Taking detox foods for removing junks, poisons and toxins inside your body seems like a good idea. With the increasing interest in enhancing lifestyle and overall health, many people are already confused on what should and should not be eaten to deeply cleanse the body. On top of that, the heightened marketing of diet books, extreme detox program and many detoxifying products even fuels much confusion.
Well, truth is, our body has the capacity to get rid of toxins provided it has the necessary nutritional requirements to maximize and optimize its function. In this article, you will learn some suggested detox foods to attain deep liver detoxification and high-octane performance.
Detox Foods for Phase I Detoxification
1. Good Oils
Healthy fats are top detox foods important for the production of liver enzymes. Foods that are rich in unsaturated fat include ground flaxseed meal, raw seeds and nuts, flaxseed oil, olive oil, coconut milk and oil, avocados, grapeseed oil, ghee and cod liver oil.
2. Non-starchy Vegetables
Examples of non-starchy veggies include the Brassica family and the Cruciferae. Cruciferous vegetables are known to be powerful detox foods, antibacterials, antivirals and can lower blood pressure. It is also believed to have anti-cancer properties, particularly on the bladder, lungs, reproductive and digestive tract since they inhibit cancer cell growth while supporting the elimination of carcinogens. Furthermoer, they can also change estrogen metabolites to non-cancerous and keep the pH and bacterial environment of the GI tract at healthy condition. Some Brassica vegetables include broccoli, cabbages, mustards, kale, brussel-sprouts, bok choy, kohlrabi and collards.
3. Starchy Vegetables
Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams and red and yellow potatoes are rich in essential vitamins and minerals (B-vitamins, choline, magnesium, iron) necessary for Phase I liver detoxification.
4. Herbs and Spices
Thyme, rosemary and basil are classified under the Mint family, which is known to purify blood and stimulate the mind. Meanwhile, oregano is a known potent antioxidant. Catnip and lemon balm have a calming effect to our digestion and the relaxing aroma of lavender makes it an ideal herb for baths and as tea.
Ginger is a popular stimulant, digestive aide and blood cleanser for liver detoxification. Lycium fruit, the tiny red berries, is widely used in China for strengthening the immune system and blood. It can be eaten like raisins similar to Goji berries.
Milk thistle is another liver-boosting herb, known to cleanse and restore damaged liver. Milk thistle tincture or seeds can be taken during cleanse, except on fasting days. If you use the tincture form, you can add two droppers full twice a day or a tablespoon of ground seed twice daily.
Pomegranate is known to stimulate the production of bile and restore liver function. Turmeric can be used as a decongestant for the gallbladder and the liver.
Detox Foods for Phase II Detoxification
For the Phase II liver detoxification to function effectively, you need to enhance your daily diet with detox foods that are rich in nutrients necessary for the different enzymatic reactions to make xenobiotic metabolites less toxic and become water soluble, ready for excretion.
For optimal protein source, choose fowl, fish, beef and lamb over pork and poultry. Make sure you pick cage-free, free-range, grass-fed and no-hormone sources. Some seafood sources rich in omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, cod, mackerel, tuna and shellfish.
More popular as the ‘purple power’, Ellagic acid is a nutrient found in various fruits and nuts such as beets, grapes, grapefruit, raspberries, pecans and walnuts. It is a potent free radical scavenger and antioxidant that is water-soluble. Besides being an antioxidant, it is also known for its anti-parasitic, anti-viral and antibacterial properties. Furthermore, Ellagic acid offers many other healing benefits: reduce lipid peroxidation, anti-inflammatory, powerful cancer inhibitor, supports liver detoxification and prevent clogging of blood vessels.
Medicinal mushrooms such as oyster mushroom, cordyceps, reishi, shitake and morel mushrooms contains high amount of therapeutic compounds such as beta glucans, polyssacharides, lectins, ergosterol and glycoproteins. These detox foods are more popular for boosting immunity, lowering cholesterol, inhibiting tumors and fighting harmful microorganisms. Aside from that, they also contain elements that combat allergies, relieve altitude sickness, reduce fatigue, reduce insomnia and regulate blood sugar level.
Peruvian Maca is a unique cruciferous vegetable that looks similar to radish. It is a highly resistant plant that can survive extreme cold, heat and drought. Maca is believed to be first used by the Incans for more than 2000 years and was used for boosting stamina, immunity, libido and fertility. It is rich in phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and iodine and is often used by lots of detox program today for medicinal and cleansing purposes.
Detox Foods for Both Phase I and II Liver Detoxification
Below is a list of suggested foods that can support Phase I and II liver detoxification.
1. Non-gluten whole grains – millet, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and kasha
• Low GI (glycemic index) – Berries including boysenberries, gooseberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji, and loganberries
• Moderate GI – examples include pears, oranges, grapefruit, apple, prunes, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, kiwi, limes, avocados, lemons, nectarines, passion fruit, persimmons, and pomegranates
• High GI (should be eaten in moderation or after workout) – examples include grapes, banana, pineapple, and watermelon
3. Foods high in fiber and starchy carbohydrates(especially for Phase I) – examples include squash, beets, French beans, leeks, okra, parsnip, artichokes, sweet potatoes, red and yellow potatoes and yam.<
4. Foods high in fiber carbohydrates with light-moderate protein content – legumes and lentils. Examples include pinto beans, lima beans, white beans, chick peas, kidney beans, adzuki beans, lentils, yellow beans, and black beans.
4. Non-starchy vegetables – For Phase I, yellow, green and red vegetables are recommended, while for Phase II, it’s suitable to eat green leafy vegetables. Examples include asparagus, arugula, bean sprouts, bell peppers, beet greens, broad beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chives, chicory, celery, cilantro, collard greens, eggplant, fennel, ginger, garlic, cucumber, jalapeno, kale, lettuce, mustard greens, parsley, onions, snap beans, sea weeds, and kelp.
Reducing exposure to toxins is important in keeping a healthy system, well-equipped for optimal liver detoxification. Stay away from synthetic herbicides or pesticides and cleaning products that contain toxic substances. Use building materials and carpets that are made from nontoxic materials. Use natural cosmetics, fragrances and nail polish. Keep a natural air indoors by placing house plants than using aerosol sprays. Never put plastic inside the microwave.
There are plenty of foods that are surprisingly rich in liver health properties to help the body detoxify itself. Instead of starving your body with different extreme detox program plans, working with known nutritional powerhouses in your daily diet is a better and safer alternative.