Spring has sprung! This is nature’s season of renewal. Just like we give our homes a spring cleaning each year, it’s a good idea to give our bodies a little internal scrub as well.
Let me give you my top 3 foods for kicking your body’s built-in detoxification mechanisms into high gear. And at the end, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite smoothie recipes to help this process along.
Our bodies are equipped to deal with toxins. The liver is our primary organ of detoxification, or cleansing. However, we live in a very toxic world; between air pollution, soil pollution, toxic agents in everyday household products, and the list goes on.
I compare the liver to a vehicle’s engine. Without regular maintenance, things can really get gummed up!
Thankfully, supporting your body’s natural detoxification process doesn’t come with a huge bill. Reach for these foods to give yourself an internal spring clean:
LIVER – As ironic as it is, animal liver contain a host of nutrients required by the human body for the purposes of detoxification. Personally, I’ve not eaten liver as an adult, because I was forced to eat it as a child. I couldn’t stand the taste of liver then, and I’m not confident that will ever change. So I assure you today’s recipe does not contain liver!
CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES – Most of us are well acquainted with broccoli and cauliflower. This group of vegetables also includes hearty leafy greens, like kale, bok choy, cabbage, and collard greens.
BEETS – When was the last time you ate a beet? I grew up in Newfoundland, where the only form of beet consumption was pickled beets. While I admit they are quite tasty this way, boiling the crap out of them effectively removes most of the valuable nutritive properties.
I’ve since discovered there are many ways to enjoy beets, either raw or lightly cooked. The bodacious beet is a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.
To get you onto the beet-loving wagon, I’ve provided a quick and easy smoothie recipe below.
R-awesome Red Smoothie
Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Betalains are especially relevant to glutathione, a key protein molecule used in detoxification. Red cabbage belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables, which also assists methylation & detoxification. It contains low amounts of pesticide residues as compared to the more popular vegetables. Flaxseed contains lignans, which help to escort excess estrogen out of the body, as well as fibre, to keep the bowels moving and the body’s toxic load in check. Apple cider vinegar is a liver and lymphatic tonic which can help detox your body via bowel motility and lymphatic drainage.
Ingredients: (1 serving)
- 1 small red beet, peeled and shredded or finely chopped
- 1 red apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup red cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
- 3/4 cup water, plus 3 or more ice cubes, (adjust to suit preference for smoothie thickness)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ½” slice of ginger, or more, to taste (the ginger helps the overall flavor)
- Optional: apple cider vinegar, frozen cranberries (to taste)
- Stevia, or raw honey, to taste
If using a regular blender, consider shredding and soaking the red beet and cabbage with the water overnight, to soften. In the morning, add a few ice cubes and blend well. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend again! If using a high speed blender, the soaking is not necessary.