Spring is a great time of year to jump start your health. Many people embark on a detox diet or cleanse with the goal of shedding a few pounds, increasing energy levels and enhancing mental clarity. Spring is a great time to start eating for detoxification as many of the foods that support the natural detoxification of the body are both fresh and abundant. While there are many different products and supplements available that aid in the detoxification process the nutrients that we receive from our foods play an important role in building our health on a foundational level. When detoxing it is important to support your liver and kidneys which process the toxins and aid in their elimination. Here are the TOP 5 FOODS to eat in abundance when cleansing (and after your cleanse is complete so that your body maintains it’s new level of health).
1. Leafy green vegetables. Eating a salad with a variety of leafy greens help support the liver which is the body’s main organ of detoxification and their high chlorophyll content help to draw out environmental toxins and pesticides. Dandelion greens, Swiss chard and kale are readily available and fresh, fresh, fresh in the spring.
2. Lemons. Though they taste very acidic, once they are in the body, lemons have a very alkalizing effect. Producing an alkaline state is important for optimum functioning of each cell. Lemons are also high in vitamin C which helps to transform toxins into a water-soluble form so that they are easily flushed out of the body. Vitamin C is often considered “the detox vitamin”. Squeeze fresh lemon into your water, over your steamed vegetables and use as part of your salad dressing.
3. Garlic. Garlic has been used medicinally throughout history. From the detoxification perspective, garlic helps to activate certain enzymes in the liver which aid in flushing out the toxins that get stirred up during a cleanse.
4. Watercress. This is peppery tasting green is often found in sandwiches and salads. Watercress is well-known for its cancer-fighting properties and high levels of calcium. For cleansing it is important as it has a diuretic effect which helps to keep things moving swiftly through the body.
5. Fruit. Full of fibre and flavour it’s hard to meet a fruit you don’t like. Since sugar is normally a forbidden food when cleansing fruit satisfies our urges for sweetness. Added bonuses are easily absorbed vitamins and antioxidants. For optimum digestion eat fruits alone.
Shanyn Erben, RHN
“You really are what you eat.”