When you hear the word "detox," you might be inclined to head out and buy some fancy product, but there’s no need to do that when you likely already have common detox foods and ingredients right in your own kitchen. First and foremost, to detox in a healthy way you need to cut out the sugar, excess salts, refined grains, and unhealthy fats. Those foods don’t do you any good whether you’re detoxing or not. The point of detoxing is to give your body a break and to nourish it - not to starve it. Use some of my favorite common detox ingredients that can be found in any healthy kitchen and implement more of these in your meals and daily routine. This will help you cleanse the right way, not the harmful way, and don’t worry - there’s no fancy pills or concoctions you have to drink either!
1. Leafy Greens
Spinach, romaine, kale, chard, and even leaf lettuce are some of the best common detox ingredients you can eat of all. You can either cook with them, juice with them, blend them, or use them as a base for salads. Leafy greens pull toxins out of the blood, eliminate them through digestion, and also nourish the thyroid, liver, kidneys, immune system, and the endocrine system in the process.
Almost everyone I know keeps onions around, even if they’re not the healthiest eater. Onions are inexpensive and also happen to be an excellent detox agent. They’re part of the allicin family of plants, along with garlic, which means they’re high in sulfur - a top detox ingredient for your liver and blood. Have them cooked or raw, at least once or twice a day.
Just like onions, garlic is incredibly detoxifying to the body, with a special emphasis on how it affects the immune system and fights off pathogenic bacteria. We accumulate toxins from the environment, a poor diet, stress, and prescription drugs. Once we remove those things from the diet, foods like garlic can help bring our bodies back into balance. Have the real cloves when possible, which are higher in nutrients than garlic powder.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, unlike distilled (white) vinegar, is one of the most nourishing liquids you can put in your body. It’s rich in electrolytes, is especially cleansing to the body and blood, and it can help clear wastes from the digestive tract. Always choose the raw, organic, unfiltered variety such as Bragg’s brand, which contains all the important nutrients. Add it to salads or dilute it in a little water with lemon juice and drink it straight.
Fresh parsley is better than dried but both are excellent diuretics. Diuretic foods help flush the liver and kidneys, along with beat bloat to keep you feeling comfortable and slim. They also help to flush out excess fats in the blood. Parsley is also higher in chlorophyll than most common vegetables so it’s wonderful for keeping your blood alkaline and healthy.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is touted for its weight loss abilities but it's also amazing at helping your digestion due to its high chlorophyll content. Best of all, it keeps stress at bay due to high amounts of L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes a sense of calm. Drink a couple cups a day or just add the leaves to a smoothie.
Lemons are acidic in nature but once consumed, they actually alkalize the blood and promote cleansing and detoxification. Squeeze them in water, tea, smoothies, on salads, or however else you like. I also use them in homemade dressings, which is another delicious option.
I bet most all of you have this spice in your cabinet, right? Cinnamon is helpful for detoxification of the digestive tract and the liver and blood. It also lowers insulin in the blood and promotes a sense of fullness quicker. Sprinkle it on your foods and use it in some of your beverages whenever you can.
Ginger root and spice is one of my personal favorite ways to warm up my body and nourish my digestive tract. Ginger is rich in nutrients known as gingerols, which help relieve nausea, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. They also help fire up the metabolism, just by consuming them. Try using fresh ginger slices into your water or tea, or experiment with the dried powder in tea, baked goods, smoothies, and the like.
Detoxing isn’t about starving your body of nutrients but instead eating in a way that naturally cleanses your blood, cells, and your digestive tract without harming you in the process. You should still eat regular meals and stay away from processed foods. Do you eat any of these detox ingredients or have them all in your own kitchen?