The benefits of detoxifying and cleansing the body go far beyond just helping the body recover from a weekend of unhealthy eating. In fact, regularly flushing out toxins helps eliminate harmful substances that gradually accumulate in the blood and digestive system, which in turn can trigger problems and diseases in the body.
An overload of toxins and unhealthy substances can jeopardize health, ranging from minor issues to life-threatening conditions, from bad breath and acne to depression and the risk of cancer. There’s no reason to overload the body’s own detoxification systems, so contributing to your own cleansing has many advantages. While many people choose to eat healthy, organic, whole foods, there is still a risk of harmful chemicals seeping into the body; everything from aluminum-containing deodorants, food packaging, to the quality and origin of your groceries is something that can affect your health over time.
Even some foods and dietary supplements considered healthy may not necessarily be so, as many rice varieties and protein powders, for example, those imported from Asia, contain high levels of lead, cadmium, and even tungsten. Many people unknowingly ingest all kinds of toxins day in and day out, and these accumulate in the body over time, potentially negatively impacting health.
To aid the body in the detoxification of harmful substances, regular detox is beneficial. Here’s a closer look at the foods that can best detoxify our bodies so that, over time, we can hopefully become as healthy as possible.
Green plants with a lot of chlorophyll
Chlorophyll, which is what gives vegetation its green color, may have the ability to prevent carcinogens from being absorbed into the body. Look for parsley, arugula, green beans and spinach, which are excellent sources of chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll helps oxygenate the body and has excellent properties for removing waste products and toxins such as heavy metals that disrupt the body’s natural processes. In addition, green juice has properties that balance the body’s acidity level (pH value), making the body more alkaline. Chlorophyll is known to improve wound healing, cleanse the colon, fight free radicals (oxidation), and enhance oxygen circulation. A study at Oregon State University found that chlorophyll in green vegetables provides protection against cancer when tested against the lower levels most likely found in our daily environment. ”There is substantial epidemiological and other clinical evidence showing that chlorophyll and its derivative, chlorophyllin C34H31CuN4Na3O6, can protect against cancer,” says Tammie McQuistan, a research assistant working with George Bailey, professor emeritus at the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU. The strength of chlorophyll has also been demonstrated by its application in eastern China, where contamination of grains and nuts is very common. Due to contaminated grains and nuts, many Chinese people have suffered from liver damage and cancer. After supplementation with chlorophyllin at 300 mg (100 mg three times daily), the incidence of liver cancer in this population decreased significantly. Further investigation into the antioxidant and antimutagenic properties of chlorophyll is being conducted by Chinese researchers.
One of the key components of this popular spice is a group of chemical compounds called curcuminoids, of which one is known as curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to aid in detoxifying the liver and reducing inflammation throughout the body. However, the content of curcumin in turmeric is not very high, accounting for only about 3% of its weight. Turmeric has many health benefits and is easy to incorporate into your cooking. This spice can reduce inflammation, combat depression, lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It is also frequently studied for certain properties that may assist in defeating cancer. Researchers from around the world have found that turmeric can positively impact more than 581 different diseases and conditions. It is one of the most well-supported spices we have on the planet.
Alzheimer’s is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia. Unfortunately, there is currently no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s. However, there may be good news on the horizon, as curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. In Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation and oxidative damage are known to play a role. Curcumin has demonstrated positive effects on both of these factors. An important aspect of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of ”tangles” of protein called amyloid plaques. Studies suggest that curcumin can help clear away these plaques. Whether curcumin can truly slow down or reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s disease needs to be studied more thoroughly.
Like turmeric, ginger is also a root. The health benefits of ginger are well-documented. This herb is particularly effective at soothing digestion but can also assist in inhibiting inflammation and generally strengthening the immune system. Ginger tea can be used for colds, sore throats, and upset stomachs. Simply simmer some sliced ginger in water for 5 minutes, let it cool slightly, and drink. You can also add a little honey for flavor.
Ginger contains highly potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols ((S)-5-hydroxy-1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-3-decanone). These compounds are believed to be the reason why many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reduced pain levels and improvements in their mobility when consuming ginger regularly. Several clinical studies have documented patients experiencing pain relief and/or reduced swelling.
Oregano is not just for pizza; it has healing properties that go far beyond its culinary appeal. It is loaded with vitamin K and manganese and is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Research has linked this culinary herb to weight loss, digestion, combating foodborne pathogens, and pain relief. Oregano is antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory, making it useful against Candida. You can easily grow your own oregano and then use it fresh or dried. Oregano oil can also be found in health food stores.
