4 min|Rhiannon Lockhart
Nature's Detox Allies: 7 Foods for a Naturally Cleansed BodyWellness, Nutrition, Health
Your body is a detoxification machine
Literally, your organs were built for this stuff! However, our environment inundates us with toxins on the daily - from the plastic in most of our packaging to the chemicals in household cleaners. This is why it is important for us to add foods that naturally support detoxification!
But why does proper detoxification even matter?
You might not realize it, but proper elimination of toxins does more than just keep us free of major illnesses. It plays a role in how we feel each and every day. Here are just a few things you can expect when you start supporting your detox pathways:
- More energy and better overall mood
- Better focus and mental clarity
- Higher libido
- Decreased PMS/menopause symptoms (for women)
- Possible weight loss
- Decreased bloating and better bathroom habits
- Higher immune function
Now that you know why it's important, getting there is the next step. Really, it's quite simple. Along with the foods below, it's important to limit processed foods such as frozen meals, deep-fried foods and packaged foods.
Here are 7 foods to eat to naturally support detoxification!
Leafy greens should be your number one go-to, and the easiest to add to your routine is spinach! There isn't a whole lot I wouldn't add this powerhouse too - from smoothies to pasta sauces, it really is a wonder vegetable. Spinach and other leafy greens contain something called chlorophyll, which helps to remove toxins from the body and acts as an antioxidant to help reduce the effects of free-radical damage.If you have young children at home who scoff at most veggies, then simply add this to a green "monster" smoothie, with some frozen bananas for a sweet treat!
Bitter greens are key to supporting our liver's detoxification abilities (you can read more about the reasons here). Dandelion is an amazing bitter and leafy green vegetable that you can eat whole, purchase as a tincture, or drink as a tea. I will admit, if you're not a fan of bitter foods to start with, eating dandelion can seem a little daunting. Try it with lots of citrus and garlic, or go with a tincture (check-out our dispensary to purchase some!) or a tea.
Cauliflower's versatility makes this another easy liver-supportive food to add to your diet. Most cruciferous vegetables also fit in this list - think Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens. This is because cauliflower (and other cruciferous vegetables) contain sulphur compounds. Yes, these compounds give cruciferous vegetables their signature smell, but they also help to support our liver in its daily activities.If you need a few fresh ways to try out cauliflower, check out this blog post.
Beets contains a group of phytonutrients called betalains, which our livers love! Eating the whole beet, lightly steamed, also means you get extra fibre. Be sure to eat the skin as well, just give it a good wash.
Garlic is high in allicin as well as selenium. Both are excellent at supporting the detox of your liver. Plus, garlic is also exhibits both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, meaning it can also be supportive if you're dealing with infection or gut dysbiosis.
6. Wild-caught salmon
You may have heard the word "inflammation" thrown around a lot in the last year. I promise it's not simply a buzzword. While inflammation does have its place (think acute inflammation like healing injuries and getting over illness), chronic inflammation can cause more long-term, negative effects. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in wild-caught fatty fish like salmon, can reduce inflammation, support our brain health and aid in detoxification
7. Purchase organic when possible
Okay, so I know this isn't actually a food or even a food group for that matter, but it's an important point to make. There are certain things we can't actually control, like fumes from cars, or getting stuck walking behind the person smoking a cigarette. This is why making choices, like eating organic when we can, is extremely important to reduce the overall toxic load on your liver. In particular, the sprays that are used on most conventional produce can be toxic to our livers, and impact our hormone health. At least aim to purchase the Dirty Dozen as organic.
Do you want learn more about how to eat to naturally support detoxification and feel your best? Chat with our Registered Holistic Nutritionist.
Rhiannon is the Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Integrative. She has a passion for making healthy eating easy, accessible and fun, loves getting outside, and enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe!