This article will explain how certain foods help detoxify the body. I will explain which foods and in which categories they fall in. Such as are they a vegetable, fruit, grain or dairy product. Knowing which foods promote the detoxification process help keep you from counteracting the detoxification. Detox foods are often debated since the actual process of detoxification needs to be done properly. Often we are only doing the process part way. So the actual toxins are not being flushed out of the system, or we are only partially flushing the toxins.

First Important steps

Before you start the detoxification process you need to figure out why you want to do it. Many of us use the process to start anew. We use it before we switch diets, to help us stop smoking, or drinking. While these are good reasons you still need to be sure that you do it full heartedly. You must be willing to do a full change not just a partial change. The only time a partial change is allowed is if you already have part of the process started such as already drinking enough water.

For those cleansing because they wish to stop drinking or smoking they need to curb the cravings. For those that drink alcohol you need to find something else you can drink that will sedate this. Water is the best option, you can work your way to this point. If you drink a mixed drink with soda try just the soda, then work to water. For those that drink things like beer you need to add other yeast foods for a week. Smokers need to have their homes deep cleaned. To get rid of the smoke smell that it leaves behind, the smell can trigger cravings. Also be sure to wash clothing well so the smoke is removed.

Detox Process

The Process of Detoxification and Elimination

Those that want to start a new diet, need to do slight changes before the true detoxification process. If you are a soda drinker you need to work yourself down to something such as tea, from tea to water. Once you are at the water point you can continue the true process and flush out all of the toxins. If you just do the foods without changing your soda habit you are keeping around the caffeine. The caffeine needs to be flushed out of your system as well.

Best foods for detoxification

Artichokes

A high fiber vegetable the artichoke helps cleans fat from the body. It will remove the fat from the last three days you have eaten. Continue to eat them and you will keep the fat from staying in your system. You do need to cut the fat content when you are detoxifying. Eating high fat meals will just keep the fat and the toxins within the fat around. The fiber content also helps relieve constipation which helps you cleanse your bowel. Artichokes help cleanse the liver of toxins. Artichokes are also natural the whole artichoke can be eaten from the leaves to the heart. Make sure you wash the artichokes thoroughly to get rid of dirt particles, if you have non organic artichokes wash off the chemicals.

Berries

Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and cherries are all fruits.  They are all full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. The natural sweetness Is also a big draw for many. They also boost your immune system, regulate your bowels, improve over all digestion, add shine to your skin and hair. You can add berries to many options, think smoothies or snacking. You can eat them dried or raw, whole or sliced. For those cutting out processed sugar the eating of fruits helps to allow sweetness without processed sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Lemons

Lemons are a tree fruit, they are full of vitamin C, which helps your immune system. Adding lemons gives you that natural vitamin C boost, since this is a water soluble vitamin it gets depleted faster. You can add lemons in your diet in every meal, either the juice, the rind or the meat. Lemons can also be sliced up and used with water, the juice infuses with the water. You can used sliced lemons or juiced lemons on fish, chicken, turkey. You can bake, fry, and sauté lemons as well as eat them raw. Lemons help flush the toxins from your kidneys.

Detox Foods

Detox Foods: The Top Food to Eat During the Detoxification Process

Watercress

A vegetable similar to rhubarb. It is a natural diuretic, it helps keep water from retaining in your tissues, simply it makes you urinate more. The vitamin rich leaves can be incorporated in meals easier than rhubarb. Rhubarb is better known in pies and cobblers often paired with berries. Watercress can be paired with lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale as well as others. Watercress is considered the savory cousin while rhubarb is the sweeter. Both will flush out toxins and can be used in your detoxification diet.

Flax

Flaxseeds is a grain, high in fiber yet rich In the Omega three acids. They help flush out the toxins while giving your intestines and heart the healthy boost from the amino acids. Flax seeds can be ground up and added to things like smoothies or eaten whole in things like cereal and other baked goods. While eating the bake goods is alright do be sure to limit the amounts. Also eat natural baked goods verses the more processed variations.

