Lemons are the go-to fruit for those looking to detox. Full of the vitamin C, this antioxidant is great for fighting free-radicals which can have a negative impact on the body. Additionally, lemons have an alkaline effect, helping restore the body's pH balance, thus improving the immune system. A slice of lemon in hot water is a simple way to start your detox.
Ginger is great if you’ve been overdoing it on junk food or booze. Aside from settling your stomach, ginger can aid digestion, and reduce bloating and gas. It is also contains a large number of antioxidants and provides a good boost to immunity. Try a ginger tea or grate some ginger in fruit juice or vegetable juice, especially if you are struggling with a hangover.
Garlic, despite its strong sometimes off-putting odour, is great for a detox. Having antiviral, antibacterial and antibiotic properties, garlic also contains allicin which aids white blood cell production which can help protect the body against infections. For maximum benefit, garlic is best consumed raw, so try adding crushed garlic to a dressing for a salad.
Another food great for you if you’ve been overindulging is artichokes. They are full of antioxidants plus fibre and can help with the digestion of fatty foods as well as stimulating liver function. A good way of consuming artichokes and kick-starting the body’s detox is to add some steamed artichoke leaves to your meals with something like chicken, fish or seafood.
Beetroot massively supports liver detoxification, making it an great detox food. It is also provides a great shot of nutrients in one hit as it is full of magnesium, iron, and vitamin C. Also, great for skin, hair, cholesterol levels, and even athletic performance levels, it is no surprise it is referred to as a superfood. To enjoy the benefits of beetroot add some to a salads or drink some beetroot juice.
While not strictly a food, green tea contains active ingredients which help support detox and provide additional health benefits. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and can help rid the body of toxins. It has been found to boost the performance of the liver and can protect the liver from diseases. To get the max from green tea drinking, brew it from loose leaves, as this will allow more antioxidants to be released.
Cabbage is a great detox food. Like many cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, kale, cabbage contains sulforaphane, a chemical which aids the body in the fight against toxins. Cabbage also contains glutathione; an antioxidant that helps promote the live function. An alternative way of including cabbage in your diet, if you are not particularly keen on having it on your plate, is to consume it in liquid form, either as cabbage water or a fermented cabbage juice.
Fresh fruits are fibre rich and can play a key role in a detox diet. Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants they can help improve digestion as well as your appearance (including skin and hair). Include in your diet a wide variety of fruit, but especially some of the acid fruits such as grapefruit, pineapples, oranges, and even tomatoes as these are all especially detoxifying. It is easy to include fruit in your diet; you could start your day with fruit smoothie and then snack on fruit when hunger strikes throughout your day.
Reducing your intake of processed foods is a way to kick-start a detox and a healthier option like brown rice fits the bill perfectly. As a whole grain, brown rice is a natural source of vitamins (including B Vitamins, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and iron) as well as essential fatty acids. It is also high in fibre which plays a vital role in colon cleansing. Brown rice is also selenium-rich, which helps protect the liver and can improve the complexion. Substitute white rice for brown rice and reap the health benefits.
Watercress, perhaps surprisingly, is considered to be one of the healthiest food around and a great detox food. Containing antioxidants and several detoxifying nutrients, including B vitamins, zinc, potassium, watercress also has diuretic properties, which helps to flush out toxins. To demonstrate the potential health benefits of watercress, researchers looked at over 40 different fruit and vegetables for their levels of important nutrients for health, and it was watercress that came out top. A clinical trial also showed that watercress extract can help to eliminate cancer-causing chemicals from the body of a smoker. To reap the potential benefits of watercress, use it as an add-on to a salad, soup or sandwich.