In China, food was traditionally considered to have medicinal qualities. Here are 20 foods that help the body detoxify. When preparation calls for juice, you can use a juicer if you have one or blend the ingredients with a little water in a good blender.
With their digestible fiber, sweet potatoes can facilitate bowel movement. The best way to eat them is baked and unpeeled.
Green beans can eliminate toxins, induce diuresis, and quench thirst. Green-bean soup can also help reduce swelling. Do not cook beans too long; otherwise, nutrients will be destroyed and the effects will be diminished.
Oats can relax the bowels, stimulate bowel movement, and detoxify the body. It is good to steam oats and then blend to make a thin drink. You can also add other ingredients to the mixture, such as an apple or raisins, which are also nutritious and promote elimination.
Barley is great for detoxification and as beauty aid. It can improve blood circulation, induce diuresis, and reduce swelling caused by edema. You can boil barley and eat it cooked. For a natural way to whiten your skin, boil barley, add a bit of sugar, and apply it externally.
A well-known ingredient in Chinese cooking, lotus root can purify the blood and act as a diuretic. Lotus root can be served hot or cold. You can juice it and add a bit of honey or you can heat it on low heat and then add a bit of sweetener and drink it while it is still warm.
Since it doesn’t contain gluten, millet doesn’t irritate the intestinal tract. It is mild and easy to digest, which makes it suitable to eat with other detoxifying foods. Millet gruel is very good for detoxification and inducing diuresis.
Whole, unmilled rice is rich in fiber. It can absorb water and fat and give you a feeling of fullness. It can also stabilize the digestive system. A good way to keep yourself detoxified is to have a bowl of brown-rice porridge every morning.
These beans can stimulate bowel movement, help with constipation, and induce diuresis. You can put red beans to stew in an electric cooker or crockpot before going to bed and then drink the liquid the next morning to promote detoxification.
Carrots help treat constipation and are also rich in beta carotene, which can neutralize toxins. Fresh carrots are better at clearing away toxins, soothing the intestines, and relaxing the bowels. You can juice them and add honey and lemon juice, which is thirst-quenching and good for detoxification.
These yams can rectify the digestive system, reduce subcutaneous fat, and help your immune system. They work best when served raw. You can cut a peeled Chinese yam into small pieces and combine with pineapple and water in a blender or juice them. This is good for promoting digestion and regulating the intestines.
Native to Europe and Northern Asia, the burdock plant has small purple flowers and large, fuzzy leaves that are whitish underneath. Burdock can improve blood circulation and metabolism and regulate bowel function.
The fiber can soften excrement, which is good for detoxification and treating constipation. You can make burdock tea and drink it any time. Burdock is safe to use over a long period of time.
Asparagus contains various nutrients, including asparagine and potassium, which can induce diuresis to discharge excess water in the body. The tips of asparagus are rich in vitamin A. It’s good to leave the tips a bit on top of the water when cooking to maximally preserve nutrients.
Onions can stimulate bowel movement and promote digestion. They are rich in sulfur which, when combined with protein, is especially good for the liver, resulting in good detoxification.
Make a pot of onion-based vegetable soup and add some high-fiber vegetables like broccoli, carrots, and celery. The soup can break down accumulated toxins and help with elimination.
Radishes are very good for inducing diuresis. The fiber they contain can also relax the bowels and help with weight loss. They are good for detoxification when served raw. You can also juice or pickle them.
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Chrysanthemum is rich in vitamin A, which protects the liver and helps to discharge toxins from the body. You can make a tea by boiling chrysanthemum flowers and adding a little sweetener. It is also good in a juice made with tomato, carrot, grapefruit, apple, and mixed nuts.
Sweet Potato Leaves
Sweet potato leaves give a feeling of fullness. They can also stimulate bowel movement and prevent constipation. Wash fresh sweet potato leaves and cook them in boiling water. When fully cooked, stir with chopped garlic and add a bit of salt and oil.
These leaves contain vitamins and fiber that can stimulate the appetite and help with constipation. Clean and drip-dry the radish leaves. Then juice them and add a bit of honey. Regular intake is good for detoxification and health maintenance.
Sichuan aescin is an extract from horse chestnuts that can reduce blood sugar and treat habitual constipation. You can mix Sichuan aescin with tomato, alfalfa sprouts, yellow pepper, kiwi, mixed nuts, and a bit of passion fruit juice or apple cider vinegar. Blend and enjoy as a drink.
Yogurt has lactic acid, which may help with constipation and stabilize the stomach. It can also help discharge toxins accumulated in the intestinal tract. Yogurt can also give you a feeling of fullness. It is good to eat yogurt before breakfast when the stomach is empty.
Vinegar is good for metabolism and discharges acidic materials from the body. It can also induce diuresis and relax the bowels. Drink some diluted vinegar after breakfast and dinner every day.
China Gaze is the English edition of the popular Chinese website and newspaper Kanzhongguo, which offers a window into the philosophy, culture, and beauty of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization. www.chinagaze.com
*Oats image via Shutterstock.