I’ve been talking a lot about detoxing lately. According to Chinese medicine spring is the best time of the year to detox your body and help your liver get rid of toxins so you can have a healthy summer and, fall and winter.
During this time of year, many people’s bodies are craving a cleanse so the body can function at it’s highest level. If you were eating not-so-healthy through the winter, then your body is ready for a reboot.
Lucky for us, the spring season gives us many mineral-rich vegetables to help us detox naturally. Most of these foods are high in water, fiber and easy to digest among other properties. And the best part is these foods are plentiful and readily available in your farmer’s market or grocery store.
Here is a list of great spring detox foods to assist your little liver in all the work it does (Trivia question: did you know your liver performs over 500 functions? Yep, and this is why eating the following foods will help your precious liver detox your body).
DETOX FOOD #1: CITRUS
Citrus like oranges. Lemons, limes and grapefruit are well known for their alkalizing effects on the body. These foods assist in cleansing through their powerful antioxidants and high concentration of vitamin C, which is needed to make an essential antioxidant that aids in optimal liver function.
In perfect harmony with our bodies and the season, it’s simple to fit these foods into your day in many ways. I like to squeeze citrus in to my water in the morning and throughout the day, having grapefruit with breakfast or lunch and squeeze citrus juice on your salads for an alkalizing punch and a delicious pop of flavor.
DETOX FOOD #2: DANDELION
Dandelions, the weed and flower that grow in the yard? Yes, my dear. Perhaps you have not heard that those flowers in your yard actually have health benefits, but indeed, they do.
The roots and leaves of dandelions have powerful detoxifying properties to cleanse the liver. These roots also take hold of your digestive tract by stimulating juices to help digest fats. Get your dandelions earliest in the spring as you can when they have the best flavor; they tend to turn bitter during the summer.
You can even make it easier by purchasing dandelion tea at your local health food store or using dandelion leaves in your next green smoothie.
DETOX FOOD #3: BEETS
With the liver being the primary detoxification organ, it relies heavily on foods that have amazing cleansing and restoring properties. And beets are the perfect fit for the job and tasty!
Beets contain important bioactive agents that work to protect the liver by increasing enzymatic antioxidants. They also have high levels of Vitamin C and a slew of other beneficial nutrients and minerals.
Slice up some pickled beets for your salad, roast chopped beets drizzled with olive oil and fresh herbs, or, my personal favorite -- juice them into your fresh green juices.
Warning: Your pee and poop might be pinkish to red the following day.
DETOX FOOD #4: CRUCIFERIOUS VEGGIES
Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are high in fiber which helps stimulate the natural process of elimination. Healthy elimination is a crucial part of the cleansing process -- the toxins building up in your body must regularly be released. Cruciferous vegetables also help detox by boosting liver detoxifying enzymes.
Other cruciferous vegetables include Brussels sprouts (my fav), kale, bok choy, collard greens and arugula, to name a few. Although these foods are more for fall and winter, they can still be found in grocery stores year round (a rule of thumb is to always shop at your farmers market to know what is in season right now).
You have plenty to choose from, so it should be quite simple to find at least one that you enjoy and start adding it to your plate more often.
DETOX FOOD #5: CELERY
Celery is chock full of minerals like magnesium, potassium, sodium and iron, which are alkalizing and neutralizing to acidic foods. Celery also has a high fiber content, which can further assist with cleansing and healthy elimination.
Celery's another very simple food to find a place for on your plate. I love to juice my celery as well as eat it raw dipped in hummus or guacamole, chopped up on a salad, or in my favorite soup.
These are just a few of the foods that you can add to your daily meals to enjoy the detoxifying benefits. Including a few (or all of them) in your meals and drinks is sure to help you cleanse your body this spring.
Remember; as you add these 5 detox foods into your daily diet, let go of processed foods, sugar and caffeine to not cause any extra stress on your liver. It’s also a great time to go vegan for a 21 days or a month in order for deep cleansing of your body.