You don’t need fad diets or juice cleanses to keep your body healthy. You can support your body’s processes for cleansing by eating the right foods and nutrients. And you can adopt daily habits to help your digestive system better rid your body of toxins. Here are some of our favorite ways to support your body’s health by eating to detox.
Choose These Nutrients
One of food’s many functions is to provide your body with the nutrients it needs for detoxing. Many of these nutrients support liver health by facilitating the liver’s processes that break down and filter toxic substances and remove them from your blood and body.
B vitamins, especially vitamin B6, folate, and B12 are important parts of the process since they facilitate methylation, a process that aids in the production of glutathione, a critical detoxifying nutrient. Some great sources of B6 are sunflower seeds, fish, pistachios, avocados and grass-fed meat. Vegetables such as leafy greens, cauliflower and beets are excellent sources of folate. You can find B12 in grass-fed meat, sardines and wild salmon.
Other important nutrients for liver health include:
- Selenium: Brazil nuts are high in this mineral
- Copper: Go for dark chocolate
- Zinc: Oysters are your best bet
- Manganese: Reach for nuts and seeds
An organic, mostly plant-based diet with small amounts of wild cold-water fish, grass-fed meat, and pasture-raised poultry can provide your body with the proper nutrients to detox your gut and maintain gut integrity. Eating a plant-based diet will also ensure you’re getting enough fiber. Aim for 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day to support your digestion and aid in the elimination of toxins.
Get a Dose (or More) of Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants. They help plants protect themselves from pests, infections, and climatic variations. When we eat plants, phytonutrients also offer us protection with cancer-preventing antioxidants, detoxifying agents, and potent anti-inflammatory nutrients.
What makes plants higher in phytonutrients? Growing them without chemicals and fertilizers. The plants have to work harder to boost their phytonutrient content and give themselves extra protection.
Some great sources of phytonutrients include broccoli, garlic, blueberries, tomato, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes and leafy greens. Your best bet for a diet rich in phytonutrients is to eat a wide variety of colorful vegetables.
Drinking water is especially important to flush out your digestive system and keep things moving along. Six to eight glasses a day should be your goal, although you can adjust up or down based on your body weight, activity level, and the climate. If you’re going for a 5-mile run in 100 degree weather, you better up that water!
Staying hydrated will help keep your kidneys and digestive organs happy. The kidneys are crucial in helping your body remove wastes. They also help balance your body’s fluid and electrolyte levels so all of your systems run more smoothly, especially your digestive system.
Remove the Bad Stuff
Remove or minimize food additives that can make your body more inflamed and pull vital nutrients away from your body’s other processes. You can determine the specific foods that your unique body is sensitive to, but in general, here are foods that everyone could minimize for healthier guts.
Try keeping sugars, especially artificial and added sugars, out of your diet. Read the label on packaged foods to make sure there are no harmful preservatives, coloring agents or flavor exchangers like MSG in the product. To make it simple, adopt a seasonal, whole foods approach to eating.
How are you spring cleaning your eating habits? Let us know in the comments below.