It’s easy to be sceptical when hearing the word detox. That’s because most people turn to a detox diet after a period of over-indulgence, expecting it to right all of their wrong-doings – not going to happen! Detoxification isn’t about juicing everything in sight and balancing on your head whilst watching the sunset. It’s about giving your body the nutrients it needs to support its natural cleansing mechanisms, ridding your body of toxins and helping it to recover after an undoubtable spell of too much food and booze! Read on to discover which real foods can help your body to naturally detox this summer.
We love garlic. That’s why it’s the star of our Garlic Avocado Oil Mayonnaise. And behind that gorgeous garlic-y flavour lies a plethora of health benefits!
Garlic contains allicin, a sulphur compound that is released when garlic is crushed, chopped or blended. Allicin has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that are crucial for breaking down and flushing out toxins. The effect of this is so powerful that garlic has even been shown to detoxify heavy metals in the body better than some medications.
To get the most out of your garlic, crush it before cooking to release the allicin but wait until your cooking is almost complete to throw it in. This will protect the allicin from degradation.
Use me in: Add crushed garlic to our Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Avocado Oil for a flavour infusion with a double health-hit! Drizzle over salads, sizzle with steak or dunk and dip to your heart’s content!
Beets are a purple powerhouse of cleansing nutrients. Packed with magnesium, iron, vitamin C and fibre, this root veg is equipped to the brim with goodness. Whilst we can’t speed up how quickly our organs get rid of toxins, giving it all the nutrients it needs to do so will keep the cogs turning nicely!
Beetroot contains compounds which directly support liver detoxification. They activate liver enzymes that not only break down toxins for excretion, but also help to break down and absorb helpful nutrients. These are things such as healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins that also support the detoxification process.
You’ll also encourage your body’s production of glutathione by adding beets to your diet. Glutathione is an antioxidant produced in cells. It is used in almost every cell in the body to remove toxins and repair cell damage.
Ginger root, mostly known as just ginger, is a fiery spice that is as good for you as it tastes. It contains gingerol – a powerful antioxidant which prevents toxins from damaging cells.
Pollution, alcohol, cigarettes, medicine, processed food and caffeine all cause a build-up of toxins in the body. Eating foods such as ginger protect cells from their damage before they are removed by the liver.
Many detoxes suggest juice cleanses are the way forward, and ginger is often a common ingredient in these. But the gut works just as hard as the liver to remove toxins, and by juicing fruit and veg you remove all the fibre. Without fibre your gut will find it hard to transport toxins along the intestine and out of the body. So, ditch the liquid lunch and incorporate ginger into your meals to feel the benefit.
Use me in: Fiery meaty marinades with seasoning and avocado oil, in tea with honey and lemon or in your favourite stir-fry by grating fresh into the pan!
Healthy fats are a-plenty in avocados, within its silky green flesh lies an abundance of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. These provide energy for the detoxification process. What’s more, they are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Because avocados contain both healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins, they’re the full package for a detoxifying boost.
Getting enough healthy fats from foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds and coconuts promotes the use of dietary fat for energy, rather than storing fat on the body. This will help you to maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of fatty liver disease – which can develop with excessive alcohol consumption. You guessed it, protecting your liver and helping it to function as needed!
Fat is essential during detox to release bile from the gallbladder, which carries toxins along the intestine and – well – out of the body shall we say! So, to reiterate – removing fat and fibre from your diet will NOT work!
Use me in: All of the healthy fats contained in avocados is captured in our Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Avocado Oil and Avocado Oil Mayonnaise. Drizzle on salads, add to sauces, dunk in your veggies or mix into marinades for your delicious dose of healthy fats!
Last but not least, the queen of detox foods – green tea! From promoting weight loss to boosting metabolism, is there anything the humble green tea leaf can’t do?
Green tea is packed with polyphenols – plant compounds which support the body’s natural detox systems. Polyphenols work in two ways to detox the body, one supports the liver – which is of course very important if you’ve been paying attention! – and the other is through its antioxidant function.
Sipping on a strong green tea will also directly activate enzymes in the liver. These work hard to break down toxins so they can easily travel through the gut before exiting stage left!
Use me in: A strong brew with boiled water which has been left to settle is the best way to enjoy the benefits of green tea. Leave the bag in the mug for 2-3 minutes for a more potent dose of goodness!
A Brief Summary of Detox Do’s and Don’ts…
Your body is designed to repair, regenerate and detoxify itself – lucky you! Our liver, kidneys, skin, gut and lungs are all equipped with enzymes which function to break down and eliminate toxins. So, forget the fad diets and ditch the juices – a real food diet of unprocessed, whole foods, that is free from alcohol and refined sugars is all you need.