best detox diet

Detoxing has become bit of a trend with all the different fasting formulas and super foods that are out there. Unfortunately, most of the popular “detoxes” really aren’t safe for you and aren’t healthy either. If you want to detox your body, did you know it can be as simple as eating the right foods? While upping your intake of fresh, plant-based foods is key, certain foods are better than others, providing vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber and nutrients that may support detoxification. Even if you aren’t on a detox, these foods may also help to reduce chronic inflammation in the body, seen as the root cause of many illnesses including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and many cancers. Here’s a list of best detox foods you can enjoy if you really want to cleanse your body.

Lemons, Oranges, and Limes

Citrus fruit aids the body by flushing out toxins and jump-starting the digestive tract with enzymatic processes. Lemon juice supports the liver in its cleansing processes. To increase detoxification, start each morning with a warm glass of lemon water.

Lemons and lemon juice are often mentioned when detoxing, and there’s even a few Lemon Detox Diets floating around out there. It’s simply a matter of adding lemon juice to water and drinking it. It’s supposed to flush toxins from your body. Some people add cayanne pepper and sweeten it with sugar, but sugar is not recommended if you’re trying to get a detoxifying effect from it.

It helps with your digestion and you can drink a cup of hot water with lemon added in order to prepare your digestive system for that day’s work.

Remember, vitamin C is one of the best detox vitamins around, as it transforms toxins into digestible material. Eat vitamin c foods often to help get more of these benefits.

Acai Berries

They might only be tiny, but acai berries are one of the most potent forms of antioxidants in the world – and powerful metabolism boosters. Antioxidants protect the body from the over-production of free radicals – chemicals which can cause damage to proteins, fats, carbohydrates and DNA in the body. Make the most of this amazing ‘super food’ and stock up. Most health food stores sell concentrated acai juices and tablets, just be sure to go for natural products that are free from artificial additives and sugars.

Goji Berries

Another berry you’d be wise to pay attention to. The husky red fruits, which can often be found in a dried form in health food shops, are like little bombs of vitamins, iron and beta carotene – a compound which has been linked to aiding the body fight cancer and heart disease. Pick up a bag as a healthy afternoon snack, or sprinkle a handful over your (preferably wholegrain) cereal in the morning for a serious antioxidant boost.

Avocados

Because of its fiber and antioxidant count this is a food that is making it onto more and more detox lists. At first many shied away from them because of they’re high in fat, but ever since the difference between good fats and bad fats become more commonly known, they are now getting the respect they deserve.

Don’t think that the guacamole you can add to your meal at a fast food restaurant for 50 cents more is going to do the detox trick. Opt for organic avocados and consume them without any other ingredients to get the full benefit of their healthy content.

Garlic

This pungent little bulb is one of the best detoxing foods out there. It helps stimulate the liver into producing detoxification enzymes that help filter toxic residues from the digestive system.

Many detox diets list garlic as a crucial piece of the puzzle. The reason is that garlic boosts up the immune system as well as helping out the liver. One good thing about garlic is that you can up your intake of it without having to worry if your body is going to get used to it or build up a resistance.

One other positive aspect is that it can help to add flavor to otherwise bland foods that you’ll be eating on your detox program. But if you don’t like the taste of garlic you can still get its benefits because it comes in supplement form.

Pomegranates

Also amazing at fighting off those pesky free radicals – and a lot easier to get hold of, we might add. Each jewel-toned seed contains high levels of antioxidants called ‘flavenoids’, as well as vitamins A, C and E, folic acid and iron, which supports the blood in transporting oxygen around the body. Because of these nutritional benefits, pomegranates are famed for improving skin quality. Can’t get hold of fresh ones? You can buy concentrated pomegranate juice from most health food stores.

Broccoli Sprouts

Extremely high in antioxidants, the ability for broccoli sprouts to stimulate the detoxification enzymes in the digestive tract is unparalleled. The sprouts are actually more effective than the fully-grown vegetable.

Green Tea

Packed full of antioxidants, green tea washes toxins from the system via its liquid content, but also contains a special type of antioxidant called catechins, which are known to increase liver function.

Green tea is often thought of as a great addition to any detox program because of its high antioxidant value. Antioxidants are helpful because they will help seek out and kill free radicals before they can do any damage. This is a great beverage to drink on a daily basis for this factor alone.

Getting into a healthy state of mind is a matter of feeling like you’re doing what’s best for your body. It can be something as simple as substituting green tea for colas, juices, and other teas so that you can actually be benefiting your body from a beverage instead of hurting it.

Beets

You may only see beets when you order a Greek salad, but you should make a bigger effort to include them into your regular menu, and definitely pick some up if you’re going on a detox diet. There are so many different benefits to them, it’s easy to see why they are often mentioned as a super food.

When you’re detoxing they will help by making sure that the toxins you’re getting out actually make it out of your body. Many detox cleanses go wrong when toxins are reintroduced to the body because they don’t make it all the way out. Beets also help with free-radicals, making them an anti-cancer aid.

Kale

Dr. Oz includes kale in his 48 Hour Weekend Cleanse and recommends blending it up in a shake. However you choose to get it into your body, the benefits are that it contains plenty of nutrients, and also acts as a way to help flush out the kidneys, a set of organs that must be cleansed on any good detox effort.

This vegetable is so good for you that it is often recommended to patients that are following a doctor recommended diet when fighting kidney disease. It’s packed with so many antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties as well, not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals it contains.

Broccoli

You’re probably sick of seeing broccoli show up all over the place whenever health food is mentioned. But that’s only because it packs a nutritional punch in a mini-tree shaped vegetable. Why does it belong on your detox food shopping list? It specifically works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into something your body can eliminate easily.