Apples

Apples are a popular tree fruit. They are great for bile production which helps flush your liver of toxins. Apples can be eaten in a variety of ways they can be eaten raw, cooked, juiced. If you do want to eat apples as a juice you want to juice them yourself, with the skin on. This keeps the fiber from the skin that many end up removing because it creates pulp. You can also make cider from the apples but do try to keep it non alcoholic for detoxification purposes. The spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and clover are great additions. They help regulate, heart rate and blood pressure, while promoting digestion. Think of the apple pie, all those spices and apples, you can make the crusts with ground flaxseeds. You can also make apple crumble, using the flaxseeds in the crumble base.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain, white rice has been processed. Brown rice is more natural since it still carries the nutrients that white rice has lost. Rice can be added to every meal, either as a side dish or the main course. They help the liver cleanse and improves digestion. Rice can be cooked in a variety of ways, consider long cooking rice. The faster cooking rice has been processed slightly so it cooks faster. Rice side dishes can be simply brown rice steamed. Rice can be baked with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove to become rice pudding. You can add scrambled eggs, tomatoes and roll in a whole grain tortilla or flatbread for breakfast. Rice bowls can be eaten at any meal if you add the right parings.

Ginger

Is a root that is considered a vegetable. It can be paired with fruits or vegetables. It is an anti inflammatory agent, that curbs nausea and help your digestion. It also boosts your immunity. The root can be eaten raw, dried, sautéed into many variations. many of the recipes using the root are Asian, consider eating the root in this fashion so you enjoy it correctly.

Cabbage

Is a vegetable, that is rich in detoxification qualities. it helps to flush your liver and leach the toxins from your body fat. Remember you can also pair with watercress for a double dose of this property. Cabbage is common in many cuisines you can find a variation you enjoy. There is also many kinds of cabbage, some are milder in flavor and texture while others are more robust. You can pair cabbage with other greens such as kale and spinach as well.

Garlic

Is another anti inflammatory agent, it is also antibacterial, antiviral and a natural antibiotic. Garlic boosts your white blood cell count while relieving inflammation. This flushes out toxins often associated with things such as bacterial infections also viral. Best eaten raw, you can add raw garlic to soups, salads and even some sandwiches. You can lightly sauté the garlic you do want to keep it from going fully translucent or you lose some of the nutrition.

Little known foods for detoxification

Brussels sprouts

Are basically baby cabbages, with the same detoxification properties that help the liver. You can use the Brussels sprouts in any recipe that calls for cabbage. They are a more robust cabbage variety. They are also better to withstand being frozen. They do not lose their nutrition to being frozen when many cabbage varieties do.

Dandelion greens

Yes the weed we see in our yards. It is edible,  all parts of it. Any of these weeds you plan to consume must be pesticide and fertilizer free. If you can get organic leaves, flowers or roots that is best. The ones that are questionable are often the ones you do not know if they chemicals are used. Many stores that specialize in natural foods carry dandelion leaves or roots. The flower, the yellow part, is also edible. The roots and flower ends can be brewed into a tea add some lemon for a nice flavor. The leaves can be eaten like a salad, pair with cabbage or watercress.

Carrots

Carrots are a root vegetable. They are rich in proteins that detoxify the liver and help eye sight. They are best raw, cooking tends to destroy some of the nutrients. Freezing will also do the same thing. You can store carrots in a cool dark place, the refrigerator often leaves them moist which will grow mold.

Tomatoes

Are a fruit, that many think of as vegetable. The plump red fruit is great with detoxifying the liver. This is best when you eat them raw, so slice on your sandwiches or salads or eat with some pepper. Cooked tomatoes are still healthy the process just dilutes the ability to detoxify.  Tomatoes are also great for eye health and have been shown to protect against some cancers.

