I don’t know about you, but I’m actually quite ready for spring. While I wish that I adored this snowy winter wonderland like Green Diva Mizar, summer is more of my cup of tea. Lately, I’ve felt a little cooped up. To combat this case of winter blues, I decided to start spring cleaning a little early this year — beginning with myself. Here are a list of really great foods to start incorporating into your meals that help naturally detox your body. In fact, many of them overlap with a prior post about Natural Cold Remedies Found in Your Kitchen. In my opinion, that just proves how eating simple and naturally really can have such a huge impact on a person’s overall well-being. Anyways, let’s get detoxing! Here are six foods to really rid your body of those winter toxins.
Lemon, like any other fruit in the citrus family is jam-packed with antioxidants and is rich in Vitamin C, which is vital to keeping away bad bacteria. Vitamin C is a great way to keep your skin healthy and fresh. It also keeps the body’s immunity up. Looking for a great way to incorporate lemon into your diet? Check out my Greek Lemon Chicken Soup recipe (known as avgolemeno.) My father swears that it has mystical healing properties. He’s never wrong.
While I am a huge proponent for drinking any kind of tea, green tea is richer in antioxidants than white, black, and oolong teas, even though they all come from the same plant. The caffeine in green tea also gives this energizing drink a diuretic effect that helps to alleviate bloating by counteracting water retention. Ever wonder where your tea comes from? Check out Green Diva Meg’s findings regarding her much sought after Earl Grey tea.
3. Herbs (such as Mint, Parsley Fennel and Dill)
Ever wonder why a sprig of parsley ends up on your plate as a garnish at a fancy restaurant? It’s to help with digestion of course! Herbs are a great detox food. Many of them are and rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatory chemicals. Dill contains enzymes that help with the activation of glutathione, a liver antioxidant that attaches to free radical molecules and disarms them. Fennel, like lemon, is rich in Vitamin C, which has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Fennel is also high in fiber but low in calories which makes it an ideal cleanse food. Mint is an amazing way to get rid of cramps and digestive issues. It’s a natural muscle relaxant too!
We can never say enough about beets. Beets are one of the few rare edible foods that contain betalains. Betalains are pigments that give beets their deep purple color and have strong anti-inflammatory and fungicidal properties. Betalains promote cell structure, repair and regeneration, especially in the liver. Our livers work hard so why not give it a much needed cleanse with beets? Check out Green Diva Meg’s post For The Love of Beets for more info about these amazing roots!
5. Leafy Greens (such as Collard, Dandelion Greens and Kale)
These greens can acts as a diuretic by increasing urine production naturally. Collard greens are especially good at this. Any of these guys increase bile acid binding, which makes it easier for bile to bind to large fat molecules and pull them apart. Leftover bile acids are then excreted from the GI tract normally, taking leftover fat molecules with them. Bile acid binding therefore helps to keep LDL “bad” cholesterol in check. Basically, by eating more of these leafy greens, not only are you ridding yourself of “bad” cholesterol, you are also flushing out any toxins in your entire system.
Ever since I was a little girl, onions and garlic were two of my favorite foods. Both are members of the allium vegetable family which can add strong flavors to foods (scallions are also in this family.) These plants contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, one of the liver’s strongest antioxidants. As a result, onion and garlic have powerful anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties.
- 3 Medium-Sized Roasted Beets
- 2 Cups Leafy Greens (I used Dandelion Greens and Kale)
- 1 Handful of Mint Sprigs, (Broken up)
- 1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta
- 1/2 Cup Roasted Hazelnuts
- Lay down the leafy greens as a base in your salad bowl or plate.
- Cut the roasted beets into bite-sized pieces and disperse on top of the salad.
- Scatter the handful of broken up mint sprigs on top of the beets.
- Spread the crumbled feta on top followed by the roasted hazelnuts.
- Top with your favorite dressing and enjoy!