Tasty Detox Foods
Groan… if that is the noise your stomach has made for the past few days, it’s probably time to change its tune. The prospect of a detox may be deeply unappealing after Christmas’ delicacies, but it needn’t be a joyless slog. Of course it is possible to avoid the annual assault on your innards but where is the fun in that? The good news is that you don’t need to fast after a feast or eat spinach soup for a month to cleanse your system. Now that there are so many delicious ‘super foods’ treating your body to something healthy is effortless.
Here’s a list from A-Z of detox foods…
Artichokes Great for battling hangovers. Artichokes aid liver function and current research shows that it’s cynarin, found in artichoke leaves, that stimulates bile secretions, helping improve fat breakdown, digestion and the expulsion of toxins from your body. If you are not keen on the taste or find these fiddly to cook and eat, there are many good supplements available that you can also take before a big night out to help reduce the impact of booze.
Beetroot Used for years as a natural blood cleaner, this also helps the liver break down fats and is colourful and delicious accompaniment with leftovers or in a fresh salad.
Blueberries Packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals that can reduce toxic damage to liver cells, blueberries are detox superstars and taste divine. Munch through a punnet, throw a handful into a fruit salad or whizz into a smoothie the morning after the night before.
Cruciferous vegetables Yes, yes, we know that veg is not everyone’s idea of yummy food. But spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts all boost liver function. They are rich in sulforaphane, a liver-friendly phytochemical that stimulates detoxification, helping to expel toxins and disarm cancer-causing chemicals. Spinach contains alphalipoic acid, which increases production of glutathione, a compound that helps dissolve toxins and protect against cellular damage.
Grapefruit Speeds up the processing power of the liver. It’s so powerful that people on certain drugs are told to avoid grapefruit juice as it can interfere with their dosage. Stock up juice and opt for pink or red varieties of the fruit if you find the yellow ones too sharp.
Hemp seeds The healthiest source of essential fats, hemp helps detox as it lubricates the colon making it easier for your body to excrete wastes and toxins. You’ll find them in health stores and some supermarkets.
Pears These fruity favourites contain high levels of pectins that actually bind to toxins carrying them out of the body. Pears are also high in iodine, which boosts energy.
Prunes Tried and tested, prunes contain tartaric acid, which is a natural laxative. Most supermarkets sell dried prunes as a more convenient alternative to stewing or other cooking methods.
Sprouts No, not brussels this time, but alfalfa, mustard, cress and so on. These are packed with nutrients and also high in fibres that bind to toxins in the body.
Water It’s not rocket science – your liver needs lots of water to process waste as it does a magnificent job of filtering blood of impurities and producing bile, which carries pollutants out of the body. Aim for at least 10 glasses of water a day, and consider purchasing a home filtration system or a water filter.
Watermelon Time to get tropical. Studies indicate that red-pigmented, lycopene-rich foods, such as tomatoes, papaya and watermelon, improve liver health – essential for detoxification.
< Whole grains Aim to eat foods in their whole form as much as possible – they contain more fibre, which helps move toxins out of your body. Beans, soybeans, lentils, nuts and seeds, and whole grains, such as barley, buckwheat, and quinoa, are high-fibre sources that cleanse your liver naturally.