Grapefruit

Another tree fruit that is a citrus, like lemons. Grapefruits detoxify the liver and can lower high cholesterol. They are best eaten raw, drying them out will destroy some of the properties. Beware if you are diabetic grapefruit will counteract with many of your medications!

Spinach

Another leafy green vegetable, best eaten raw. The detoxification properties that are in the green leafs will disappear if you cook them. Eat them in a salad or on top of sandwiches. Pair with cabbage or watercress for an extra dose of detoxification properties.

Walnuts

Walnuts are a common nut, they are also a common allergy. For those that are not allergic the walnut is a great treat. It detoxifies the liver with a boost of omega the fatty acids to help your brain and heart. Best eaten raw, you can snack on them alone or add them to salads. You can buy them already shelled if you prefer not to crack them open yourself.

Avocado

The light green fruit with a pit. The main ingredient in guacamole, is full of good fats to lower cholesterol. It is also full of detoxification properties the fruit can be mashed or sliced. You can add avocado to many dishes. The fruit is best eaten ripe, the properties are at the peak at this point. The under ripe and over ripe avocados have lower amounts.

Asparagus

Is a natural diuretic that flushes both the liver and kidneys. Asparagus is great eaten raw for the detoxification properties. The vegetable can still be eaten cooked just do not overcook the asparagus. Blanching is best, where you partly steam it then bathe it in ice water.

Spices that promote detoxification

Organic Gum Acacia

Is a spice made from the acacia tree. The gum from the acacia tree is great for stopping diarrhea. This also helps to absorb the toxins that get leached into your intestines. You get it from a health food store, it can be gotten as a powder or in the original sap.

Organic Milk Thistle

Is an herb that helps produce bile. This helps both the liver and gallbladder to flush out toxins. Also found in the health food stores, it comes in a powder or dried thistle.

Black walnut

Yes it is a walnut, it is a European variety. It is also the darker older brother of the standard walnut we know. It has more of the detoxification properties because the color intensifies it. This version is often ground up into a powder, it can be added to baked goods and things like smoothies.

Wormwood

It is the dangerous ingredient in Absinthe, it brings out the arsenic. Wormwood is also known to aid in digestion. It gets the liver to produce more bile; Wormwood in absinthe is still illegal. The wormwood can be gotten by itself, it is less dangerous this way. Check with health food stores it is often in powder form.

Cilantro

Is an herb, that can also be a spice. Cilantro helps the body rid itself of heavy metal toxins. This property is actually very rare, yet the herb is popular. The herb is popular in Italian cuisine.

Peppermint

Is a form of mint, which aides in the process of digestion. The natural mint helps the liver flush out toxins. If you feel nauseous try some peppermint it has been known to curb this. Another great thing is mice and spiders hate the smell, so peppermint oil is a natural deterrent.

Eucalyptus

Is a leaf from a eucalyptus tree. It is used to cleanse our lungs when we are sick. It naturally makes you cough to expel mucus. It is also a natural antibacterial and antiviral. The smell is most common in things such as vapor rub, and cough drops. You can use the leaves as a natural version. Place in the shower to allow the steam to get the oils off the leaves.

Stinging Nettle

It is a weed by nature, that can be ingested. It is also a natural blood pressure regulator, and anti inflammatory agent. It is found in health food stores often ground up. While you can find this in nature do be sure to handle it with care it does sting human skin.

Dandelion roots

The roots themselves are considered a spice while the rest is a vegetable. See the paragraph referencing the dandelion. The roots can be gotten In powder form from health food stores. The powder goes into tea easier than just having the roots seeped in water.

While detoxification is a good thing to do be sure you do it correctly. Doing it too quickly you risk other health issues such as dehydration. Also be sure to cut out the bad things before you go full force into this process. Detoxification is great for starting a new life style. Just be sure you are not just doing the detoxification process all the time. Do it four times a year or after a severe slip in a diet. This list of detox foods will get you started in the right direction.

Written by Elizabeth R. Wheeler