Detoxing the Body! 

36 Foods to Detox and Cleanse Your Entire Body

Dec 16 • Detox, Good Healthy Food, Health
Practiced for thousands of years by cultures around the world –
detoxification is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from
the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body
with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and
renew your ability to maintain optimum health. These foods will assist in
boosting your metabolism and optimizing digestion, while allowing you to
lose weight and fortify your immune system.


Artichokes help the liver function at its best, which in turn will help
your body purge itself of toxins and other things it doesn’t need to
survive. It ups the liver’s production of bile, and since bile helps break
down foods which helps your body use the nutrients inside them, an
increase in bile production is typically a good thing.


Apples are full of wonderful nutrients. You get fiber, vitamins, minerals
and many beneficial phytochemicals such as D-Glucarate, flavonoids and
terpenoids. All of these substances are used in the detox process. One
flavonoid, Phlorizidin (phlorizin), is thought to help stimulate bile
production which helps with detox as the liver gets rid of some toxins
through the bile. Apples are also a good source of the soluble fiber
pectin, which can help detox metals and food additives from your body.
It’s best to eat only organic apples as the non-organic varieties are
among the top 12 foods that have been found to contain the most pesticide
residues. Organically produced apples also have a 15 percent higher
antioxidant capacity than conventionally produced apples.


Almonds are the best nut source of Vitamin E. In fact, just one ounce
contains 7.3 mg of “alpha-tocopherol” vitamin E, the form of the vitamin
the body prefers. They’re also high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and
useable protein that helps stabilize blood sugar and remove impurities
from the bowels.


Not only does asparagus help to detoxify the body, it can help you wage
the anti-aging battle, protect you from getting cancer, help your heart to
stay healthy, and is a general anti-inflammatory food. It’s also known to
help with liver drainage, which might sound like a bad thing, but since
the liver is responsible for filtering out the toxic materials in the food
and drinks we consume, anything that backs up its drainage is not doing
you any favors. Asparagus also helps reduce risk of death from breast
cancer and increase the odds of survival.


This wonder fruit is packed with antioxidants, lowers cholesterol, and
dilates the blood vessels while blocking artery-destroying toxicity.
Avocados contain a nutrient called glutathione, which blocks at least 30
different carcinogens while helping the liver detoxify synthetic
chemicals. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that elderly
people who had high levels of glutathione were healthier and less likely
to suffer from arthritis. Consuming avocados is associated with better
diet quality and nutrient intake level, lower intake of added sugars,
lower body weight, BMI and waist circumferences, higher “good cholesterol”
levels and lower metabolic syndrome risk.


Basil has anti-bacterial properties, and it’s full of antioxidants to
protect the liver. The active ingredients are terpenoids. It is also
wonderful for digestion and detoxification, too. It supports the
functioning of the kidneys and also acts as a diuretic to help the body
expel unwanted toxins. Basil has been known to have anti-ulcer qualities
as well as antimicrobial effects that guard against bacteria, yeast, fungi
and mold. Basil seed can also help with constipation. The anti-cancer
properties of basil may also relate to its ability to influence viral

A single serving of beets can do more for your health than most foods in
the produce isle. Not only can they boost your energy and lower your blood
pressure, but eating beets in the long-term can help you fight cancer,
reduce arthritic pain, and boost your brain as well as help you lose
weight. Beets contain a unique mixture of natural plant chemicals
(phytochemicals) and minerals that make them superb fighters of infection,
blood purifiers, and liver cleansers. They also help boost the body’s
cellular intake of oxygen, making beets excellent overall body cleansers.
When you’re detoxing, beets will help by making sure that the toxins
you’re getting out actually make it out of your body. Many detox cleanses
go wrong when toxins are reintroduced to the body because they don’t make
it all the way out.


Blueberries contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the tissue-damaging
effects of chronic inflammation, while lessening pain. Just 300 grams of
blueberries protects against DNA damage. Blueberries also act as
antibiotics by blocking bacteria in the urinary tract, thereby helping to
prevent infections. They have antiviral properties and are loaded with
super-detoxifying phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins.


These tasty treats are packed with selenium, which is key to flushing
mercury out of your body. The body uses selenium to make "selenoproteins,"
which work like antioxidants preventing damage to cells and there is
growing body of evidence to show it has a key role in our health. The
consumption of brazil nuts has been found to be inversely associated with
risk of pancreatic cancer, independent of other potential risk factors for
pancreatic cancer.


