‘Detox’ is a word that features prominently in health and fitness magazines these days. You will often hear of ‘detox diets’, which are diet plans designed to eliminate toxins from the body. Do certain foods really help detox your body or is this just hype? Scientific evidence has shown that there are indeed some foods with detoxifying properties. These foods work by supporting the function of organs that work to eliminate waste and detoxify the body; these include the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, respiratory tract and lymphatic system.
Here’s a list of foods that can help detoxify the body:
Ginger is one of the healthiest foods you can find in your kitchen. It’s known to be effective in stimulating the gastrointestinal tract, which in turn helps to eliminate toxins from the body. A warm cup of ginger tea or chewing on a piece of ginger are great ways of reaping the detoxifying benefits of the spice.
Lemons contain a good amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants that can be beneficial for removing uric acid from the body. Lemon with hot water is a popular detoxifying drink, which is most effective when consumed on an empty stomach in the morning.
Turmeric is an important spice, popularly used in Indian cuisine and noted for its yellow-golden hue. Turmeric contains a powerhouse of beneficial properties including anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial effects. What makes the herb so effective is the presence of a unique compound ‘curcumin’, which is an antioxidant that prevents oxidative stress and free radical damage.
This vibrant ruby red root contains a high dose of vitamins and minerals that are great for the body. Beetroot is rich in iron, supports liver health and protects liver cells owing to the abundant antioxidants found in it. Starting your day with a glass of beetroot juice can help purify your body and boost your metabolism.
Flaxseeds are a great detox food as they contain insoluble fibre. The insoluble fibre in flax seeds helps in stimulating regular bowel movements, while it is also known to absorb cholesterol and other lipids that are then eliminated from the body. You can incorporate flax seeds into your diet by mixing a teaspoon of ground flaxseed in a glass of water, which should be consumed on an empty stomach in the morning.
The foods listed above are generally known as foods that help cleanse the body. If you want to go on a ‘detox diet’, these foods may well be added to your diet plan. Not only do these foods help detox the body, but they also contain essential nutrients which promote good health.
However, the best way to detox your body is to avoid consuming unhealthy foods in the first place. These include processed foods, alcohol, sugary drinks, fried or grilled foods, refined grains and junk food. In addition, staying hydrated greatly helps in eliminating wastes from the body as does eating probiotic foods such as yoghurt which keep the gut healthy.
This article is reviewed by Dr. Sunanda Ranade