If you’re stuck for ways on how to make broccoli taste better try changing up the way you cook it, or consider eating it raw. But don’t microwave it or it won’t have the same detox properties.

Cabbage

Don’t let the fad Cabbage Soup Detox Diet throw you off course with this helpful vegetable. Like most things that go viral this diet has some truth to it, but you don’t have to go to extremes. Cabbage helps your liver with the byproduct being lower cholesterol, so there is more than one reason to include this cruciferous vegetable.

In addition to cleansing your liver cabbage will also aid in helping you go to the bathroom, which in turn helps you expel the toxins, getting them out of your system so you can start fresh.

Dandelions

Happy liver, healthy life is the motto here, and dandelion root can help you on your quest to a healthy liver that does its daily duties. This plant is considered a weed by most lawn enthusiasts, but it has several healing properties for the liver, and therefore should not be overlooked when it comes time for detox.

Dandelion has been used to treat liver problems dating back hundreds of years, but you don’t have to wait until your liver is in dire straights to get the benefits. Strengthening an already healthy liver will still yield plenty of good results and makes it worth looking into dandelion on your quest for a cleanse.

Like nettle, dandelion is often thought of as a liver tonic. It has diuretic properties, helping to cleanse the body of toxins and flush out excess fluids, and a powerful complex of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, D and D as well as zinc, iron and potassium – a mineral needed for proper kidney function. You can take dandelion root as a supplement, or as a tea. It is available relatively inexpensively at most health food shops.

Lemongrass

This is an herb that is used in Thailand and other parts of the world as a natural way to cleanse several organs at once. It not only helps the liver but also the kidneys, the bladder, and the entire digestive tract. Benefits of using it in your cooking, or drinking it as a tea include a better complexion, better circulation, and better digestion.

It is most often used as a tea in the world of detoxing, and there are several recipes you can try until you find one that suits your tastes best.

Ginger

This is one root whose medicinal value dates back to ancient Chinese civilizations, and one that is still believed to offer many health benefits. Often used in a tea or other drink, you can add it to the meals you make as well. It is thought to help the liver function, and has some astringent properties.

Some detox diets ask you to chew on ginger root. You may also find that adding it to hot water makes the water taste better. Basically any way you can think of it get it into your system is going to be beneficial, especially if you’re suffering from a fatty liver caused by too much alcohol, or too many toxic foods and drinks.

Grapefruit

The fiber and the nutrient-rich juices in a grapefruit pack a nice detox punch and can really get your body into action as far as detoxing goes. It’s all about flooding the body with good things for it while helping it dislodge the bad things. The effects of grapefruit on weight loss are well-established, and one reason may be because of the way it makes the liver burn up fat.

The big takeaway on grapefruit is that it gets your liver fired up and ready for action, while infusing the rest of your organs with nutrient-laden fruit juice. It’s a winner when it comes to detox foods.

Milk thistle

If there’s anything that takes a bit of a beating over the festive period, it’s our poor livers, which is why during a detox, the addition of milk thistle is often recommended. The liver provides several vital functions, including the removal of harmful toxins from the body. Milk thistle has been shown to have protecting and therapeutic benefits to the liver – it is even suggested that it can improve its function. The better able your liver is to cope with expelling toxins, the stronger your detox. Simple! You can find milk thistle in supplement and tea form in most health food shops.

Flaxseeds

Just two tablespoons of flaxseed is enough to provide you with over 100% of your daily allowance of omega 3 fatty acids; good fats which, rather than sticking to your waistline, support healthy cell development and promote a healthy heart. The seeds are also packed full of metabolising manganese (a trace mineral used for several vital bodily functions) and dietary fibre, which aids the body’s natural detoxification process by helping digestion. Grab a box from your local health food shop and get sprinkling!

Nettles

They might be a stingy nuisance at the bottom of your garden, but taken in a tea, capsule or soup, nettles are one of the most detoxifying dietary supplements out there. Not only are they packed full of antioxidants, but they also have an anti-inflammatory effect, calming skin complaints like eczema and acne, and aiding digestion. Meanwhile, their diuretic properties help to eliminate urea and other waste products from the body and prevent fluid retention. Did we mention that nettles are particularly high in iron, too? The easiest way to get your fix is to pick up a box of nettle tea from your local health food shop, though nettle soups and capsules are also available.

Water

Water makes up 70% of our bodies, helping not just to keep our brains hydrated and fully functional, but also to replenish water in the cells throughout your body.

Water is often overlooked but is so important for all of your organs, and for flushing toxins out of your body. If you’re exercising and taking saunas to help release the toxins it becomes even more important to stay hydrated.

If you’re not used to drinking water daily, be sure to only increase your intake by one cup at a time so you don’t overload yourself. Your kidneys won’t know what to do if they’re not used to getting water and then get a ton of it.

Keep in mind that not one single detox food on this list is a magical one that you can focus all of your attention on to fully cleanse the body. Consider increasing your intake on as many as you can reasonably accommodate. Some might be hard to incorporate, either because you can’t find them locally or you can’t picture yourself adding them to your diet. Just do the best you can to come up with a detox plan that works for you and that you feel good about.

Try to avoid fried foods during this detox period. Get in the habit of eating lots of baked fish, preferably organic. Instead of using butter, chose a healthier canola based or olive oil based product.

When you choose to eat fresh greens such as salads, avoid salad dressings and try using olive oil and a small amount of vinegar. Minimize adding salt to all of your foods.

Avoid processed cakes and cookies and other such flour-based products during your detox.

Most importantly before you start a detox process consult your physician. Plan your detox so that it is done at a convenient time. You don’t want to shock your body, so begin to make gradual changes once you have made up your mind that it is time to “clean house.” And by all means, ensure that you are properly hydrated during the process.

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