The Top 10 Detox Superfoods

The following detox superfoods can really boost your body’s in-house detox system. Try to eat at least five of them every day.

  1. Asparagus, broccoli & cabbage: all great for cleansing and detoxingGarlic: contains nutrients that help your liver’s detoxification system. It also helps eliminate harmful bacteria and yeasts from your intestines. Try adding a handful of raw garlic to salad dressing. If you’d rather (or as well) you can take garlic in capsules, a good one I use in the clinic is Kyolic aged garlic also available as a liquid (good for sore throats or yeast in the mouth).
  2. Asparagus: Lightly boil some asparagus until it is tender, drizzle with a little olive oil and squeeze over some lemon juice. This makes a fantastic starter packed with an amino acid called asparagine which, along with potassium, makes it a diuretic and a cleanser. It helps your kidneys flush out toxins and is great for easing bloating.
  3. Beetroot: This cleansing food contains the antioxidant betacyanin which gives it its vivid colour and revs up your liver’s detoxifying process. Beetroot tastes great if roasted in olive oil and served in a little balsamic vinegar, but to preserve all its vitamins eat it raw and grated on a salad.
  4. Broccoli: High in vitamin C, broccoli is known for its cancer fighting properties. It’s also packed with glucosinolates like sulforaphane which help your liver to process toxins. Dip florets of raw broccoli into hummus, add to stir fries or lightly steam and serve with fish. As well as being a good source of detoxifying and cleansing fibre, leafy greens, like broccoli and cabbage, contain abundant supplies of chlorophyll, one of nature’s best cleansers and detoxifiers. Chlorophyll is often taken as a dietary supplement for its ability to combine with gut toxins and remove them from the body. It is also sometimes used as a breath deodorant.
  5. Cabbage: Red, white, green or pak choi cabbage are all great detox foods. They are high in substances called indol-3-carbinol which help to prevent oestrogen from being absorbed in the body while at the same time encouraging its elimination. They are also packed with antioxidants and sulphur-like substances that protect your liver and help it process chemicals. Shred and use in salads or stir fries.
  6. Lemons: The yellow colour of lemons comes from their high antioxidant bioflavonoid content. They are great for supporting liver function and help to wash away toxins. The high potassium content of lemons will boost circulation. Potassium also acts as a diuretic and encourages the elimination of nitrogenous waste and chlorides. Squeeze half a lemon into warm water and drink immediately after rising in the morning or juice along with grapefruit (another great detox food) for a refreshing smoothie.
  7. Linseeds: the best natural colon cleansersLinseeds/flaxseeds: As well as being a good source of essential fats linseeds are a good source of cleansing fibre because they absorb water and expand in the colon, allowing toxins and mucus to be removed. Some people find that a tablespoon of soaked linseeds in a glass of water are an effective remedy for constipation. If you can’t stand the taste add them to fresh fruit or make a smoothie and sprinkle ground seeds over smoothies or salads.
  8. Peppers: Peppers are packed with detoxifying antioxidants. The active compound capsaicin found in peppers helps to boost circulation and aid digestion. You should make sure you eat as many brightly coloured foods as possible so you get a wide range of antioxidants.
  9. Papaya and pineapple: Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that encourages the release of waste products and is very soothing to the stomach and digestive tract. Pineapple is also a mild diuretic. Slice them both together and have for breakfast or dessert. Or mix with garlic, chillies, spring onions, cucumber, tomatoes, coriander and lime to make a tasty salsa for steamed fish.
  10. Watercress: Another great source of glucosinolates which help to stimulate the liver’s detox enzymes. It’s also packed with magnesium and calcium so it’s a good bone booster. Whip up some watercress soup or use as an alternative to lettuce. You can also blanch watercress and eat as a green vegetable sprinkled with lightly roasted sunflower seeds.

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