Living in the extremes is always something to be cautioned against—the all-or-nothing approach usually ends in nothing. So this year, rather than focusing on cutting out potentially detrimental foods, try to focus on adding foods that help cleanse your body naturally. “There are plenty of foods that support the body’s natural detoxification processes,” says Dr. Frank Lipman, an integrative and functional medicine specialist. Many of them are foods you probably eat regularly, however “regularly” and “daily” are two different things.
Scroll through for the naturally detoxifying foods Dr. Lipman wants you to eat every day!
“Sulfur-rich foods (such as onions, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables) are known to support your liver with detoxification properties,” Dr. Lipman says. Garlic and onions are rich in allicin, a powerhouse nutrient for your liver that nourishes and cleanses your entire body, especially your blood. It also wards off attacks on your immune system, which means less work for your liver. Cruciferous vegetables (like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower) promote gut, liver, and kidney health. And they’re all vitamin-rich and high in fiber, which supports regularity, allowing your body to cleanse itself of toxins and carcinogens.
“In Chinese medicine, daikon is believed to be very beneficial to anyone with excess dampness in their body—which in western medicine translates to yeast, candida, and excess mucus,” Dr. Lipman says. The Asian radish contains a large number active enzymes that aid in digestion, as well as high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and other disease-fighting phytonutrients that cleanse your blood, kidneys, and liver.
This one probably comes as no surprise, but the doctor (and all doctors) would like you to eat more dark leafy greens. “Dark leafy greens are some of the most energizing foods available,” Dr. Lipman says. These greens receive their energy from one of the most powerful energy sources out there: the sun. In addition to being chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they also deliver a chlorophyll boost to your digestive tract and liver, helping to rid your body of environmental toxins you ingest from metals, herbicides, pesticides, and more. Add organic spinach, barley, kale, alfalfa, chard, romaine, arugula, and collard greens to your diet to cleanse your body every day.
Dr. Lipman also suggests increasing your lemon intake, because lemons are alkalizing and detoxifying. Which means that once you ingest lemon, the citrus starts neutralizing toxins and jumpstarting the entire digestive process by spurring your live to produce more of the necessary enzymes (thanks to the citric acid). As a natural energizer and major source of antioxidants, it helps you fend off toxic buildup. With 51% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, lemons also deliver a boost to your immune system. Dr. Lipman’s recommendation? “First thing in the morning, have a glass of water with fresh lemon squeezed in.”
Okay, so technically this isn’t a doctor-recommended suggestion, but if you can’t squeeze the above foods into your diet on regular basis, at least supplement them with something that helps boost your intake of greens. Fountain’s The Super Green Molecule ($28) will help you up your leafy greens quota and deliver plenty of that blood-purifying chlorophyll green vegetables are known for. Aloha’s Daily Good Greens is packed with more than 100 nutrients and over two servings of detoxifying vegetables.
Are you getting enough of these naturally cleansing foods? Tell us how you incorporate these foods into your diet in the comments below!