I need to detox.
Maybe you’ve heard someone say that before. It certainly sounds like a good idea. Of course, detox is shorthand for detoxification. The word can imply many things.
Some people use the word detox when referring to things like television or social media. For others, it could mean detoxing from alcohol or even drugs.
Regardless of the context in which it’s used, detox can simply refer to the process of removing something from your life that is deemed harmful.
When it comes to health and wellness, detoxification takes on a medicinal shape and refers to the process of naturally removing toxins from the body.
Thankfully, there are many amazing foods that can aid in the process of detoxification. But before we explore some of these benefits, let’s look at detoxification a little closer.
Detoxification: What, Why, and How
Detox or detoxing refers to following a specific diet or consuming certain foods to rid the body of harmful toxins for a short period of time. During a detox, you’ll be fasting for a duration of time while following a strict diet that contains fruits, veggies, fruit juices, and water.
Thankfully, our bodies are well-designed and have their natural system of detoxification. Our lymphatic system, liver, kidneys, and intestines are designed for this process.
Why is Detoxing Important?
Toxins can build up within our bodies in a variety of ways. The consumption of processed foods, and the chemical additives that fill them, are one-way toxins enter our body.
Sometimes we are exposed to environmental pollutants, e.g., pesticides in foods, household products, care products, etc. Sadly, the list could go on.
Toxins can pose many health risks, and the effects can present themselves in numerous ways. Over time, these toxins can even disrupt some of the body’s normal processes.
Here are a few common warning signs that could mean it’s time to detoxify:
- Constant fatigue – Metabolism disrupting toxins and chemicals can affect normal metabolic processes, causing unexplained fatigue.
- Skin issues – Chemicals and toxins can be absorbed through the skin, leading to various skin irritations or conditions.
- Weight gain – Believe it or not, many environmental toxins can even contribute to weight gain, affecting metabolic processes.
Methods of Detoxification
It is difficult to target specific toxins and chemicals within the body. As far as methods are concerned, many people turn to diuretics, laxatives, nutrient supplements, and teas to help eliminate toxins from the body.
10 Amazing Detox Foods
Numerous foods boast many benefits when it comes to natural detoxification. At the top of the list are leafy greens and fruits. It is important to remember that the foods below should be considered in organic form.
Organic simply refers to the standard by which these foods are grown, grown without the use of harmful pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or harmful chemicals.
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods, boasting loads of vitamins A, C, and K. This makes it a powerful ally for immune support. It is also rich in minerals like iron and magnesium.
Kale is full of antioxidants, which play a pivotal role in fighting the effects of environmental oxidative stress and free radicals. In terms of detoxing, a popular way to consume kale is in smoothies or green juices.
Broccoli is considered a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage. These are teeming with folate (a B vitamin), fiber, and a host of nutrients. Thanks to its numerous phytochemicals, broccoli is also an excellent source of antioxidants.
One of these is a powerful phytochemical known as sulforaphane. As an antioxidant, sulforaphane has been shown to help neutralize toxins in the body that form due to pollution, additives, and chemicals.
Cabbage is another cruciferous vegetable, which boasts the same sulforaphane benefits as broccoli. In recent years, cabbage soup has become a popular weight loss diet, but its benefits reach well beyond that.
Regarding detoxification, cabbage helps supply the body with glutathione — an antioxidant that aids the natural detoxifying function and effects of the liver.
Like cabbage, asparagus also contains glutathione and promotes the same detoxifying effects. Asparagus is also packed with nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, E, and folate. However, asparagus is most well-known for its diuretic effects — and can lead to smelly urine.
Its natural diuretic effects are due to an amino acid known as asparagine; the smell comes from asparagusic acid. As a detoxifier, asparagus helps cleanse the urinary tract and neutralize excess amounts of ammonia.
5. Bell Peppers
Red and green bell peppers are loaded with nutrients, especially vitamin C, a helpful immune system supporter. They also possess an antioxidant flavonoid known as quercetin.
Quercetin acts as a powerful soothing property in the body. Inflammation is part of the normal injury response. However, toxins can cause discomfort within the body. Thanks to naturally-occurring quercetin, bell peppers can help reduce tension.
No list of detox foods could be complete without lemons. Lemons provide a great source of antioxidants, thanks to their abundance of vitamin C. However, like citrus fruit, it also affects pH.
Garlic has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, and its medicinal uses are far-reaching. It is known for being a natural antiviral and antibiotic.
Garlic has an amino acid known as alliin. This antioxidant helps promote immune cells, which are needed allies when ridding the body of toxins.
Another immune-boosting food is ginger. Ginger has been widely used for digestive issues — bloating, reducing gas, and improving overall digestion.
Toxins that come from fatty foods and even alcohol can be stored in the body and wreak havoc on the digestive system. By supporting digestion, ginger helps reduce these effects.
9. Brown Rice
Brown rice makes a great alternative to highly processed white rice. This grain contains loads of detoxifying nutrients like B vitamins and phosphorus.
It also makes an excellent source of fiber, which is essential for helping to cleanse the digestive system. It is also rich in the trace mineral selenium, which is essential for liver function. The liver, of course, is a major player in the body’s detoxifying system.
10. Green Tea
Of course, green tea is not a food, but it is derived from herbs. As a liquid, it helps flush out excess toxins.
The main antioxidants found in green tea are known as catechins. One form of green tea catechin, known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), has been shown to help prevent the effects of oxidative stress brought about by toxins.
Toxins can wreak havoc on our bodies. Although the process of detoxification occurs naturally, sometimes, we can give our body a boost with detox foods.
Shop Hope understands the importance of natural, detoxifying foods. Again, ensuring these foods are organic is a must.
Now, next time you feel the need to detoxify, you know what foods to reach for.