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Flush out the toxins! Foods to detoxify your body

January 28, 2010 11:44 IST

If you want to clean up your act diet-wise, here's some sound advice regarding foods that possess detoxifying properties and how they can benefit you.

You may not want to admit it, but sooner or later we all have to accept the fact that toxins are ingested into our bodies regularly. And most of the toxins that we consume come from foods that we eat everyday. Experts believe that this toxin build-up is the cause of a wide range of illnesses, ranging from heart disease to cancer. Because of this, many people are now taking time and energy to detox their bodies and follow a new, healthier way of life.

Practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world (including the ayurvedic and Chinese medical systems) detoxification is about resting, cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins and then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health.

Thankfully, there are many natural foods that help a body detoxify. Here are a few:

  • Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables are our greatest friends in the pursuit. They help us in detoxifying the liver. They have great chlorophyll content and can be consumed in diverse forms; raw, juiced, in gravy etc. Since the old days, they've been a favourite of people with a toxic build-up.
  • Fruit: They're full of almost all the good things like Vitamin C, fibre, nutritious fluids, and all kinds of antioxidants. Besides, nothing tastes better than a ripe mango, fresh berries, or a perfect pear.
  • Lemons: Lemons are an all time favourite. The raging case in its favour is its ability to convert toxins into water-soluble components. Its Vitamin C, considered the detox vitamin, helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that's easily flushed away.
  • Green tea: Green tea has a great detoxifying effect; it is an antioxidant known for washing out toxin concentration. An added advantage is the fact that it suppresses the appetite, thus helping fight obesity.
  • Garlic: Garlic can be combined with anything. It can be put in salads and served with spread; it is extremely beneficial to the heart and also flush out waste from the liver by stimulating its enzymes.
  • Sesame seeds (til): They're credited with protecting liver cells from the damaging effects of alcohol and other chemicals.
  • Broccoli (hari phoolgobhi): Broccoli is part of a diet used for weight reduction, along with black beans. They pack 20 to 50 times more cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating activity into each bite than the fully grown vegetable.
  • Cabbage (patta gobhi): There are two main types of detoxifying enzymes in the liver and this potent veggie helps activate both of them.
  • Beetroot (chukandar): It contains methonine, one of the main detox enzymes. Beetroot also absorbs waterborne pollutants.
  • Acai Berry: The Acai Berry is a purple fruit from jungles of Brazil and Peru. It has high quantities of unsaturated fat and healthy pulp, which make detoxification very easy for the body.
  • Avocado: It contains an antioxidant, glutathione, which binds with fat soluble toxins such as alcohol.
  • Seaweed: It contains ingredients called alginates that prevents the body from absorbing heavy metals.

The foods you should avoid eating while you detox are:

  • Red meat: Avoid it while on the detox diet, because red meat is harder to digest and contains a high level of fats. It should also be avoided because it contains a high level of salt and food additives. Replace red meat with chicken meat, fish and eggs.
  • Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates are forbidden also: cookies, biscuits or anything you are tempted to snack on all the time.
  • Fats: Fats like butter, margarine, fried foods and mayo are off limits too. Use virgin olive oil in your cooking, especially in your salads.
  • Refined sugar: Avoid eating foods full of additives, including those containing excess sugar. Cold cuts are full of food additives which intoxicate your body. During the detox diet, don't eat junk food.
  • No beverages: Don't drink tea, coffee or soda pops. Drink at least 8 cups of water daily, natural plant tea or fresh fruit juice.

Another deterrent to good health is stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. While these hormones can provide the 'adrenaline rush' to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. So it's a good idea to detox stressful life situations along with detoxifying your body. Yoga and meditation are simple and effective ways to relieve stress by resetting your physical and mental reactions to the inevitable stress life will bring.

LifeMojo is a wellness company, helping people to live a healthier life. LifeMojo provides online and on phone nutrition consultation services to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.