6 Naturally Detoxifying Foods to Add to Your Diet
What better time to detox your body than the start of a new season? Give your body a break by adding items to your diet that will lighten your load, promote health and make you feel great. We have some expert tips on great foods that also help you detox.
“Spring is in the air and the time has come to get your glow on,” says Carina Sohaili, founder of Vibrant Healthy Life, and celebrity nutrition and health counselor. She’s sharing some of the spring detox foods that she regularly suggests to clients.
This common breakfast fruit has many health and body benefits. For starters, it’s a huge metabolism-booster, but Sohaili notes that it’s also a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A, two vitamins that she says have been proven to contribute to clear skin and a more even complexion. Grapefruit also contains an enzyme that aids in burning fat, and Sohaili notes that grapefruit is good for digestion because it helps the body break down protein in order to be used more efficiently.
Try it: Simply snack on grapefruit as is, or make a salad out of spinach, toasted pecans, shaved fennel and thin slices of grapefruit. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Pineapple contains a specific enzyme called bromelain, which Sohaili explains has been proven to aid in digestion, break down unwanted toxins, as well as reduce inflammation and stomach bloating. “Moreover, pineapple is rich in the mineral manganese, which helps regulate mood as well as increase energy production within the body,” she says.
Try it: Add chunks of frozen pineapple to smoothies for a tangy kick, or add pineapple to fruit salads.
The high levels of potassium in avocados help cleanse the body of excessive waste and reduce stomach bloating prompting Sohaili to refer to them as “a true flat-belly food.” Avocados are also packed with heart healthy monounsaturated fats–fats that she explains have been proven to reduce stress as well as increase post-meal satisfaction levels. Moreover, Sohaili says that avocados contain plant protein to keep you feeling more full for a longer amount of time, giving you lasting energy and curbing unhealthy cravings. And if that wasn’t enough, the decadent fruit also contains vitamin E, which fights off damaging free radicals that contribute to aging.
Try it: Mash avocado into a spread for sandwiches, chop it into salads, or blend a half an avocado into your morning smoothie.
Blueberries are a great source of dietary fibre, which helps to rid the body of excessive waste, as well as being packed with cancer fighting antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E, says Sohaili, making them a nutritional as well as detox super food.
Try it: Have a cup of blueberries for a mid-morning snack, throw them in your oatmeal, or Sohaili suggests making a delicious berry smoothie with almond milk, stevia and the greens of your choice.
Cayenne pepper is a powerful spice. Not only does it add a spicy kick to your cooking, it improves digestion, blood circulation and increases energy levels. “This precious pepper creates heat in the digestive tract that helps your body store food more effectively, improving digestion and aiding in feelings of satisfaction,” explains Sohaili. She adds that cayenne pepper also contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A and essential minerals.
Try it: Mix this pepper into a simple salad dressing, smoothie or your morning omelet.
Lemon is loaded with potassium and contains pectin, a soluble fiber that flushes the body of excessive waste, making it an ideal detox food all year round, says Sohaili. She explains that the vitamin C content is also great for immunity and clear skin. “It is one of my favorite spring foods due to the incredible detox properties, health benefits and balancing effect it has on the body.”
Try it: Start the day with water and freshly squeezed lemon to give your body a detox boost first thing in the morning, or add freshly squeezed lemon to salads, vegetables and other dishes.
Jessica Padykula is a Toronto-based writer and editor who regularly covers style, beauty, health, travel and lifestyle trends. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world. You can follow her on Twitter @JessPadykula.