It’s time for some Spring cleaning! These naturally detoxifying foods clean from the inside out.
The magic of spring (cleaning)
Have you ever noticed how after a long winter indoors, the simple act of opening the doors and windows feels like a total life changing event? Even if you don’t dive deep into any serious cleaning and decluttering just replacing the old, stale air with a fresh breeze feels so healthy and changes your mood almost instantly.
That’s exactly how we feel about these naturally detoxifying foods.
After months of breathing poor-quality indoor air, getting too little sunlight and not enough exercise you may be feeling like it’s time for a ‘detox’. We get it, we feel that way too when spring rolls around. Thankfully you don’t have to undergo a green juice cleanse or live on sprouts and herbal tea for a week to ‘detox’ (which we’d liken to a serious cleaning or decluttering) in order to feel lighter and have more energy. Simply adding more of these naturally detoxifying foods to your diet everyday can support your livers ability to flush toxins from your body, improve your digestion and help stabilize blood sugars and crush cravings.
Show your liver some love with these 15 foods
We’ve selected these foods for their naturally detoxifying properties and for their ability to add flavor and nutrients to your everyday meals and snacks.
- Lemons: Lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C, aid digestion and encourage the production of bile, help maintain normal pH levels in the body and help flush toxins from the body. Adding freshly squeezed lemon to your water or using it with olive oil to dress a salad is an easy way to get more lemon into your life.
- Greens: Leafy greens are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They’re also a great source of fiber which keeps you fuller longer and helps balance blood sugars. Bitter greens such as arugula, endive, broccoli rabe, dandelion greens, escarole, frisée, kale, mizuna, mustard greens, nettles, radicchio, tatsoi, turnip greens and watercress are especially detoxifying in that they stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and bile which means you’ll digest and absorb more of the nutrients in your meal.
- Beets: Beets are a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants and essential minerals like potassium and manganese and they’re rich in folate which supports energy metabolism and detoxification. Try them roasted or raw shredded on a salad or blended in a smoothie.
- Carrots: The beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium in carrots support the immune system and heart health, aid digestion, improve oral health, support detoxification and improve the health of your skin. Carrots are great for snacking on the go and adding a little sweetness to your morning smoothie.
- Avocados: Avocados are a superfood in our book thanks to their high fiber content and vitamins C and K, potassium and folate. They’re also an excellent source of heart-healthy fats that have been shown to lower inflammation in the body and being high in fat, they’re also great for stabilizing blood sugars and crushing cravings for sweets and carbs. Top a salad with slices of avocado, blend them into a smoothie or mash them with a fork along with some of your favorite hot sauce to make a gucamole-inspired dip for fresh vegetables.
- Asparagus: Asparagus is a great source of glutathione, a compound that is essential for detoxification and it’s also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that supports optimal blood sugar regulation. Steamed, roasted or grilled – you can’t go wrong with fresh asparagus and a little EVOO and sea salt.
- Ginger: Ginger root has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and supports digestion by increasing the speed at which food empties from the stomach into the intestines (thus decreasing the incidence and severity of heartburn). Add freshly grated ginger to a stir-fry, blend it in a smoothie or make a morning tonic with lemon juice, ginger and hot water to rev up your metabolism and start your digestive juices flowing.
- Green Apples: Green apples are lower in sugar than sweeter red varieties which, combined with their soluble fiber, helps balance blood sugar levels while adding a touch of sweetness and crunch to smoothies and salads. Spread slices of green apple with your favorite nut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon for an afternoon pick-me-up or late-night snack alternative to ice cream or cookies.
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers are very high in water and fiber which not only helps keep you hydrated but also improves digestion. They are also a good source of vitamins C and K, potassium and B vitamins and they help “cool” inflammation in the body. Top sliced cucumbers with tuna or egg salad or add them to your favorite green smoothies.
- Cilantro: Cilantro is a good source of vitamin K which supports blood clotting and bone health. Cilantro naturally binds the heavy metals stored in fat cells that are released during the detoxification process when body fat stores are used for energy. Add a handful of fresh cilantro to Mexican and Asian dishes for a hit of color and freshness or blend into a green smoothie or pesto.
- Parsley: Parsley is a natural diuretic that supports the kidney’s ability to increase urine production and flush excess fluid from the body. It’s also a great source of vitamins C, K, A and B12, which support the immune system and bone health and it reduces inflammation in the body. Plus it’s a great way to freshen your breath when you chew a few sprigs after a meal. Add chopped fresh parsley to your next salad for a bright peppery twist or add to smoothies and soup.
- Turmeric: Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and supports the immune system in its ability to fight infection and repair cellular damage. It’s also high in antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative damage caused by environmental pollutants (and those in our food and water, too). Curcumin is also known to have pain relieving properties on par with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Uplevel your lunch with this Curry Chicken Salad, Coconut Red Curry Soup or Curry Cauliflower Hummus and add a few thin slices to your morning tonic or smoothie for an exotic and earthy twist.
- Collagen Hydrolysate: Collagen is important for skin and bone health and also provides amino acids which are important for gut healing (and optimal gut health) and detoxification. Read more about why we love collagen here. Add a scoop of collagen to coffee, tea, soups and smoothies for a boost of the amino acids glycine and proline, which support the detoxification process.
- Garlic: Sulfurous compounds in garlic help detoxify heavy metals in the body and when taken in high (supplemental doses) it helps fight infection, lower blood pressure and support healthy cholesterol levels. Add garlic to salad dressings, pesto and roasted vegetables for health and flavor.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is high in antioxidants that protect cells from oxidative damage, has strong anti-inflammatory properties, can help fight infection and has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity thus promoting more stable blood sugar levels after meals. Sprinkle cinnamon into your morning coffee or over fresh fruit to enhance it’s natural sweetness.
Supercharge your inner spring cleaning
To fully reap the benefits of these 15 naturally detoxifying foods you’ll want to put the breaks on some of the foods that increase the burden on your liver. These include gluten, dairy, soy, alcohol and sugar (sugar in all forms – natural or refined).
The thought of cutting back on bread, pasta, cheese, milky lattes and that afternoon chocolate treat may be hard to wrap your brain around at first but when you add more vegetables and other naturally detoxifying foods into your diet they tend to crowd out the other stuff (just like opening the windows and letting that fresh breeze roll in).
However, if you’re ready for a big spring cleaning and ready to lose the bloat, have more energy and better digestion while shedding some unwanted pounds and habits and eating satisfying, real food meals and snacks then we have just what you need.
The 14-day Seasonal Real Food Reboot: Spring cleaning for your body and mind
Our step-by-step plan will help you reboot your health without deprivation. By eating delicious, seasonal real foods and focusing on simple self-care activities in just 14-days, you can:
- Gain energy
- Jumpstart weight loss
- Banish the bloat
- Increase mental clarity
- Improve your gut health
- Have clearer skin
- Curb sugar cravings
- Improve your relationship with food
- Find balance with food
- Sleep more soundly
- Simply feel better
Now available as a full-color, print-ready, 93-page eBook/digital download (PDF) or hardcopy.
What’s your favorite way to start fresh and new each spring? Is it house-cleaning or eating clean? Share in the comments below and let’s start some conversation.
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