Eating certain foods can profoundly impact your body’s natural detox functions. You will feel and look better. These foods can provide nutritional support to several organs that possess powerful detoxification capabilities. For example: your liver neutralizes environmental toxins and pollutants. Your kidneys filter waste from your blood. Your skin releases toxins via sweat. The digestive system shuttles waste out of your body. Your brain via the glymphatic system processes and breaks down tau proteins ( the hallmark of Alzheimer’s). Your body needs extra help to cleanse itself considering the vast array of toxins we are exposed to ( metals, glyphosate in pesticides, phalates in plastics and parabens in our cosmetics, GMO’s and gluten to name a few).
One way to reduce the toxic load is to eat foods that optimize the body’s natural detoxification systems and processes. Robert Roundtree, MD, at the Institue for Functional Medicine says ” The longer these toxins are in contact with our cells, the more likely they are to cause damage to our organs and other bodily systems.” He adds: ” It’s better to help the body eliminate toxins at the time of exposure than to allow them to accumulate at high levels before going on a radical cleanse”.
The Liver Supporters
Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy, onions, leeks, garlic and watercress.
These foods contain compounds that elevate cellular response of enzymes in the liver and help remove foreign elements from the body. The liver behaves like an inspection facility – deciding what’s beneficial and what’s not ( a two-fold process in fact).
Water, herbal teas, celery, watermelon and cucumbers.
The human body is 78% water. As such, consuming water and water-rich produce facilitates balance and protects against dehydration. Furthermore, fluids assist the kidneys in waste product removal from the blood, directing crucial minerals back into the bloodstream and helping flush out unnecessary compounds out in the urine.
It’s almost important to drink purified or filtered water to avoid contaminates and chemicals that plague our water supplies and eat organic water based foods to avoid the same issues.
The Metal Detectors
Turmeric, seaweed, cilantro, onions and garlic.
These help with heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic which increase the risk of organ damage and cancer. Curcumin, the active ingredient in Tumeric can bind to these metals and help remove them from the body. Active ingredients in seaweed can bond to lead and mercury and aid in removal.
The Colon Cleansers
Lentils, artichokes, raspberries, barley and apples.
These foods which are fiber based truly help to move food through the colon and help remove toxins.They also feed the healthy gut bacteria. This in turn helps decrease inflammation and build immune function.
The pH Balancers
Vegetables and citrus fruit.
The pH balance in the body varies greatly depending on part and region. For example, the stomach is highly acidic and the outside lining is quite alkaline. The rest of the body prefers a more alkaline state. A diet low in starchy vegetables and heavy in animal proteins shifts the pH to more acidic. Other foods that shift the pH include dairy, sugar and processed carbs. These foods cause the body to neutralize the pH with alkalizing minerals. If there aren’t enough minerals in your diet, your body pulls them from your bones- affecting your biochemistry and bone mass.
Interestingly, acidic fruits like oranges and lemon have an alkalising effect!
The Inflammation Fighters
Salmon, sardines, hemp oil, flax seeds and walnuts.
These foods are high in omega 3 fatty acids. They fight inflammation. Chronic inflammation sets off reactions that produce oxidative stress, which in turn leads to the production of free radicals which cause cellular damage and potentially leads to cancer and many autoimmune diseases. Omega 3’s also target toxins directly ( ex: PCB’s which are man made chemicals used in industrial and commercial applications)
The Cultured Club
Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh.
These foods help balance the microbiome in the gut. A well – balanced gut microbiome aids in digestion, metabolism, nutrient absorption and generation, reduces bloating and boosts immune function. Good bacteria also bind to toxins (found in food and water) and help rid the body of them.
The Skin Facts
Jalapeño peppers, organic green tea and black tea and organic coffee.
Your skin is your largest organ! It provides a barrier for keeping unwanted foreign substances out. Sweating also aids in detoxification, specifically, of toxins such as heavy metals.
Your skin much like your gut hosts a variety of health and immune boosting microbiome. As such, it’s important not to assault the skin with chemically -laden and toxic skin care products. Your skin in fact is a bi-directional gateway – keeping harmful things out and releasing toxins that need to be removed.