First, let’s get one thing straight – your body is detoxing all the time so it’s pretty good at it.
A ‘detox diet’ isn’t really one where your body is suddenly flushing out all the toxins you’ve built up over the years, it’s more a case of helping your body to do the job it already does a little better.
However, if you’ve been eating an unhealthy diet and not getting much exercise, it could be that your liver and kidneys have become sluggish and no longer filter out toxins as well as they used to, so toxins have built up.
Toxins, which is just another word for substances that can be harmful to the body, can come from chemicals sprayed on foods, from the air you breath in the form of pollutants, and also the products you use on your skin which are absorbed. But there are also toxins in healthy foods – apples, for example, contain tiny amounts of cyanide in the pip.
Whatever way toxins get into your body, you can help your body remove them more efficiently. These foods will help your body flush out those toxins and help bring your liver and kidneys back to performing at 100%.
As cucumber is mainly water (more than 90%) this is a good way to increase fluid in your body while also getting digestion-helpful fibre.
Garlic, along with onions, will help your liver to produce specialised enzymes that remove toxins from your body.
Read more about the health benefits of garlic.
Fibre-rich foods such as beans and lentils help your body by improving digestion (the fibre) as well as helping to lower cholesterol too.
Rich in sulphur, these veggies are great for detoxing. The body needs sulphur to be able to remove chemical substances such as those that end up your bloodstream via your shampoo, your skin cream and so on, as well as environmental pollutants from cars or manufacturing.
Often hailed as ‘the best detox foods’ beetroots are great at improving liver function. The red colour of beets is a result of betalain, which is also a powerful antioxidant.
Try this recipe for beetroot soup.
Pectin is a type of fibre needed to bind to some toxins such as heavy metals, for example, in order for it to be flushed out of the body. And apples are a good source of pectin.
This helps your liver do its job to the best of its ability, stimulating it to work harder.
Read more about the benefits of turmeric.
This leafy vegetable helps neutralise the toxins found in cigarette or cigar smoke. So if you’re a smoker yourself or around others who do, try eating more cabbage to give your body a hand. The fact that they’re also high in fibre means they’ll help your digestive system run smoothly too, which means toxins are eliminated more quickly and easily.
Vitamin C-rich foods
Red peppers, kiwi fruits, oranges - all these will help in the detoxifying process as vitamin C is what’s used to convert toxic substances into a form where they can be digested or expelled.
The antioxidants in green tea, called catechins, help remove nasty substances from your body.