Our bodies are exposed to environmental toxins every day. Although the body can remove most of these harmful substances on its own, its ability to remove toxins is amplified when eating the right types of foods. The best time to do a whole-body detox is January, when holiday gluttony is finally over and when we make promises for a healthier start. So, make sure to include these 10 foods for your January detox.
Lemon juice made with two fresh lemons will provide 70% of the daily value of vitamin C. According to an article published in Clinical Nutrition Insights, this vitamin helps protect the liver from free radical damage. Since our liver is our main detox organ, it’s safe to say that taking enough vitamin C will provide enough support for your liver to help it flush out toxins.
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E which is another important antioxidant for normal liver functioning. A handful of almonds a day will provide you with plenty of B vitamins as well, and studies show that B vitamins are also important to support our body’s ability to remove toxins. Since almonds are also rich in protein, they will also help curb your appetite and contribute to easier weight loss.
3. Sprouted lentils
Sprouted lentils are high in the amino acids cysteine which is a non-essential amino acid that functions as an antioxidant. Cysteine protects the body against radiation and pollution. Cysteine also serves a role in proper immune system functioning. Low cysteine levels are found in those with a compromised immune system. Other than cysteine, lentils are also high in other important detox nutrients such as folate and vitamin C while being exceptionally low in calories.
4. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables are known to be potent in supporting the body’s detoxifying processes. This is because these plants contain substances that support the production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver such as glutathione S-transferase and quinone reductase. Brussel sprouts reduce the risk of colorectal cancer through their detox activity and a high intake of these aromatic vegetables is associated with greater weight loss.
Uncooked asparagus are rich in glutathione, a peptide that is important for overall health and that is synthesized by the body into cysteine. But other than that, studies on asparagus show that this delicious plant also protects the liver from toxins such as excess alcohol and other pollutants. Fresh asparagus are much higher in antioxidant and nutrient content than cooked asparagus.
An older study published in Nutrition and Cancer found that organosulfur compounds in garlic such as ajoene and diallyl sulfide were strong against the damages caused by aflatoxins. Garlic is also rich in phytochemicals such as quercetin which is a known anticancerogenic antioxidant. Although eating two cloves of raw garlic is safe for most, those taking blood-thinning medication should avoid eating garlic as garlic is a known blood thinner as well.
The most abundantly found flavonoid in turmeric called curcumin is a powerful detox agent according to a large body of research. A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology even found that curcumin was able to provide detoxifying and antioxidant effects in rats exposed to mercury. A different study found that turmeric works wonders on inflammation-induced obesity, making this spice one of the best things to include into your detox plan.
8. Citrus Peel
Most of us ignore and discard the bitter-tasting citrus peels, but studies show that most of the detox and antioxidant compounds are actually found in the peel of our favorite fruits. D-limonene is the main compound in citrus peels that studies show was strong against skin cancer but other cancers as well. You can incorporate citrus peels into your meals by making your own candied citrus peel or by grating the peel over your favorite salads.
One of the healthiest breakfasts out there, oatmeal can support your whole-body detox for many reasons. First, oatmeal is rich in dietary fiber, especially beta glucan which is a soluble type of fiber found to provide benefits such as lowering cholesterol, curbing appetite, improving blood glucose levels, and fighting cancer. Secondly, oatmeal is rich in key nutrients and antioxidants to support whole-body detoxification.
Fresh and dry ginger provide health benefits like no other herb. The functional ingredients in ginger, shogaol, gingerols, and paradols were found to prevent various cancers. This cancer-fighting property of ginger is due to the antioxidant action of these active constituents.
Most of us tend to overeat, drink alcohol, and lose sleep during the holidays and this puts a strain on our body’s natural ability to fight toxins. To help your body recover from the holidays, eating healthy foods loaded with antioxidants, phytochemicals, and valuable nutrients can support your detox system and make you feel refreshed for the start of a new year.