Many popular New Year’s resolutions involve being healthier, and lots of people kick this off by doing a whole body cleanse. Because we live in such a toxic world, I want to encourage these efforts by writing a series of blogs this month about detoxification support. This week I am starting with the basics: dietary changes to assist with detoxification.
While there are many different dietary approaches to detoxification, I am going to emphasize the essentials that apply to nearly everyone. Of course, some people with specific health conditions will need to modify these suggestions for themselves. The following diet promotes detoxification by minimizing toxins in, keeping the pathways of elimination free to deal with toxins leaving the body.
- Eat regularly, three times daily with snacks as desired, so your blood sugar doesn’t drop.
- Eat organic foods, if possible. Do not eat products that are canned, packaged or contain artificial colorings, preservatives, additives, or other chemicals.
- Eat lots of vegetables and some fruits; try for 4-5 packed cups each day. Veggies and fruits are full of antioxidants and fiber that are helpful in detoxification. Eat a variety of different types of veggies to get the full range of antioxidants, but especially emphasize the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and arugula.
- Eat less meat and dairy and more vegan proteins, such as beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, nut butters, and seed butters. If you eat fish (small salmon, cod, herring, sardines only) take 1000mg Chlorella with the meal; this will along with fiber reduces mercury absorption. If you eat meat, try to eat low-fat cuts from free range grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free animals or wild game.
- Eat lots of fiber. It is a great detoxifier as it binds fats, hormones, chemicals, metals and other undesirables in the intestines. Fiber is found in beans/legumes (the best!), apples, peaches, pears, berries, crunchy vegetables, and whole grains. Eat two to three of these fiber sources at every meal.
- Have good quality oils like extra virgin olive oil, flax, fish, walnut, or Omega 3-6-9 blends. Have at least 1 Tablespoon 1-3 times per day.
- Support friendly bowel bacteria by eating cultured foods: miso, kim chi, real sauerkraut, kvass, and kombucha.
- At least once daily, eat foods stimulating to liver function and bile flow such as lemon, lime, beet, carrot, parsnips, chlorophyll, artichoke, fresh rosemary, caraway, dill seeds, burdock and dandelion roots.
- Have no refined or concentrated sugar, sweets, caffeine, alcohol, fried or deep-fried food.
- Drink lots of filtered water – 2-4 quarts per day or more if you are exercising or sweating.
And remember because toxins are such a challenge for us these days, try to apply principles like these to your diet all year round.