Spring Clean Your Body with these 4 Foods
Get ready for spring with these 4 naturally detoxifying foods – no gimmicks necessary!
This post was written by Nutritioulicious contributor Tiana Yom, MPH, CHES
Diet trends come and go, but one has had staying power for a few years now: detox diets and cleanses. “Detoxing” has been touted to help with weight loss, increase energy, and rid the body of “toxins,” whether environmental or from a weekend of too much partying (think alcohol, late night fried food – you get the picture).
While you may feel better from a couple of days drinking cold-pressed juices or water with lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup (aka The Master Cleanse), like most fad diets there are flaws with detox diets, including (but not limited to) loss of muscle mass, low blood sugar, and gastrointestinal distress.
Did you know that our body naturally cleanses and detoxes?
Lucky for us, we have robust digestive and excretory systems that help us remove toxins from our bodies without going on a restrictive diet. For example, our kidneys filter our blood to remove waste, and our livers break down harmful chemicals. Similarly, we have a wonderful detoxing system – whenever we head to the restroom and sweat. And wouldn’t you know, the body’s natural detoxification actually relies on our consumption of real, whole foods! So forgo the liquid cleanses and try some of these foods to naturally cleanse the body!
Top 4 foods to help our naturally cleansing body
Artichokes may help the liver function at its best, which in turn will help your body remove toxins. Two antioxidants in artichokes have been shown to promote the liver’s production of bile, which helps break down fat in the small intestine. Here are some other reasons to love artichokes in the spring.
Beets contain a unique mixture of natural plant chemicals (phytochemicals) called betalains, which have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and liver cleansing properties. There is also ongoing research into the role beets play in heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Garlic boosts the immune system and helps clear out the liver thanks to its high quantities of sulfur compounds, which promote the production of glutathione. Glutathione plays a critical role in detoxification and as an antioxidant. Additionally, recent research from Washington State University shows that garlic is 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting disease-causing bacteria commonly responsible for foodborne illness.
You’ve probably heard of ginger’s role in soothing nausea and GI distress, but did you know this spice also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties? As such, it can protect cell damage caused by free radicals and other toxins. Research from 2012 also found that ginger might help promote satiety and decrease appetite.
For more natural “detox” tips check out this article with quotes from Jessica!
What do you think about detox diets?
Are there foods you eat to naturally detox?
I’m with you on this! I don’t believe in detox diets either and it frustrates me that people thing they “need” those in order to lose weight. I’m all for just eating healthy foods, and I love ginger and garlic! :]
Thanks, I love them too!
When my husband puts loads of ginger in his morning smoothie there’s a reason he feels “cleansed” the rest of the day!! I had no idea about beets or artichokes- so cool! Thanks for sharing and I’m totally with you on spring cleaning/detoxing for health 🙂
Haha..so funny! Research is a little newer on beets and artichokes, but it’s promising!
love this article! All you need to eat is real food to “detox.” Generally, I really don’t like using the detox word at all, but since the general public tends to cling to that word It makes sense to recommend whole foods that aid in digestion/cleansing.
Thanks heather! I feel the same way. I had a hard time even writing “detox,” but that’s what draws ppl in, unfortunately.
These all should be foods (staples) in every diet! They all have such wonderful benefits!