Food is the best medicine if you want to naturally cleanse and detox the body. It is good to detox the body every now and then, whether you decide to mono-meal a certain fruit for a week or two, or juice fast (or even water fast!). However, for the times in between these cleanses, it is good to maintain a diet that contains natural detoxifiers to keep the body in tip-top shape!
If you are not a fan of juice fasting, master cleansing, water cleansing, or the like, try incorporating these awesome natural cleansing and detoxing foods into your diet on a daily basis to feel refreshed in no time!
15 Foods that Naturally Cleanse & Detox
Here is a list of 15 foods that will naturally help cleanse & detox the body!
This awesome root offers anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, and antioxidant benefits. It is one of the best detoxifying herbs, helping to cleanse the body by stimulating digestion, circulation and sweating. The digestive stimulating properties of ginger allow it to remove build-up of mucus plaques in the digestive tract, and other toxic build-up. It not only removes toxins from the intestines, but it also helps cleanse the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, spleen and flushes the circulatory system.
Avocados are rich in essential fatty acids and are incredibly mineral and vitamin dense. They contain compounds like glutathione that help protect the liver against toxic overload and help lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels. The glutathione content in avocados also helps block over thirty carcinogens and some studies have even shown that eating 1-2 avocados a week can help repair a damaged liver.
Citrus fruits are great mucus and toxin cleansers due to their high concentration of vitamin C! The enzymes in citrus fruits like grapefruit, limes, oranges and lemons help to clear the digestive tract and stimulate cleansing within the liver. A great way to get citrus in your body is to start the day with 1 litre of water containing 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. It is incredibly healing and can have a bounty of benefits that will super-charge the rest of your day.
Cabbage is high in sulfur-containing compounds such as glucosinolates which are converted into active forms of isothiocyanates and indoles. Isothiocyanates target and eliminate potential carcinogens from the body and thus help prevent cancer and a variety of other health-related illnesses. These sulfur compounds also help the liver break down excess hormones, and neutralizes the effects of damaging toxic compounds found in house-hold cleaners, cigarette smoke (second-hand too) and other endocrine disruptors.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – This statement couldn’t be any more true! Apples are rich in a special type of fiber called pectin which helps reduce cholesterol and maintains good digestive health. Apples are also incredibly alkaline, helping to restore the pH balance in the body which might be thrown off by a protein-heavy diet (meat, eggs, and dairy). The pectin in apples has been studied extensively, and it has been found that pectin decreases the chance of developing colon cancer, helps prevent gallstones, and can lessen the severity of diabetes.
Beets are great blood purifiers and liver cleansers. You can tell, just by their colour, that these root vegetables contain great detoxifying agents. Beets contain magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium, helping to flush out toxins and support our major detox organs like the liver, kidneys, and intestines. Betacyanin, which is found abundantly in beets, also contains great cancer-fighting properties.
Cilantro is known for its heavy metal detoxification benefits. It has been found to remove heavy metals from the body (taken in via consumption of non-organic foods, using conventional water supplies in your home, eating fish, using deodorants, smoking cigarettes and/or being around second-hand smoke, cooking foods in aluminum cookware or aluminum foil, taking over-the-counter drugs like antacids, using vaccines, or if you have metal fillings in your teeth). Heavy metals are connected with many serious health problems including cancer, heart disease, brain deterioration, emotional problems, kidney disease, lung disease and weak bones. The chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and loosen them from the tissues.
Celery is also an excellent detoxing food. It has anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, and is a natural diuretic which means that it encourages urine flow, helping to flush out toxins at a faster rate. Celery also boosts our white blood cell count, helping to improve the function of our immune system, and target any foreign invaders which, under normal circumstances, make us feel fatigued and moody. I love eating celery in salads, or making celery boats where you stuff the celery with dates or other dried fruit like figs or raisins (make sure your diet fruit is preservative-free and organic!)
Berries are incredibly high in antioxidants, making them a true detox superfood! The dark hue of berries (as well as cherries) is due to their antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins help protect cells from free radical damage and enhance glutathione production. They also protect against allergies, diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and cataracts. In addition, the anti-aging properties of berries is enough to encourage anyone to start eating at least a cup of berries a day! Why? Well, if you didn’t already know, anthocyanins in berries reduce the breakdown of collagen (which makes us retain a youthful appearance) and strengthen blood vessels and capillaries which help to give us that youthful glow!
Turmeric is a great analgesic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and natural blood purifier. The curcumin in turmeric has been found to prevent against a variety of cancer types, and even halt cancer in its tracks. It prevents platelets from clumping within blood vessels, making it effective in the prevention of atherosclerosis and other circulation-related issues.
Hot peppers like habaneros, cayenne peppers, chilli peppers, you name it, help stimulate the circulatory system by opening the capillaries and allowing maximum nutrient absorption and toxin release. They help aid digestion, regulate blood sugar, and increase body temperature (great for those living in winter climates). Not only that, but hot peppers help neutralize the body’s pH by making it more alkaline. They also boost our metabolism, helping to shed unwanted fat.
This leafy herb contains more vitamin C than some fruit and vegetables! You can get over 72% of your daily vitamin C from just 100 grams of watercress leaves. Vitamin C helps to scavenge free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Vitamin C not only helps boost your immunity against infection, but it also helps prevent iron deficiency anemia, and helps maintain bone health and keep skin supple and radiant looking.
Glucosinolates in watercress help to boost and regulate activity of detoxification enzymes in the liver. When consumed, the glucosinolates in watercress are converted to isothiocyanates, which then have the ability to inhibit tumorigenesis by modulating the metabolism of carcinogens. This effect found to have an even stronger impact when consuming watercress that has not been cooked.
Seaweed contains iodine, and iodine helps to cleanse the body of lead, cadmium and the radioactive chemical called strontium. Iodine not only cleanses the body of heavy metals and radioactive particles, but it nourishes the thyroid, helping to boost our metabolism and shed any un-wanted fat that might be stored on our body. I enjoy making nori wraps with avocado, red pepper, sunflower sprouts and shredded cucumber. I also like to sprinkle dulse on my salads for an added nutrient boost!
Cucumbers are one of my top detox foods! They are rich in B vitamins and potassium (electrolytes) which help to nourish the nervous system and decrease the likelihood of developing headaches. They inhibit certain pathways in cancer cells that are required for their growth, and they help to rehydrate and remineralize the body. Moderately high in citrulline (watermelon is the highest), cucumber helps to filter the liver and kidneys, which improves their ability to get rid of toxins such as ammonia.
All leafy greens contain a significant amount of chlorophyll, especially those which possess dark hues like arugula, kale, collards, swiss chard, dandelion greens, spinach, and mustard greens. Chlorophyll helps to cleanse the body by neutralizing heavy metals, eliminating pesticides and herbicides from deep within our tissues, and stimulating bile production which encourages proper liver detox. Juice your greens, or eat them in beautiful salads – any way you please, you will surely benefit.