When I was growing up, my aunt taught me the value of cleansing my body from toxic substances to prevent illness and help in the healing process. Today we know that uric acid can build up in our joints.
We can overwhelm our liver and its ability to pull toxins out of our body, yeast and parasites can inhabit our bowels, and second-hand smoke and air pollution can affect our lungs. So, about once every few months, or whenever I’m not feeling well, I go on a detoxification regimen. I like to cleanse my whole system through herb-spiked liquids, healing foods, and nutritional supplements.
One naturally cleansing spice is turmeric, a member of the ginger family. Turmeric is a source of the FoodTrient curcumin, which helps prevent disease through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can make turmeric juice from the turmeric root and mix it with orange juice for extra Vitamin C—and detox—benefits.
Certain foods can also help your body rid itself of unwanted chemicals. I’ve already mentioned the power of citrus fruits. Garlic, like citrus, helps the liver produce detoxifying enzymes. Okra is known for its ability to flush out the intestines. Chia seeds and flaxseeds have a similar bowel-cleansing effect because they are loaded with natural fiber and Omega-3 oils that absorb toxins in the intestinal tract and help eliminate them from the body.
Fresh watercress, cilantro, and parsley are good for detoxifying the kidneys and liver because they contain chlorophyll, which also helps protect against certain cancers. Cilantro can even pull metals like mercury, lead, and aluminum out of the body. Most every salad can benefit from a handful of fresh raw watercress, cilantro, and/or parsley.
Pure water may be the ultimate detoxifying flush for kidneys, liver, lungs, and bowels, but green tea is also excellent. The catechins in green tea are great for helping the liver work and for purifying the blood. Plus, green tea is usually served as a beverage. Liquids definitely help pull poisons out of the body, so be sure to drink plenty of them. Whether you make your green tea hot or cold, use clean, fresh water. You can incorporate green tea into the foods you eat as well. My easy cookbook recipe for Green Tea Noodles shows you how you can use green tea in place of water when you cook noodles.
Incorporate these simple ways to naturally cleanse your body and eat whole foods that are free of pesticides and preservatives—they help promote a healthier you!