The New Year always bring with it an innate desire for change, the perfect time to shed old habits and adopt new ones, such as the inevitable New Year’s detox diet, which seems to go hand in hand with New Year’s resolutions – although I’m more of a fan of New Year Affirmations as opposed to often unattainable resolutions!). It is so important for us to detox our bodies from toxins on a regular basis, and the holiday season is no exception. Toxins rob us of energy, deplete our immune systems, promote inflammation in the body, and can increase the risk of serious diseases.
If you’ve gone a little overboard this holiday season and you’re feeling the urge to eat clean, look no further than your local grocer’s produce aisle! Give your digestion a kick-start and rid your system of toxins with these Top 10 Detox Foods.
By now most of us have probably heard that drinking warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning works wonders for our bodies. Lemons help stimulate digestive function, cleanse the liver, and eliminate toxins from the body. In addition, the vitamin C found in lemons acts as a natural antioxidant and helps detox the body and burn fat. The beauty of lemons is that they’re incredibly versatile in recipes, which makes it easy to add them to just about any meal, from homemade salad dressings to smoothies, curries, baked goods, and more. Try this Salmon Quinoa Salad with Lemon Caper Vinaigrette.
This unique fruit is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, anti-inflammatory properties, fiber and antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation in the body. The soluble fiber found in avocados is known to increase friendly gut bacteria in the intestine, which helps with our body functions. Try this recipe for homemade Guacamole
Dark Leafy Greens
Green veggies such as kale, Swiss chard, cabbage, and dandelion leaves are the essential building blocks of any healthy diet. They contain chlorophyll which rids the body of environmental toxins, heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides, and not to mention makes your skin glow! There are so many ways to get leafy greens into your diet — eat them raw, add to soups, juices or smoothies, or sauté them with a touch of olive oil. Try these Kale & Black Beans Stewed in Tomato Sauce.
The benefits of ginger are endless. This pungent root is packed with so many powerful compounds and boasts an array of medicinal properties. It helps cleanse the body by stimulating digestion and circulation, and helps rid the body of built-up waste and toxins in the colon, liver, and other organs. Add ginger to smoothies, eat it raw in salads, or add it to stir-fry recipes or rice bowls. Try this Ginger Turmeric Fried Rice Bowl.
An apple a day really could really keep the doctor away! Pectin in apples helps remove heavy metals and food additives from the body by stimulating bile production, which the liver uses to release toxins. Apples also contain many other detoxifying components like fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that provide nutrition and keep our systems working efficiently. Try this Apple Date Compote.
This celery-like winter vegetable has a delicious anise-like flavour and is high in fiber, vitamin C and Potassium. It is a potent blood cleanser and helps purify and detox the liver. Adding fennel to your diet can help balance the pH level within your body, especially within your stomach, and can reduce reflux after meals. Fennel has a delicious anise-like flavour and be eaten raw in salads, sautéed until caramelized, or added to detox teas.
Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to treat a number of conditions. Curcumin, its main active ingredient has powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial effects. It is known to help fight chronic inflammation, stimulates blood flow and detoxifies the blood, relieves gas, works wonders for the skin, and its phytonutrients contribute to elevating mood – just to name a few. Add turmeric to stir fry recipes and rice bowls, vegetables, soups and stews, granola, and even smoothies. Try this Golden Milk Turmeric Smoothie.
Grapefruit is high in vitamin C and the nutrients found in grapefruits increase the natural cleansing processes of the liver by boosting the production of liver detoxifying enzymes. They are packed with a variety of nutrients and vitamins, including potassium and lycopene and contain certain phytonutrients that are said to inhibit tumor formation. Add grapefruit to spritzers, roast, add to salad, or enjoy on its own with some mint and a drizzle of honey.
Beets have a wide range of health benefits because of their nutritional content, including vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds like carotenoids, dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and iron. They help reduce cholesterol and they help stimulate liver the functions of the liver and keep it healthy. Beets can be added as an ingredient in soups or salads, baked goods, and act as a natural food colouring.
Artichokes are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and a rich source of vitamins and minerals. They contain antioxidants that are shown to improve liver function by reducing the presence of toxins and facilitating their elimination from the liver and the body. They are also high in fiber which we knows helps stimulates healthy digestion. Add artichokes to soups and stews, risottos, roast until caramelized, use in dips and spreads, or eat raw sliced thinly with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon.
Honourable Mention: Green Tea
There are major perks associated with drinking green tea every day. This uber-healthy tea, is considered by many to be the ultimate “anti-aging beverage.” It is said to increase liver function, reduce inflammation and high cholesterol, improve memory and bone density, and is a great source of antioxidants.