Broccoli specifically works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins
into something your body can eliminate easily. If you’re stuck for ways on
how to make broccoli taste better, try dehydrating it or consider eating
it raw. But, don’t microwave it as this destroys both the nutritional and
detox potential. Broccoli contains a very powerful anti-cancer, anti-
diabetic and anti-microbial called sulforaphane which helps prevent
cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and allergies.
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Broccoli sprouts can actually provide more benefit than regular broccoli
as they contain 20 times more sulfurophane. They contain important
phytochemicals that are released when they’re chopped, chewed, fermented,
or digested. The substances are released, then they break down into
sulfurophanes, indole-3-carbinol and D-glucarate, which all have a
specific effect on detoxification. Add these to your salads and get
creative with them in your meals. Researchers have found that an oral
preparation made from broccoli sprouts trigger an increase in
inflammation-fighting enzymes in the upper airways.


In addition to cleansing your liver, cabbage will also aid in helping you
go to the bathroom, which in turn helps you expel the toxins, getting them
out of your system so you can start fresh. It contains sulfur, which is
essential when it comes to breaking down chemicals and removing them from
your body. Along with other cole crops, cabbage is a source ofindole-3-
carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block
the growth of cancer cells.


Cilantro, also known as coriander, Chinese parsley or dhania contains
an abundance of antioxidants. Cilantro helps mobilize mercury and other
metals out of the tissue so it can attach to it other compounds and allow
it to be excreted from the body. It also contains an antibacterial
compound called dodecenal, which laboratory tests showed is twice as
effective as the commonly used antibiotic drug gentamicin at killing


The oils from cinnamon contain active components called cinnamaldehyde,
cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol. Cinnamaldehyde has been well-
researched for its effects on blood platelets helps prevent unwanted
clumping of blood cells. Cinnamon’s essential oils also qualify it as an
“anti-microbial” food, and cinnamon has been studied for its ability to
help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the commonly
problematic yeast Candida. Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties are so
effective that recent research demonstrates this spice can be used as an
alternative to traditional food preservatives. It has one of the highest
antioxidant values of all foods and its use in medicine treats everything
from nausea to menstruation and energy to diabetes.


While they are more popular as fruits that help prevent urinary tract
infections, cranberries are antibacterial and are known to remove many
different toxins from your body. Cranberries feature a rich profile of
anti-inflammatory nutrients, provide immune and cardiovascular support, as
well as promote digestive health. Consuming cranberry products has
been associated with prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs) for over
100 years.


Dandelions are considered a powerhouse food full of nutrients that are
essential for anyone regularly eating processed foods. Dandelion root
(taraxacum officinale) is known to act on the liver and pancreas
bystraining and filtering toxins & wastes from the bloodstream, and its
beneficial effects on liver complaints have been well documented by both
Asian practitioners and American physicians. They’re a rich source of
minerals and provide a variety of phytonutrients. They’re super
antioxidants that support cleansing of the digestive tract. Try adding
dandelion leaves to your salad.


The fennel bulb is high in fiber and may also be useful in preventing
colon cancer. In addition to its fiber, fennel is a very good source of
folate, a B vitamin that is necessary for the conversion of a dangerous
molecule called homocysteine into other benign molecules. The vitamin C
found in fennel bulb is directly anti-microbial and is also needed for the
proper function of the immune system.


When detoxifying your body, it’s essential to ensure toxins are eliminated
properly. Ground flaxseeds provide a wonderful source of fiber that helps
to bind and flush toxins from the intestinal tract. They’re also a great
source of health promoting omega 3 oils. Try consuming two tablespoons of
ground flaxseeds in lemon water every morning. University of Copenhagen
researchers report that flax fiber suppresses appetite and helps support
weight loss. Men should be cautious when consuming flax as the lignans are
similar to the female hormone estrogen and can cause problems for some


Many detox diets list garlic as a crucial piece of the puzzle. The reason
is that garlic boosts the immune system as well as helping out the liver.
One good thing about garlic is that you can up your intake without having
to worry if your body is going to get used to it or build up a resistance.
Sulfur is found in high quantities in garlic which makes it a good detox
food, and its antibiotic properties heal your body. Garlic is proven to be
100 times more effective than antibiotics and work in a fraction of the


Alongside turmeric, ginger is one of the world’s most potent disease-
fighting spices. Ginger spikes your metabolism, flushes out waste, is
thought to help liver function, and has some astringent properties. Some
detox diets ask you to chew on ginger root. You may also find that adding
it to hot water makes the water taste better. Basically any way you can
think of it get it into your system is going to be beneficial, especially
if you’re suffering from a fatty liver caused by too much alcohol or too
many toxic foods and drinks.


