14 foods for optimal detoxification

Once thought to be a fad – now with more scientific enlightenment than ever before, people are embracing a regular detox plan as a form of health insurance.

What you need are powerful detoxifiers using foods that love your liver and boost metabolism. I’m sharing with you my 14 top foods that will teach you how to get the ultimate detox glow.

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1. Lemons

Let’s begin with lemons. Its juice is a great all rounder for alkalising the blood and detoxifying the liver.

Drinking a glass of lemon juice with water first thing in the morning, before breakfast, can act as a digestive aid.

It also provides many nutrients, particularly Ascorbic Acid or vitamin C, which boosts immunity and collagen.

The youthful stuff that puts the bounce back into skin – making it anti-ageing.

The lemon rind contains D-limonene, a compound found in all citrus fruits and sometimes referred to as ‘terpines’, which is liver supportive and has also been studied for its fat busting properties. In fact, some scientific revelations suggest that D-limonene can help dissolve cholesterol gallstones!

2. Grapefruit 

Another member of the citrus family is grapefruit. It supports phase two of your liver detoxification processes and is especially high in a plant chemical called Naringenin.

Naringenin is so powerful that it can clear drugs out of the system before it has had the chance to exert its full effects, either resulting in toxicity or by reducing drug potency.

If you are taking any prescribed meds or over the counter drugs then it is best to avoid grapefruit

On the other hand, if you are not, then you can reap maximum benefit from grapefruit by adding this lively drink to your daily diet.

Because of its role in improving insulin sensitivity, it can also promote healthy, natural weight loss, as insulin sensitivity also affects metabolism and body fat storage.

3. Cucumber

detox plan_2Cucumber is a another great addition to include, as not only is it hydrating due to its high water content (essential  in any detox regime), but it also provides you with naturally occurring vitamin K, B vitamins, minerals and fibre.

A great way to enjoy this vegetable is by making a green juice or a detox water punch: you simply fill a jug with water (filtered), sliced lemons, a little ginger and plenty of sliced cucumber, and leave overnight to infuse.

The result is great tasting, thirst quenching water.

4. Probiotic kombucha

There is a plethora of scientific evidence on the many benefits of probiotics, so it’s no wonder it’s all the rage nowadays. By nature probiotics help to detoxify foods, toxins, or what we call ‘metabolic by-products’.

They help to nourish the digestive tract, improve digestion, keep us regular, support healthy skin, boost immunity and much more.

Kombucha in particular is a probiotic drink which has in recent times become a popular choice amongst the healthy conscious, despite its traditional roots.

You can buy it from most health food stores or brew it at home.

Amazingly, they actually taste pretty good too and the kids can also enjoy them in place of lemonade, for instance – kombucha can become fizzy and adopts the natural fruit juice you add to feed the bacteria.

This is what I call clever food science.

5. Dandelion Tea

Dandelion is more than just a weed.

In fact, the whole of the dandelion plant can be used to expel unwanted toxins and excess fluid out of the body, whilst also providing health promoting antioxidants.

The root can support liver detoxification, the leaves act as a kidney tonic due to its diuretic effect, and the flowers are brimming with antioxidants.

With the absence of any strong flavours, dandelion can be consumed in many ways.

detox plan_3The leaves can be thrown into salads, and the rest can be boiled in water to make a tea, or cooled down and drunk later.

Alternatively, organic dandelion tea is also widely available.

If the idea of consuming weeds makes you squeamish, just remind yourself that rocket salad also came from similar humble beginnings.

6. Queen Chlorella

Chlorella is by far the most scientifically studied of all the blue-green algae for its many health benefits.

Rich in chlorophyll, it can help to boost oxygen levels in the cells.

Specifically studied for its detoxifying effects on heavy metals (HM), chlorella is very relevant here, as most of us are exposed to heavy metals on a daily basis. Often from sources that may appear to look innocent, e.g. from vaccinations, to typical cook-ware, dental amalgams to your tuna steaks.

Some studies have suggested that high HM toxicity in the body can be a driver for obesity – as most heavy metals are fat soluble toxins and are therefore stored in the fatty tissue (as well as the bone matrix).

In such cases the body is thought to hold onto fat harder as a form of self-protection. The good news is that chlorella is available in tablet or powder form which helps mask its somewhat strong flavour, the latter of which can be added to smoothies.

7. Broccoli and its Brassica Counterparts

Broccoli is a super food containing a multitude of benefits. It provides sulforaphane compound which not only supports the liver, but has also been studied and shown to help prevent many types of cancers,  boost immunity, lower inflammation and prevent arterial decline – just to name a few.

Broccoli is also a member of the brassica family which includes cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts, all of which contain indole-3 carbinol or IC3.

This is particularly helpful in detoxifying excess hormones, chemicals and many types of toxins. One of the negatives of excess oestrogen is its role in promoting weight gain and increasing risk of cancers.

Fat cells on the other hand promote oestrogen production in the body, thereby creating a self-perpetuating cycle of hormone imbalance and weight gain, but having the brassicas on board will certainly help keep this in check.

To learn more about detoxing and the science behind it, follow part 2 tomorrow.

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