This is a section of my 14 Day Clean Eating Detox Program where we use foods to heal the body, gut, and brain. The following whole, nutrient-dense, and real foods support our body’s detoxification process. I always work to incorporate one or many of these foods daily.
Our body’s need us to advocate for them! No one else will do it for them.
The following are the top detoxifying foods we can incorporate into our daily diet!
- Broccoli sprouts (and other Sulforaphane Veggies)
- Dark Green & Red leafy veggies
- Green tea
Beets contain a group of phytonutrients called betalains that support detoxification through an important phase 2 detox liver. Beets support the liver’s efforts ridding our body of are body doesn’t need! So eat these beautiful root veggies as much as you can during this cleanse.
The recipe I highly recommend incorporating into your diet is this Love Your Liver Salad! I make a huge batch on the weekend and eat at least once a day, preferably before meals as it helps with the digestive process.
If you have a juicer, beet juice can be an amazing way to support your liver! This beet and ginger juice recipe is perfect!
Or maybe this Detox Red Beet Soup Recipe?!
One of Mother Nature’s healthiest and most healing foods is (drum roll, please!) broccoli sprouts!
It turns out that broccoli sprouts have TONS of health benefits. They are part of the cruciferous family that contain compounds which have anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and potentially cancer-fighting effects!
One of these incredible compounds is (another drum roll please…) Sulforphane!
Sulforphane (we are simplifying here) is a chemical found in certain kinds of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower. This compound has incredible capabilities! For one, it can help prevent cancer and help fight cancer too! It has been shown to support the heart, bones, and respiratory system. It is highly detoxifying the body from environmental chemicals and helps combat autoimmune disease.
The easiest way to consume broccoli sprouts is to just top them on top of every savory meal and/or add to salads.
Other veggies that also contain these types of compounds are:
- Broccoli (the mature version)
- Brussel Sprouts
Super tip: Eat these veggies raw for best health benefits… BUT if you must eat them cooked, steam them lightly (3-4 minutes) and sprinkle mustard powder on them before serving. (Never cook sprouts!)
Mustard powder is particularly rich in a compound called myroinase. Myroinase, an enzyme that is destroyed by high cooking. is found in these plants and is needed to create sulforaphane upon chewing. It basically adds the enzyme back in so you reap ALL the benefits these plans contain.
Dark Leafy Greens & Reds
One of supplements I provide during this detox is a dark greens & reds powder. A recent study found that a diet containing approximately one serving of green leafy vegetables per day is associated with slower age-related cognitive decline. This is HUGE! Who doesn’t want to age slowly?
Leafy greens are chalk FULL of fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. They also supply the body with a significant amount of folate, promoting heart health.
Here is a list of my top 4 favorite dark leafy greens and ideas on how to add them to your diet everyday:
- Kale – Throw in smoothies or if you put kale in salads, massage it first with EVOO to break down the fibers and make it more palatable.
- Swiss Chard – Lightly steam, roll with a rolling pin to break down stem, and use as a wrap!
- Arugula – part of the brasscia family, this has the most bang for your buck! Put raw into salads, Throw on top of homemade pizza (the healthy kind), on pasture-raised eggs, and (gluten-free) pastas.
- Spinach – Super easy to add to the bottom of the plate/bowl of hot dishes/soups, since it wilts quickly. Do it raw to maintain nutrients.
More dark leafy greens to explore:
- Collard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Beet Greens
- Dandelion (also a wonderful prebiotic -food for good gut bugs)
- Mustard greens
Beginning our day with lemons water is key to supporting the body and aiding in the detoxification process. Lemons have a high amount of vitamin C, soluble fiber, and potassium.
Lemons may be quite acidic in the mouth but they are alkaline in the stomach helping promote a balanced pH level in the body. Drinking warm lemon water can stimulate a bowel movement.
Adding lemons to your water, salad dressings, and sprinkling on fish and chicken dishes will help you up your intake of this detoxifying fruit!
Eating garlic regularly is not only good for us it has been recognized as a preventive agent and treatment for many cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. It contains bioactive sulfer which is one of the most critical nutrients for our bodies to remain youthful and energetic.
Even the National Cancer Institute, which does not recommend any dietary supplement for cancer prevention (so sad), recognizes garlic as one of several vegetables with potential anticancer properties.
Let’s dive into the proven health benefits consuming raw garlic has:
- Preventative agent and treatment for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases
- Helps prevent cancer formation
- Controls high blood pressure
- Treats colds and infections
- Helps to reverse hair loss
- Improves dementia symptoms
- Treats diabetes
How you prepare garlic will determine how much benefits you will absorb! The following is an excerpt from the book Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson:
” Whether or not you get all the health benefits of the garlic, however, depends on how you prepare and cook it. In 2001, a group of Israeli food chemists discovered that conventional ways of preparing garlic can destroy most of its health benefits. Raw garlic contains the ingredients needed to make allicin, its most active ingredient, but not the compound itself. Allicin is created when two substances in garlic come into contact with each other. One is a protein fragment called alliin and the other is a heat-sensitive enzyme called alliinase. In an intact clove of garlic, these compounds re isolated i separate compartments. They do not commingle until you slice, press, or chew the garlic and rupture the barriers between them. Then the combustion begins.”
This group of chemists also discovered that heating garlic immediately after crushing it or slicing it destroys the heat-sensitive enzyme that triggers the reaction! So what do you do? Who doesn’t want to cook with garlic but still reap all of its benefits? I do!! Me!!
So here’s what you do!
You can chop, mince, slice, or mash the garlic and then KEEP IT AWAY FROM HEAT FOR 10 MINUTES! That’s it! During these 10 minutes the maximum amount of allicin is created so the heat-sensitive enzyme is no longer needed. You can then bake, fry, saute, the garlic and still gain all the benefits it has! Boom.
So how do we get more raw garlic in our diet! Here are a few suggestions!
Raw garlic is great to add to:
- Salad dressings
- Homemade salsas
- Stir into cooled pasta
- Add to mashed potatoes
- Blend into hot sauce
- Add or press into garlic-honey-lemon tea for when your immune system has been compromised!
Consuming raw garlic is great for overall health AND to help support our body to detoxify.
This is my absolute favorite tea! Green tea is the most popular teas in all the land. Green tea has been shown, in a number of exciting studies, to have many health benefits:
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves skin quality (anti-aging in a cup)
- Decreases cancer growth
- Improves brain function
- Protects brain from diseases
- Reduces risk of heart disease
- Reverses diabetes
- Decreases inflammation
The most important thing to note here is that green tea is an abundant source of EGCG (Epigallocatchin Gallate) ! EGCG what? Simply put this compound is the most powerful antioxidant polyphenol. Green teas contain this incredible compound that has anti-cancer effects and MANY more benefits on human health. Drink up! It is recommended to consume 2-4 cups of green tea every day for maximum benefit… just source wisely!
Some of the most common types of green tea are:
- Matcha: This super powerhouse tea is actually made from the whole tea leaf. It is a powder that incorporates the incredible benefits of chloropyll that is maintained in the whole-leaf powder, due to the simple processing of drying tea leaves and grinding it into powder.
- Sencha – The most popular tea in Japan, sencha has a very mild and pleasant taste. It is made from the most flavorful top leaves.
Start your day (after your lemon water) with this healing herbal gift or drink midday for a little pick-me-up and infusion of goodness!
Mother-Nature has given us SO many amazing and beautiful foods that support our body… remember WE are nature so feeding ourselves food that comes from plants and not a plant (Thank you Michael Pollan).
With love and gratitude, Becky