Replace raisins with nutrient dense Goji berries to boost your vitamin C
and beta-carotene intake. Gram for gram, goji berries pack more vitamin C
than oranges and more beta-carotene than carrots. Vitamin C can help
remove waste from your body, while beta-carotene improves liver


Grapefruits can prevent weight gain, treat diabetes, lower cholesterol,
fight cancer, heal stomach ulcers, reduce gum disease and even keep stroke
and metabolic syndrome at bay. Grapefruits can treat diseases as well as
pharmaceuticals, but without the side effects. The rich pink and red
colors of grapefruit are due to lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient.
Among the common dietary carotenoids, lycopene has the highest capacity to
help fight oxygen free radicals, which are compounds that can damage
cells. The big takeaway on grapefruit is that it gets your liver fired up
and ready for action, while infusing the rest of your organs with
nutrient-laden fruit juice.


Green tea is often thought of as a great addition to any detox program
because of its high antioxidant value. It is the least processed tea and
thus provides the most antioxidant polyphenols, notably a catechin called
epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is believed to be responsible for
most of the health benefits linked to green tea. According to 17 clinical
trials, green tea is linked with significantly lower blood sugar.

{Theresa's ADDED NOTE: Google green, white and Hibiscus tea before
choosing green tea as the highest antioxidant source. The green is higher than
all other commonly consumed teas; it is lower, much lower, than the others
named here.}

24. HEMP

Hemp might just be one of nature’s most perfect foods since it is full of
antioxidants like Vitamins E and C, as well as chlorophyll which is
wonderful for cleansing the body from toxins of all kinds, including heavy
metals. The soluble and insoluble fiber in hemp can also keep the
digestive tract clean and therefore, reduce the toxic burden on other
internal organs. Hemp could free us from oil, prevent deforestation, cure
cancer, and it’s environmentally friendly.

{Theresa's ADDED NOTE: Unless you're consuming the now available hemp that
has ZERO THC in it, I don't want to hear about it. For all of the valid
side-uses the various forms of pot have, if you're consuming it with THC
in it, you're getting stoned. That's not mentally, spiritually,
emotionally and physically healing yourself, your body or your soul. They
have 12 step meetings for that.}

25. KALE

Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s
detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from
kale’s glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level. This
vegetable is so good for you that it is often recommended to patients
who are following a doctor recommended diet when fighting kidney disease.
It’s packed with so many antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties
as well, not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals it contains.
Leafy greens are likely the number one food you can eat to regularly help
improve your health. They’re filled with fiber along with crucial
vitamins, minerals, and plant-based phytochemicals that may help protect
you from almost every disease known.


This is an herb that is used in Thailand and other parts of the world as a
natural way to cleanse several organs at once. It not only helps the liver
but also the kidneys, the bladder, and the entire digestive tract.
Benefits of using it in your cooking, or drinking it as a tea include a
better complexion, better circulation, and better digestion. It is most
often used as a tea in the world of detoxing, and there are several
recipes you can try until you find one that suits your tastes best.


This wonderful fruit stimulates the release of enzymes and helps convert
toxins into a water soluble form that can be easily excreted from the
body. In addition, they contain high amounts of vitamin C, a vitamin
needed by the body to make glutathione. Glutathione helps ensure that
phase 2 liver detoxification keeps pace with phase 1, thereby reducing the
likelihood of negative effects from environmental chemicals. Drinking
lemon water, which is alkaline-forming, first thing in the morning will
help to balance out the acidity of foods we’ve consumed. They also have an
incredible effect in detoxing the liver. Fresh lemon juice contains more
than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps balance the body’s pH levels.


