No, we’re not just talking about detoxing from one too many glasses of wine – today, there are many things that act as toxins in our body. From our external environment alone, we face evils from pesticides, herbicides, air pollution, water pollution, electromagnetic smog, household chemicals and even everyday products like cosmetics, hair products and food. We also create endogenous products that can accumulate and become toxic, such as, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, urea, hormones and many others.
Under this amount of toxic stress, the number one way to lower your toxic burden is to know what elements in your life are toxic and how to avoid them. Using chemical-free household and personal products, investing in a water filter and eating organic non-GMO foods are a few simple ways to live a less toxic life.
More importantly, you can reduce your toxic load by regularly eating top detox ingredients that strengthen and nourish your body’s detoxification pathways. The liver is one of the major detoxification organs in the body and is also involved in digestion, immunity, circulation, hormonal regulation and other important body functions, so promoting this lifestyle is better for everyone! However in certain conditions such as cancer, liver disease and neurological disease it is a crucial aspect of recovery.
Research has shown that these 10 foods can alter levels of liver enzymes, clear toxic compounds from the blood, lower inflammation and regulate hormones. So grab a plate and a hearty portion of these key foods that promote liver detoxification:
Turmeric is the base of many curry powders and contains a phytochemical called curcumin. Many studies have shown curcumin’s ability to lower inflammation, stimulate detoxification and prevent cancer.
Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. Not only are these veggies fantastic for detoxification but they are also a terrific source of indole-3-carbanol and diindolemethane, which are two phytochemicals that help balance estrogen levels and can reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Dark Leafy Greens
These include kale, chard, dandelion greens, and spinach mustard greens. These greens are slightly bitter and in that respect are great for stimulating digestive juices. Not only are they helpful for digestion but dark leafy greens are full of chlorophyll which is known for its ability to bind toxins and also contain many of the vitamins and minerals that act as co-factors in the body’s detoxification pathways. Lastly, a diet high in leafy greens provides lots of fiber.
Beets are an excellent source of betaine, vitamin A and a whole host of antioxidants – top tip? Combine with the leafy greens the and you have a super nutritious meal, full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Garlic is high in sulfur compounds, hence the strong odor, but a little garlic breath can help out your liver detox tremendously. Garlic also has been shown to protect against heart disease and may also be anti-microbial.
Ginger is a spicy, flavourful root that is excellent for stimulating circulation. It also may prevent the development of fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis.
Often known as a good source of iodine, kelp is also a great source of magnesium. Magnesium has many roles in the body from blood sugar regulation to protein synthesis and energy production. It is also a very important cofactor in phase II liver detoxification and unfortunately is a very common mineral deficiency in North America, thanks to the Standard American Diet (SAD).
Another super ingredient that is packed full of toxin binding chlorophyll is Cilantro. This green also has the ability to bind heavy metals in the blood as well as lower cholesterol. Cilantro is often a love or hate herb, so if you love it, load up on it, if you don’t, maybe one day you will learn to love this wonderful herb.
Lemons are full of Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C also increases the body’s levels of glutathione, one of substances the liver uses to detoxify. Lemons can also stimulate the digestive juices, as well as bile secretion.
Last, but certainly not least, the artichoke. This vegetable is one of the best foods for the liver as it contains loads of antioxidants and magnesium. It also has a certain phytochemical called cynarin, which protects the liver tissue from damage and can be especially important in liver cirrhosis and cancer treatment. Artichokes also stimulate bile flow to maintain healthy digestion and gallbladder function.
Try to include at least 3 of these super-detox ingredients everyday to boost your metabolism, lower your cholesterol and inflammation and help keep your liver happy!