The need to detoxify your body regularly is critical in the time of fast food and faster burnout. Detox mantras may differ — pop star Rihanna drinks coconut water because it “balances out all the other toxic stuff I put into my body,” while Hollywood actor Alicia Silverstone prefers to down carrot-apple-lemon-ginger juice cocktails. To help you make a good start, we get you a list of cleansing foods and herbs that will leave you feeling lighter and fresher within a week of including them in your diet.
While recent studies have hailed its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the body, Ayurveda has valued this spice for centuries for its staggering medicinal properties. What makes it relevant for those wishing to detox is its power to help the liver get rid of harmful compounds. Since the primary purpose of a detoxification exercise is to support the organs of elimination like liver, turmeric comes to the rescue and its antioxidants play a critical role in combating the cell damage that can stack up with age. So, a tablespoon of turmeric a day, is enough to considerably set your insides right.
Packed with fibre, and especially pectin which helps in cleansing the intestinal tract, apples can clear it of accumulated toxins and undigested food particles. This assumes more significance considering how essential it is to include a variety of fibres in the diet to maximise detoxification.
Garlic’s high sulphur content not only tones the skin and makes your hair more lustrous, it also fires up the detoxification process. The liver must neutralise toxins with sulphur until it is excreted in a process called sulfation. To smoothen this proc- ess, include more sulphurrich foods like garlic in your diet. Three cloves per meal should do you good.
Never miss a chance to add some fresh lemon juice to the water you drink or the food you eat. Lemon gets a lot of credit for warding off the cold, but its ability to aid healthy digestion and elimination is often overlooked. It may be the lemon’s tart taste that encourages bile flow which helps digestion. Even its peels are rich in antioxidants that support detoxification.
Fibre-powered flaxseeds can help keep many diseases at bay and its mix of nutrients helps internal cleansing. Since flaxseeds contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, they facilitate smooth bowel movement and prevent the re-absorption of cholesterol from the colon. Sprinkle a few tablespoons into your morning smoothie or salad.
While the seed of coriander or cilantro plant can help digestion and maintain normal cholesterol levels, the leaves are said to detoxify heavy metals like lead and mercury that can accumulate in the body over time. So go ahead and throw a handful of coriander into salads, or as garnish on cooked vegetables, dals and curries.
To add to its reputation of being among the healthiest foods, these crucifers play their part in internal cleansing too. Upon digestion, broccoli releases a nutrient known to possess properties that help detoxify the ‘bad’ oestrogens in the body. One small cup of broccoli a day can fight them off, keeping you safe from weight gain, PMS and even cancer.
The heart and the base of the outer leaves, which are the edible portions of the artichoke, are known to boost liver health. Artichokes promote the flow of bile and fat to and from the liver. Since the role of bile is to emulsify fats and transport toxins and waste from the liver into the small intestine, be wise and toss in a medium artichoke into your next bowl of salad.
Beetroot is loaded with plant pigments that are known to have antioxidant and liver-supporting abilities. You may be relishing the beetroot, but the greens of the beet are often missed for their combined might of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. So put the greens through the mixer, instead of trashing them, for added detox benefits. Include half a cup of beetroot or one cup of greens in your juice, and you’ve done your system a huge favour.