There are all kinds of intense detoxification protocols out there that can help cleanse the colon, blood, liver, and other bodily organs and systems of toxic materials. But sometimes the easiest and most effective way to keep your body maintained and in check is to simply incorporate more cleansing foods into your everyday diet. Here are six “power” foods with known detox benefits that may help you and your family steer clear of chronic pain, disease, and other toxin-induced health conditions:
1) Garlic. This simple bulb is prized in the culinary world for its pungent and robust flavor, but it is also one of the most powerful detox foods you can eat. Most notably, garlic supports the healthy production of digestive enzymes in the liver, and is a key component in the body’s manufacturing of glutathione, a nutrient that Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., refers to as “the mother of all antioxidants.” Garlic also aids in the production of various sulfur compounds and bio-active selenium, two more nutrients that are critical in the detoxification process.
Garlic is also one of the most effective, broad-spectrum antimicrobial foods known to man, possessing 39 unique anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, and antiviral agents, according to Dr. Mark McClure, D.D.S. Regularly eating fresh or encapsulated garlic can help remediate the damage caused by poor diet, environmental pollution, food toxins, pharmaceutical drugs, stress, radiation, aging, and other sources of toxic inputs.
2) Leafy greens. This “superfood” category shows up often on lists of health-promoting foods, and for good reason. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, alfalfa, wheatgrass, and chard are loaded with chlorophyll, a powerful cleansing nutrient that is sometimes referred to as “nature’s green magic.” The lifeblood of the green plant world, chlorophyll is a natural blood-builder and cleansing agent, and is known to help scrub clean cell structures throughout the body and promote new cell life. Chlorophyll also halts the growth and development of toxic bacteria inside the body, and is generally known to counteract toxins.
3) Citrus fruits. Starting your day off right with fresh-squeezed lemons, limes, oranges, or grapefruit — or all of the above — is another effective way to regularly detoxify your body. Besides priming the digestive tract for food and spurring the production of digestive enzymes, citrus fruits are also particularly rich in vitamin C, which is recognized as one of the most powerful detoxifying vitamins in the natural world.
According to the Vitamin C Foundation, vitamin C taken in therapeutic doses can help counteract the toxic damage caused by non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other pharmaceuticals in the liver. Vitamin C also helps rid the body of mercury, cadmium, and other heavy metals, as well as aluminum and other toxins.
4) Raw vegetables. Broccoli, onions, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, artichokes, carrots, cauliflower, turmeric, and oregano — these and many other vegetables and herbs work synergistically with one another to cleanse the body and prevent a buildup of toxins. Like garlic, each of these foods is rich in naturally-occurring sulfur compounds, which the liver needs to effectively eliminate toxins and promote cell growth, as well as detoxifying glutathione.
Since eating large quantities of raw vegetables every day may be difficult for some people, juicing them is one great way to maintain a high input. With the more spicy and flavorful vegetables like onions and oregano, adding more of these to salads and other fresh foods is a great way to boost intake.
5) Chia, hemp seeds. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, both chia and hemp seeds are excellent intestinal cleansers. According to Dr. Edward Group III from the Global Healing Center, omega-3 rich seeds and oils in general help lubricate the intestinal walls and draw out toxins in order to eliminate them from the body. Chia seeds are particularly effective in this regard, as they swell and form a gel-like coating when soaked, which elicits a powerful detoxification effect in the gut.
6) Sea vegetables, algae. Recognized for their powerful alkalizing effect on the body, sea vegetables, seaweeds, and certain sea algae varieties like spirulina and chlorella are also amazing detoxifiers, as they literally suck up toxins in the digestive tract like a vacuum, and expunge them from the body. Sea vegetables and algae are also rich in trace minerals and other nutrients, which fortify the body’s own natural detoxifying systems. Just be sure when sourcing sea vegetables and algae to choose suppliers that have not been affected by the Fukushima disaster in Japan, and that regularly test their products for harmful radiation.