Some liver cleanses out there call for olive oil mixed with fruit juice in
order to trigger your liver to expunge its gallstones. But aside from that
olive oil should be your go-to oil when you’re detoxing the body. That’s
because it has a lot of healthy properties, and it makes for a better
choice of fat than most of your other options. Just be sure not to cook
with it at high heat. Use it as a salad dress to help things like dark
leafy greens go down. Your best choice is always ice-pressed olive oil,
but if you can find a very high quality cold-pressed olive oil, although
not as nutritious, it will suffice provided the quality is high and it's
not adulterated.


This ubiquitous kitchen staple is as healthy as it is tasty. It’s brimming
with sulfur-containing amino acids, which efficiently detox the liver. Raw
onions deliver the most health benefits. Even a small amount of “over-
peeling” can result in unwanted loss of flavonoids. For example, a red
onion can lose about 20% of its quercetin and almost 75% of its
anthocyanins if it is “over-peeled.” Onions will soak up arsenic, cadmium,
lead, mercury and tin in contaminated foods. The total polyphenol content
of onion is not only higher than its fellow allium vegetables, garlic and
leeks, but also higher than tomatoes, carrots, and red bell pepper. Onions
have been shown to inhibit the activity of macrophages, specialized white
blood cells that play a key role in our body’s immune defense system, and
one of their defense activities involves the triggering of large-scale
inflammatory responses.


Those pretty green leaves don’t just make your plate look great. Parsley
boasts plenty of beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and K to protect your
kidneys and bladder. Diuretic herbs such as parsley prevent problems such
as kidney stones and bladder infections, and keep our body’s plumbing
running smoothly by causing it to produce more urine. They also relieve
bloating during menstruation. The flavonoids in parsley, especially
luteolin, have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with
highly reactive oxygen containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and
help prevent oxygen based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from
parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant
capacity of the blood.


This tropical delight contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps
cleanse your colon and improve digestion. Excessive inflammation,
excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth may
all be reduced by bromelain. Two molecules isolated from an extract of
crushed pineapple stems have even shown promise in fighting cancer growth.


Seaweed may be the most underrated vegetable in the Western world. Studies
at McGill University in Montreal showed that seaweeds bind to radioactive
waste in the body so it can be removed. Radioactive waste can find its way
into the body through some medical tests or through food that has been
grown where water or soil is contaminated. Seaweed also binds to heavy
metals to help eliminate them from the body. In addition, it is a
powerhouse of minerals and trace minerals. Seaweed extracts can help you
lose weight, mostly body fat.


Sesame seeds’ phytosterols have beneficial effects which are so dramatic
that they have been extracted from many foods and added to processed
foods, such as “butter-replacement spreads," which are then touted as
cholesterol-lowering “foods.” But why settle for an imitation “butter”
when Mother Nature’s nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of
phytosterols–and cardio-protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as
well? Sesame seeds contain minerals important in a number of anti-
inflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems. Sesame represents one of the
top 10 healthiest seeds on Earth.


Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, which gives it
its yellow color. The rate at which your detox pathways function depends
on your genes, your age, lifestyle and a good supply of nutrients involved
in the detox process. Curcumin is used a lot in Ayurvedic Medicine to
treat liver and digestive disorders. Turmeric has specifically been
studied in relation to the positive effect that it has on the liver. As a
high antioxidant spice, turmeric protects the body and prevents disease
more effectively than drug based treatments and without the side effects.


Give your liver a big boost with cleansing action of watercress. If you’re
into making smoothies for your detoxing, this is a great one to blend up
and drink down. This helps to release enzymes in the liver that clean it
out and help rid it of toxic buildup. Eating watercress every day helps
prevent breast cancer.


Wheatgrass restores alkalinity to the blood. The juice’s abundance of
alkaline minerals helps reduce over-acidity in the blood, and thus also Is
a powerful detoxifier, and liver protector. It increases red blood cell
count and lowers blood pressure. It also cleanses the organs and
gastrointestinal tract of debris. Wheatgrass stimulates the metabolism and
the body’s enzyme systems by enriching the blood. It also aids in reducing
blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body. Pound
for pound, wheatgrass is more than 20 times denser in nutrients than other
choice vegetables. Nutritionally, wheatgrass is a complete food that
contains 98 of the 102 earth elements.

John Summerly is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. 
He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes,
executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of
complementary therapies for health and prevention.
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