To illustrate just how important the quality of the food you ingest on a daily basis is, just imagine your body as a perfect engine (Which it is!) food is the fuel you feed it to enable it to achieve peak performance. The cleaner and purer the fuel, the better and smoother the engine’s performance. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
In the same way that some foods slow our body engine down, creating deposits which interfere with the smooth running of the various parts. Other foods we eat can actually act as “engine cleaners and boosters” these are the ones we call detox foods. Fortunately, they are abundantly available in nature, and anyone can have access to them.
New discoveries are being made every day on previously unknown properties and benefits some of our common foods possess. However, the ones listed in this article have undeniably proven their positive role in cleansing our engine and boosting its power.
Toxin build-up has become more of a concern in the twenty first century than ever before. Industrial and technological progress has resulted in many new and stronger chemicals, air and water pollution, radiation and nuclear contamination. Due to medical advancement we are using more drugs that promise to rid us of our various day-to-day ailments. We eat a higher percentage of refined foods, and stress is leading us to abuse our bodies with stimulants or sedatives.
Two of the main toxicity diseases are cancer and cardiovascular disease and they are happening to an alarmingly higher percentage of the population today. Others include arthritis, allergies, obesity, and many skin problems. Many common symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, muscular pain, cough, gastrointestinal problems and immune system weakness, can all be attributed to toxic overload.
Accumulated toxins in the body range from undigested organic matter, to metallic deposits such as lead, mercury, copper and aluminium we ingest through food and air. Environmental toxins, as well as those emitted by household furnishings accumulate in our body. Free radicals are also considered biochemical toxins and stress causes great toxicity in the body.
One thing is certain we are all in contact with toxins on a daily basis.
Fortunately nature seems to have an answer to this problem it comes in the form of foods.
Garlic has been used for its beneficial effects for thousands of years. It is a blood cleanser, a natural antibiotic it also reduces blood fats thinning the blood and lowering blood pressure.
To avoid the lingering smell when you eat raw garlic, simply peel the garlic clove, cut it lengthways and remove the heart stem (which is sometimes green). If you prefer to avoid the smell of garlic altogether, there is a multitude of garlic supplements in the health food shops to choose from.
Some studies have shown that the leaves of the coriander plant can accelerate the excretion of mercury, lead and aluminium from the body.
This delicious herb, when added to food, can greatly contribute in the detox process. It is available all year round. You can use it instead of basil to make a delicious coriander pesto.
Mix fresh coriander leaves (about 25 stems) with 1/2 a cup of pine nuts, 1 clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of lemon and 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a blender until you get a smooth paste (you can make the paste less lumpy by adding hot water). It’s very tasty with pasta or as an accompaniment to vegetables or fish.
Other detoxifying roots and herbs include:
Echinacea: A lymphatic cleanser
Dandelion root: A tonic, a liver and blood cleanser, diuretic and filters toxins
Cayenne pepper: Purifies the blood, increases fluid elimination and encourages sweating
Ginger root: Stimulates blood circulation and sweating
Liquorice root: Is a potent detoxifier it also balances biochemical functions and acts as a mild laxative
Parsley leaf: A diuretic it flushes the kidneys
Red clover blossoms: A blood cleanser that’s very useful during convalescence and recovery.
Great detox vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts and onions. Artichokes are well known for their liver detoxifying properties. Also recommended are beetroot and red and green vegetables.
All fresh fruit is good for detox provided it is eaten on its own, not before, with, or after food. A fresh fruit or fruits juice fasting is often recommended for a short (3-day) fast to cleanse and detoxify.
Fruit can be fresh, frozen or dried. It includes apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, raisins, pineapple, mango, kiwi fruit, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, melon, sultanas nectarines and peaches.