Now that January is here and the holidays are over many of you are feeling the need to get back on track and recover from the season that sometimes leads to overindulging. Just like “diets” I am also not a fan of “resolutions”-they just set you up for failure with the “all or nothing” approach. Instead you should start by turning your health choices into daily habits, just like brushing your teeth before going to bed. But whatever it is you are struggling with, like not getting to the gym, eating too many snacks, or drinking too much alcohol , it’s time to change the habits leading to your derailment. A good way to start the New Year and establish better habits would be a detox eating plan that is rich in nutrients.
I believe firmly that detoxification is critical for optimal health. When asked how I feel about cleansing my response is that cleansing should be a choice based on an individual’s biochemical needs. Most people do not do well on straight liquid diets, even if they are for a short amount of time. And because it can be dangerous if done improperly, these regimes should only be done under the guidance of a qualified health-care provider. I much prefer to recommend that you ramp-up your diet with nutrient dense foods while at the same time eliminating or reducing wheat, sugar, and dairy for a stretch of time to naturally cleanse your body and aid your detoxifying organs. The gallbladder and liver are two of these organs responsible for breaking down and removing toxins, and there are many super foods that aid them in cleansing the body.
Below are my top detoxifying foods. ( There are many more that are not listed.)
Beets: Full of vitamins B3, B6, C and beta-carotene. Also a valuable source of iron, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. The high amount of fiber improves digestion and helps eliminate bodily waste.
Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts: Broccoli contains valuable phytonutrients that are released when chopped, chewed, cooked or fermented. These substances all have a specific effect of detoxification. Broccoli sprouts can be 20 times as powerful as regular broccoli. Both are easy and delicious additions to your daily salad.
Flaxseed: Ground flaxseed provides an excellent source of fiber that helps to bind and flush toxins from the intestinal tract. They are also a great source of health promoting omega 3 oils. Add1-2 tablespoons to your morning smoothie or mix with lemon and water to start your day.
Lemons: This super fruit stimulates the release of enzymes and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can easily be excreted from the body. It’s a no brainer to add lemon to your water. Start first thing in the morning to combat any acidic foods you may consume.
Garlic and Onions: Antiviral, antiseptic, and antibiotic. Need I say more? No detox plan should be without.
Turmeric: Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, which is why it is yellow. It has long been used to treat liver and digestive disorders. This is a super antioxidant that should not be forgotten when trying to detox.
Apples: Apples are great source of soluble fiber pectin, which can help detox metals and food additives from your body. It is always prudent to eat organic apples as they rank among the top 12 foods that contain the most pesticides.
Cabbage: High in vitamin C, vitamin K, B6, manganese, potassium and iron, along with loads of fiber. Cabbage also looses very little of its nutrients when cooked or fermented. Delicious in salad or soups- should be a staple all winter long.