The very first signs of spring are upon us here in Cupertino. Tulips and daffodils are blossoming, and Daylight Savings Time has taken effect. I can’t wait for those long walks at sunset! With all the signs of spring upon us, it’s hard not to think about last year’s short-shorts, let alone the bathing suit!
If you’ve over-indulged a bit too much this past winter and feel a bit sluggish, maybe it’s time you detoxify your body with the 10 foods I’ve listed below. Food is one of the best remedies for cleansing and detoxifying the internal organs. Eating foods that help with cleansing will allow your body to function normally while making your weight-loss goals more attainable.
With a little dose of discipline, you can incorporate these foods into your daily diet. Pretty soon, you will be on the right track, feeling great, and in no time, you’ll be able to fit into those skimpy spring outfits.
Top 10 Cleansing Foods
- Apples: Apples are high in pectin, which is a type of fiber that binds to heavy metals in the body and helps eliminate toxic buildup while cleansing the intestines. Add apples to smoothies, or if you are in a hurry, grab one on the go. Not as tender as berries, an apple can withstand being transported in a lunch bag without too much bruising.
- Beets: Beets contain a unique mixture of natural plant compounds that make them a great blood purifier and liver cleanser. Put on some rubber gloves and an apron—this bright purple food stains!
- Blueberries: Blueberries are a natural antibacterial. They help block toxins from the brain and help lessen the tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation. Blueberries are everyone’s favorite, and boy do they taste yummy! Add to cereal, oatmeal and smoothies, or just eat by the handful.
- Broccoli: Broccoli actually boosts your liver’s ability to detoxify any carcinogens to which you are exposed, and it may also help prevent cancer. To get most of its cancer-fighting benefits, steam quickly (3-4 minutes). It should be tough-tender.
- Cabbage: Another great liver detoxifier, cabbage, is also known for its antioxidant properties. In addition, it cleanses the digestive tract and neutralizes some of the toxins found in our day-to-day environment. Add cabbage to Mexican food, make coleslaw, or slice thinly and toss it into a salad. You will learn to appreciate the crunchy texture after eating it a few times.
- Dandelion Greens: Dandelion greens (like kale) are rich in minerals, such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium, and may reduce your risk of certain cancers. Sure, you could pick dandelion greens from your own backyard, but unless you are sure you are picking the right greens, you might want to buy it organically from your local grocer.
- Garlic: Garlic is known for its antibacterial properties. It cleanses harmful intestinal parasites and viruses from your body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also has anti-cancer and antioxidant elements that help detoxify the body of harmful, cancer-causing substances. Add to pasta or pesto, or simply eat a clove raw. I chop up one clove every day and add it to my morning glass of orange juice! Yes, it takes some getting used to, but it’s worth it.
- Kale: Kale is rich in minerals, such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium, and may reduce your risk of certain cancers. It is also high in fiber, which helps cleanse the intestinal tract. Steam with a little garlic, sea salt and olive oil, or eat raw.
- Legumes: Legumes have a very high fiber content, which helps lower cholesterol and cleanse the intestines. Legumes help you feel full while keeping blood-sugar levels steady. Add legumes to your diet a few times a week, and you will reap the rewards. Also great for those on a tight budget!
- Lemon: Lemon is said to be an excellent liver detoxifier because it contains high amounts of vitamin C, needed by the body to make an important substance called glutathione. Glutathione helps the liver in ridding itself of harmful chemicals. Every morning, I start off my day by drinking a cup of warm water with a half a lemon squeezed into it. You can also add it to your water throughout the day for an extra zing.