogens and other toxins from the body. Cruciferous vegetables also boost the liver’s detoxification pathways and help break down and eliminate fat.
Just a small amount garlic has the ability to activate liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic is rich in allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid the liver cleansing process. It is also high in sulphur, which is required for detoxification.
There’s a good reason why many Asian societies have been drinking green tea for thousands of years. Green tea is full of antioxidants known as catechins, compounds known to boost key detoxification enzymes. A cup of green tea can help protect your body’s cells against damage and mutation. Clinical studies show that green tea protects the liver from the negative effects of toxic substances such as alcohol and helps reduce liver inflammation. It helps to oxidize fat and has also been shown to be effective in both the prevention and reduction of weight gain. The polyphenols in green tea create a fat-burning effect in the body, as well as increase metabolism.
Green leafy vegetables and herbs, like kale, spinach, watercress, chard, cilantro, beet greens, dandelion greens alfalfa sprouts are excellent for the liver and digestive organs. In fact green leafy vegetables may be our most powerful allies in cleansing the body. They help to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver that help neutralize potentially carcinogenic substances. They are extremely high in plant chlorophylls which suck up environmental toxins from the blood. With their distinct ability to neutralize chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for our bodies.
When used in moderation, extra-virgin olive oil is a great addition to a healthy diet. Olive oil helps the body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the system. Extra virgin olive oil also provides powerful antioxidant protection against toxins that cause oxidative stress and damage to the liver.
Spices like ginger and turmeric can provide powerful antioxidant action which helps the liver to complete the first phase of detoxification. Turmeric, for example, has been shown to protect the liver during detoxification processes and trigger the gallbladder action to help remove toxins from the liver. Ginger has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions that help regenerate the liver when it’s processing toxins.
Pineapples are sweet, juicy, and delicious, but more importantly, they are super healthy and nutritious. Pineapples are loaded with vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Pineapples are a natural diuretic and help to flush out any excess toxins formed in the kidneys and liver; they help detoxify, cleanse and nourish the body.
Walnuts contain the amino acid arginine, which is necessary to help the body detoxify ammonia. Walnuts are also rich in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which support the detoxification process.
Supplement with Herbs that Support Detoxification
Although a wholesome eating plan is the best way to cleanse your liver, if you want to further increase the detoxification benefits you should also include some liver cleansing herbs.
Cleansing herbs that help the detoxification process include:
While you may think of the dandelion as a pesky weed, it is one of nature’s greatest gifts when it comes to detoxification. Dandelion is rich in vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion helps to stimulate bile production, promote healthy liver detoxification and acts as a diuretic, increasing the amount of urine the body produces helping the body expel toxins.
Milk thistle has been used for over 2,000 years to treat liver and kidney ailments. Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, is both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Studies show that silymarin in milk thistle helps protect the liver from toxins, including certain drugs such as acetaminophen which can cause liver damage in high doses. Milk thistle also increases the rate at which liver cells regenerate.
Yellow Dock Root
Yellow dock root is known as a blood purifier and is commonly used to cleanse toxins from the body. It stimulates bile production, which helps break down fatty foods and thus enhancing liver detoxification. It has a mild diuretic effect which helps flush out harmful substances.
Additional Actions for Optimal Results
– When choosing foods for your detox diet, try to incorporate foods that are still in the same state as they were when they arrived on the earth. Eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice, an apple instead of applesauce. The less processing a food undergoes the better for your body.
– Eat whole organic foods as much as possible. These will have the best chance of having less toxins and more of the nutrients needed for detoxification.
– Make sure you get sufficient protein. Your body needs to have enough proteins in order to function properly. Good sources of proteins include nuts, legumes and fish.
– Make sure you are getting enough omega-3 fatty and other healthy oils.
– Stay hydrated by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day.
– Make sure you are consuming enough fiber. Fiber is extremely important for the body’s natural detoxification process. During detox, toxins are dumped into the digestive tract, which then need to be moved out of the body. If you have sufficient fiber, these toxins can be eliminated with your next bowel movement; if not, these toxins can be reabsorbed into the blood stream and your body will have to deal with them all over again.
– Take a probiotic each day to keep your intestines balanced and to help replenish good bacteria.
– Do check with your doctor before starting any detox program.