The 8 Foods With Detoxifying Super Powers

  1. Green Tea is a super detoxifier. It contains a wealth of antioxidant rich polyphenols that protect the liver from toxin damage. Green tea also helps to reduce cholesterol, and may help prevent heart disease and certain types of cancer. It’s a great substitute for coffee while on the 21 Day Detox. The antioxidants are at their highest when the tea is caffeinated, hot (rather than iced), and has a generous squeeze of lemon juice.


  1. Broccoli Sprouts are actually tiny broccoli plants. The sprouted broccoli seeds have 20-150 times the health benefits of broccoli. Research shows that daily consumption of broccoli sprouts enhances elimination of environmental pollutants. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts are rich in glucosinolates (transformed to sulforaphane = cancer fighters) that can enhance the liver’s ability to ready toxins for elimination from the body. As a bonus, broccoli sprouts lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.


  1. Kale – Like broccoli and broccoli sprouts, this brassica family vegetable also lowers cancer risk. Kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals, antioxidant rich flavonoids, and glucosinolates (cancer fighters). Most importantly, kale provides full support for our liver’s detoxification system – enhancing both phases of liver detoxification through the neutralization and elimination of toxins.


  1. Turmeric – This yellow cooking spice contains the active component curcumin (the compound that makes it yellow and provides its health benefits). Extensive studies of curcumin have repeatedly demonstrated an ability to support the liver’s detoxification processes. Curcumin may lower cancer risk by inhibiting the activation of some carcinogens while increasing the neutralization and elimination of others. Supplementation with curcumin supports liver detoxification. In addition, adding turmeric to foods when cooking will provide some health benefits. A pinch of black pepper will increase the bioavailability of curcumin when added to recipes that call for turmeric.


  1. Brazil nuts – Brazil nuts are high in selenium, a nutrient essential to our body’s production of glutathione. Glutathione is the head honcho of internal antioxidants and liver protectors. When overloaded with toxins, a poor diet, stress, and/or medications, our glutathione levels are depleted, contributing to toxic build up, inflammation, and chronic disease. To boost glutathione levels, adequate intake of selenium is important.   Eating just 1 brazil nut in the shell (you crack the nut) or 2 shelled brazil nuts (purchased without the shell) per day will provide you with roughly 100 mcg of selenium a day. To avoid excess selenium, don’t eat more than 2 per day.


  1. Garlic and Onions – Sulfur rich foods such as garlic, onions, leeks and shallots raise glutathione levels, protect the tissues from oxidative damage, and support Phase II liver detoxification. Phase II detoxification requires sulfur containing amino acids, and sulfur rich foods provide their building blocks. To preserve the sulfur compounds in these vegetables, slice and let them sit for ten minutes before cooking. Kale, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other brassica veggies are also high in sulfur and can be prepared in this way.


  1. Beets – The pigments in beets, called betalain, support the liver’s detoxification processes. Beets increase the liver’s ability to bind toxins to glutathione for neutralization and excretion. Betalains enhance the activity of an enzyme family known as glutathione-s-transferase (this enzyme helps hook glutathione to a toxin for removal from the body). Beets offer detox support by aiding in the removal of toxins that require glutathione for elimination. Beets can be eaten raw (when sliced thin or grated), juiced, or cooked.


  1. Cilantro and Parsley – These lush green herbs are much closer to traditional or ancestral foods than most of what we find in today’s supermarket. Many of today’s culinary herbs are almost identical to the ones that grew thousands of years ago. Parsley and cilantro are nutrient dense and antioxidant rich, and both have detoxifying properties. Cilantro binds to heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and aluminum readying them for removal from the body. Both cilantro and parsley protect and purify tissues, and parsley acts as a natural diuretic, supporting elimination of toxins through the kidneys.