The dominant reason for the benefits of oregano is indeed the monoterpene carvacrol (C6H3CH3(OH)(C3H7)). Over 800 studies available in PubMed refer to carvacrol, and the research tends to support positive claims about its beneficial properties. Carvacrol is a key compound found in oregano that contributes to its many health-promoting qualities, including its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Since ancient times, garlic has been used as a way to detoxify the body and remove toxins from the liver and kidneys. Garlic contains allicin, which is converted into a sulfur-based compound in the body. Toxins such as mercury, certain additives, and chemically synthesized estrogen can bind to sulfur and, thus, be excreted. Garlic’s sulfur-containing compounds are believed to play a role in its potential detoxification properties.
Sulfur also helps the body maintain an alkaline state. Allicin counters atherosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of cancer, while allicin may prevent conditions such as cancer. Sulfur is one of our essential elements and, therefore, a vital mineral that is typically abundant in vegetables, fish, meat, and dairy products.
Diallyl disulfide (DADS or 4,5-dithia-1,7-octadiene) is the more precise name for one of the compounds in garlic that research has shown to have positive effects in preventing and protecting against colon cancer. This compound is also found to be 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics in combating Campylobacter, one of the most common causes of gastrointestinal diseases.
Certainly, dandelions, typically something people frown upon when they appear in their lawns, are safe for consumption and a good source of potassium and iron. Whether eaten in a salad or taken as an extract, dandelions are known to stimulate bile production and improve liver and overall health. Dandelions are rich in most of our essential minerals and vitamins A, B, and C. They act as antioxidants and are a valuable addition for vegetarians and those who don’t consume grains (due to the B-vitamins in dandelions). Like nettles, dandelions are diuretic and also act as a natural detoxifier and blood purifier, making them an excellent plant for detoxification. They can be used for detoxification issues, mild gallbladder problems, or as a preventive measure (never treat gallstone attacks with dandelions). Dandelions are also used for rheumatism and pain relief, similar to elderflowers.
The study conducted by researchers at the University of Annunzio Chieti-Pescara in Italy, which compared extracts of dandelion, turmeric, rosemary, and artichoke, was released in 2010. The researchers recognized the positive effects that these herbs have on the liver and gallbladder and aimed to compare their ability to combat free radicals. While turmeric had the greatest antioxidant effect, dandelion also exhibited these properties. The oxidative stress-reducing effect of dandelion extract was tested on rats with liver damage caused by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), a chemical used in fire extinguishers and refrigerants that is highly toxic to the liver. Water-based dandelion extract or dandelion tea significantly reduced the levels of oxidative stress and inflammation in the rats’ livers.
Psyllium husk is the outer covering of the seeds from the plantain (Plantago) plant, a member of the plantain family. These husks are primarily composed of fibers and can be used in baking as a substitute for wheat flour. Psyllium husk is also known as husk, psyllium husk, fiber husk, loppfröskal, psyllium husk, and ispaghula husk., psylliumhusk, fiberhusk. It has traditionally been used as a mild laxative for both constipation and loose stools. The seeds gently stimulate the intestinal system and are considered essential during detoxification since one of the major causes of self-poisoning is constipation. This is because when you are constipated, the stool remains in the intestines, allowing the toxins produced in the intestines to be absorbed by the intestinal mucosa. When you undergo a cleanse and detoxification, you release these toxins, and you need a lot of fiber in your diet to help carry the toxins out of your body. Psyllium husk is a popular choice for this purpose.
Bentonite clay, despite being last on the list of detoxifying substances, is the only one without any nutritional value and is solely used for detoxification. The clay’s ability to detoxify the body has been known for a long time by various indigenous peoples in different parts of the world. Bentonite clay is essentially natural clay with a pH of 8.3 to 9.1, making it alkaline. Bentonite clay has the ability to attract a variety of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract. Toxins and contaminants in the body bind to the clay and are expelled from the body along with it. To achieve most benefits, liquid bentonite is usually recommended to be taken before any food or drink. If that’s not possible, the next best time is to take it at least one hour before or after meals. To start, it is beneficial to take at least 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay daily and mix it with juice. Bentonite clay can help eliminate toxins, low-pathogenic viruses, aflatoxins (a type of mold), as well as pesticides and plant toxins. Bentonite clay also functions like a sponge. When it is exposed to water, it expands and creates many porous spaces between its particles. Toxins are always drawn to these spaces and are then flushed out with the bentonite. Bentonite is an inert material and is not absorbed into the body, passing through mostly unchanged. However, there is some debate and uncertainty about the use of bentonite clay in alternative health, as it often contains trace amounts of aluminum. It is recommended to do further research and consider consulting with someone who has experience with detoxification methods using bentonite clay.
Sources for this article
List of the best foods to detoxify the body from toxins