Our bodies are exposed to so many waste products every day. They are produced by our cells and absorbed from the environment. Detox programs are becoming increasing popular. However, some of them are dramatic and can cause too many toxins to be released at once. If these toxins cannot be processed, they are recirculated in our body. This can become a real threat to our health. Detoxification with everyday foods seems to be a more reasonable approach, unless otherwise medically indicated.
There are many foods alone that will support cleansing and detoxification. Salads and dark green leafy vegetables contain fiber to help remove toxins from the body. They also contain chlorophyll, a blood cleanser and purifier. Salads and dark green leafy vegetables also are alkaline-forming and will reduce acid in the body. Excess acid is toxic and sadly many of us do not realize the extent to which refined foods are acid-forming (Mateljan, 2007). Eat at least five half-cup servings of salads and dark green vegetables daily.
Another detoxification food category is foods rich in sulfur. Cruciferous vegetables are sulfur-rich, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Arugula, turnips, kale, bok choy, radish, and red cabbage also are recommended. For a complete list of sulfur-rich foods, go to whfoods.com. Along with cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, chives, and garlic support detoxification. Berries also aid in detoxification. Avoid food additives, which can overwhelm detoxification pathways in the body.
Other detoxification foods to consider are those rich in protein, such as fish, poultry, soy, beans, and nuts. But remember that too much protein is acid-forming. Make protein no more than forty percent of your daily diet. Grains are high in fiber and help to cleanse the digestive tract. But, they should be consumed in moderation due to their starchy nature. Lemon juice and prunes also help with cleansing and detoxification (Mateljan, 2007).
Along with foods, there are some herbal teas that support detoxification. Some of my favorite detox teas are dandelion root, milk thistle, and artichoke leaf. All of these teas can be taken on a daily basis and several cups daily. Turmeric as an herb supports detoxification, but is best taken in a high quality supplement for optimal absorption.
Detoxifying our bodies should become second nature once these basic guidelines are followed. It takes some effort in the beginning, but if you keep the benefits at the forefront of your mind, you will feel healthier. This includes having less illness and a greater sense of well-being. As an added plus, you will have more energy to enjoy life.
Mateljan, G. The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. George Mateljan Foundation. Seattle, Washington, 2007.