Q:I’VE HEARD CONFLICTING INFORMATION ABOUT CLEANSING DIETS. ARE THERE FOODS I CAN EAT TO HELP MY BODY DETOX NATURALLY?
A:Detoxing has become extremely popular, but it may not be right for every person or every lifestyle.
However, there are foods you can consume that gently support the body’s natural detoxification pathways. The organs responsible for waste elimination are known as the emunctories, which include the liver, colon, kidneys, lungs, skin, and lymphatic system.
Top foods to support detoxification
Garlic is rich in sulfur compounds, which are components of glutathione, and powerful antioxidants that may bind to and remove heavy metals from the body. Cabbage, broccoli, onions, leeks, chives, and coffee are also rich in sulfur.
Leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard, provide the body with an abundance of vitamins and minerals. These resources assist with optimizing liver, kidney, and lymphatic function.
Turmeric —or, more specifically, the curcumin found in it—has been shown in studies to increase the production of certain liver detoxification enzymes, and it may reduce inflammation in the lungs.
Beans and legumes, such as navy beans, chickpeas, lentils, and black beans, are high in fiber. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy colon and promoting “good” bacteria. Fiber also helps to move waste through the body, promoting bowel regularity.
Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, are also packed with fiber. Plus, they’re loaded with phytonutrients called glucosinolates, which are important for good liver function.
Consuming a variety of fresh whole foods will provide your body with powerful compounds and sufficient fiber to support the body’s natural abilities for detoxification.
Amber Baker, CNP, RNCP, is a nutritionist who’s passionate about empowering individuals to become a part of their own health story. She works at InspireHealth, a cancer care center.