Unfortunately, the sad reality is that we are absorbing health-damaging chemicals and toxins every day from our environment. We are regularly exposed to toxins from the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we use.
Constant exposure to oxidative stress can wreak havoc on our immune system and can prematurely age us. These toxic substances generate free radicals, which cause cellular damage and can lead to the development of inflammatory diseases and carcinogens in the body.
Detoxifying doesn’t have to include fasting or radical diets. We can encourage our body’s natural cleansing process by simply incorporating some important foods in our diet.
There are many foods that can promote natural detoxification, but here are my 8 fave:
You’ve likely heard of drinking warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. Well there’s a reason! It’s a great way to start the day! Lemon helps stimulate digestion functions and can help in driving toxins from your body. Lemon is a natural antioxidant and packed with Vitamin C to give your immune system a boost! Lemon is also fabulous for the skin and weight management. Squeeze fresh lemon on salads, add to smoothies, or to water throughout the day.
- Cruciferous vegetables & leafy greens
Yes, you have likely heard of this one too. We’ve always been told to eat our vegetables! Some green favourites are broccoli, spinach, and brussel sprouts. The folate and chlorophyll-rich extracts in these have been reported for anti-cancer activity, antioxidant behavior and detoxification. (2)
Okay... now things are getting weird, right? NO! Dandelion green and root have a long history of traditional use in Chinese Medicine to promote detoxification in main organs, such as liver, kidneys, and gallbladder. More scientific evidence is needed to fully understand how dandelion supports health and how herbal supplements can protect against oxidative stress so always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement. Dandelion greens can be found at health stores and dandelion root can be purchased as a supplement or tea.
Garlic doesn’t just repel vampires! It has also been used for thousands of years for detoxifying the body. Garlic’s strong smell comes from the sulfar-containing compound, Allicin, which has demonstrated many health benefits, such as blood pressure control, diabetes protection, reducing inflammation, preventing damage from heavy metals in the liver, along with antioxidant benefits.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc, Vitamin A, B, and K. Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse source of antioxidants to help combat oxidation and the aging of our body’s cells. Their alkalizing and naturally cleansing properties promote healthy digestion and neutralization of acidic conditions.
- Chlorella and Spirulina
Chlorella and Spirulina are algaes, similar to seaweed, known for naturally balancing the body. Each have distinct, impressive nutritional profiles but both are great sources of detoxification! Chlorella, a green algae, and Spirilina, a blue-green algae, both help eliminate toxins (such as heavy metals) from the body and help fight infection. They are found in most of nature’s chlorophyll-rich foods but are generally marketed as powders and supplements. Add to your smoothies! (3)
You knew this would be on the list right? Turmeric is becoming more well-known as a superfood by the day. Turmeric has been highly regarded historically for medicinal use for disease and infection protection. Today, in addition to the spice rack, we can find in capsule and powder form. Turmeric assists with liver detoxification by reducing inflammation caused by toxins and chemicals.
Not only are avocados delicious but they are loaded with healthy fats, are an excellent source of fibre and potassium, and can help fight may health problems, such as inflammation and diabetes. Avocados are packed full of glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier produced in our body’s cells. Glutathione assists with detoxifying heavy metals and carcinogens from the liver. Not only are avocados delicious, they also aide with digestion and cleansing the colon.
“The interplay between free radicals, antioxidants, and co-factors is important in maintaining health, aging and age-related diseases.” (3)