Detox is a word on everyone’s mouth these days with juice cleanses and detox retreats popping up all the time. But what is detoxification? It’s the process through which the body gets rid of stored toxins in its tissues and organs and it does this naturally by removing impurities from the blood through the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. They are also eliminated through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. Sometimes it can be difficult for the body to perform at its best as our modern lives are loaded with physical and emotional stress, chemicals, preservatives and pollution from the environment. But fortunately, we can help our liver and other organs in their action by consuming foods that support their optimal function.
Here's five that are easy to incorporate into day to day life.
Lemons and Citrus fruit
Great support for liver detoxification aiding the body by flushing out toxins and starting the activity of the digestive system, especially in the morning. Drinking a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon is a great way to wake up your digestion and metabolism. Citrus fruit also contain high amounts of vitamin C, used by the body to make one of the most powerful antioxidants called glutathione. Glutathione helps support phase 2 liver detoxification fighting negative effects from environmental chemicals, pollution and protecting cells from damage.
Beets assist our liver and gall bladder in breaking down toxins, and their fibre is great for digestion and elimination. They contain potent phytochemicals and essential minerals that are great to fight infections. They also increase the body’s cellular intake of oxygen, making them excellent body cleansers and promoters of that healthy skin glow that we all want. Have some raw shredded beets on your salad, eat them pickled or boost your daily juice and smoothie with them!
Coriander and Parsley
These amazing herbs are not just great alkalising agents but also amazing to rid the body of heavy metals coming from pesticides, chemicals in food and households products or simply from the environment. Their chemical compounds binds to toxins removing them from blood, tissues, and organs. They can assist with carrying out the toxic waste from the body as well although there are other agents that are absolutely brilliant aids to expel toxins like chlorella and spirulina.
Add coriander or parsley to superfood pestos or mix into salads with some lemon zest and juice.
Chlorella is blue-green algae rich in chlorophyll that contains all of the essential amino acids, vital vitamins and minerals along with being a high source of plant protein and antioxidants.
One of the main uses of chlorella is to cleanse the body as it has been found able to remove heavy metals. Heavy metals like mercury are typically very difficult to get out of your tissues but it’s so important to get rid of them as they can have a very negative impact on health.
Add a teaspoon of chlorella powder to your smoothies or make super tasty energy balls with an added protein and detox kick!
Broccoli, cabbage, kale and other brassica vegetables contain important phytochemicals that help in the detoxification process of the liver. They are one of the best addition you could make to your diet in order to support this organ. These nutrients stimulate detoxification enzymes in the digestive tract and aid the break down and elimination of excess hormones to avoid hormonal imbalances.
Brassica also contain numerous antioxidants and some of them are actually able to neutralise damaging compounds found in cigarette smoke.
Juice them, steam them, blend them. Have them any way you like but don’t forget to buy some next time you’re grocery shopping!