Top 5 Detox Foods

Top 5 Detox Foods

After the overindulgence of the holidays, the bloated, sluggish and tired feeling can be rid of as easily as throwing out the piles of used wrapping paper after the holidays.

The liver acts as our internal garbage system but does so much more. The liver:

  • filters blood
  • neutralizes harmful toxins both internal and external
  • breaks down hormones
  • alcohol
  • medicines and drugs
  • makes enzymes for the body to function properly
  • produces bile to help digest fats and stores iron, nutrients and other essential chemicals.

It’s more than 500 functions happen every day and needs the right nutrients to get the job done. That glass of wine with dinner just slowed it down by giving it more work and zapped some essential nutrients along the way. But wait, all is not lost.

Give your liver the help it needs by adding these top five detoxifying foods to your diet, daily.  

Water – not strictly a food, but water is essential to help flush out both the kidneys and liver. Drink a glass upon waking every day, warm with a squeeze of lemon and pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra punch, to wake up your internal organs. Drinking 2L of filtered water a day (and some say reverse osmosis is the best for cleansing), boosts energy, helps to flush out waste products in your system and keep avoid constipation.

Lemon – packed with antioxidant rich vitamin C—essential for the body’s detoxification system, lemon also has an alkalizing effect on overall good health. Include the above suggestion of warm water with lemon every morning upon rising before eating or drinking anything else. It’s better than coffee, honest.

Greens – remember learning about chlorophyll in school? It acts like a sponge trapping pollution, carcinogens and free radicals thereby protecting internal organs. The best chlorophyll sources are wheat and barley grass juice. Green vegetables also offer chlorophyll, so include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, celery, kale, chard, spinach, arugula, and watercress in your diet daily. Green leaves are packed with many vital detoxifying nutrients; several B vitamins, zinc, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C.

Brown rice – unrefined and unprocessed, brown rice is an essential fibre for the digestive system. It acts like a broom, sweeping the intestines and capturing old and broken down hormones, bacteria, toxins and waste products that need to exit the body, every day. Brown rice is rich in many key detoxifying nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous.  Brown rice is also a great source of selenium, which can help to protect the liver as well as improving the complexion.

Beetroot – surprisingly beets really pack a detoxifying punch. It delivers magnesium, iron, and vitamin C to help support liver detoxification is good for skin, hair and cholesterol levels. Try grating raw beetroot into a green salad or combine with grated carrot, sunflower seeds and an oil and lemon dressing. Note – you might notice pink urine after eating beets, which may indicate a lack of stomach acid. I’ve asked clients to eat beets in the past and look out for a change in urine to see if the digestive system is working as it should.

Just eliminating processed, sugary and high-fat foods will have you on the path to a detox, but including the above will have you fighting fit in no time.

What do you think you need to take out of your diet to feel better?

Did you over-do the sugar over the holidays?  Our family certainly did. Once it starts it’s tough to stop. Cravings for sweets seem to ramp up after bingeing at a holiday party and being surrounded by sweet treats, cookies and deserts at every family get-together.

Do you need to kick the sugar fix? Your pancreas, that secretes insulin every time you eat sugar, will thank you when you do. It needs a rest and a well earned holiday.   

If you have the willpower to cut sugar out, I’m impressed. Feelings of deprivation, being crabby with mood swings and energy lows make it near impossible to avoid sugar for most without some sort of intervention.

Here’s my step by step guide to success:

  1. Stop buying sweets. Even though that box of cookies or chocolates are on sale and will keep for a few months or a rainy day, leave them in the store. 
  2. Get rid of your stash. It’s tough to be motivated when what you crave in plain sight.
  3. Write a list of your favourite high protein foods.

Choose from:

Animal meats: poultry, beef, and pork*; fish and seafood*; eggs and dairy products*; beans, peas, and lentils; nut and seeds and butters; tofu and tempeh; Quinoa*, amaranth, buckwheat, spirulina*; hemp seeds*; whey,* rice, and hemp protein powder*; chia, or Salba (known as a superfood, this seed is ground and can be added to foods such as yogurt, baking, and smoothies. Available at health food stores.)

*A complete protein containing all the essential amino acids

  1. Write a list of breakfast options for seven days to include a protein source from above. Examples: a piece of toast and an egg; oatmeal with grated pear, blueberries, milk and hemp seeds; smoothie with whey or hemp protein powder.
  2. Write a list of lunch options that includes a protein source from above. Examples: wrap with tinned salmon and cucumber; large spinach salad with leftover chicken pieces and vegetables; cottage cheese and fruit spread on a Ryvita cracker; hearty vegetable soup with chickpeas and lentils.
  3. Write a list of dinner options that includes a protein source from above. Remember that dinner can be taken as lunch the next day if you make enough for leftovers. Examples: roast chicken with broccoli, sweet potato and cauliflower; grilled tempeh with buckwheat noodles tossed with peppers and broccoli; quiche with a side greek salad.
  4. Plan snacks to include fruit, yogurt and nuts and seeds.

Start your day with a large glass of water and eat breakfast within an hour of waking. Two and a half hours later, eat a snack. Lunch should follow the same time frame after that mid-morning snack and snack again two and a half hours after lunch.

Eating regularly will stabilize your blood sugar levels, decreasing your cravings for sweet stuff.

Adding a chromium supplement to your multi increases the time it takes to feel balanced. A level of 200 – 400 mcg is a safe dose for most. Email us if you’d like to know if it’s safe for you.

What helps you to avoid the sweet treats?

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