Just because the holidays are here doesn’t mean we have to be a slouch when it comes to eating healthy. Sure, we might indulge a little more, whether it’s sugary desserts, heavier meals or one too many glasses of cheer. All the more reason to stock up on a few foods that can help clear out toxins before they build up, creating inflammation, weight gain and illness.
Start the New Year feeling great. Eat in moderation, watch the sugar, don’t drink too much and fill your cabinets with these amazing foods. This is a short list. Over the next couple months, I’m going to be sending you short shopping lists, like this, with an explanation why
You probably have cinnamon in your kitchen right now. You may not be using it as liberally as you should. Cinnamon is a fantastic warming spice, especially over the winter months. Here are a few reasons you should up your cinnamon intake.
- Cinnamon improves blood sugar levels. Research has shown that type 2 diabetics who consumed as little as one gram (about a quarter of a teaspoon) of cinnamon a day had reduced glucose and lipid levels. (1)
- Cinnamon is a great source of fiber and calcium. This combo of nutrients helps to remove bile salts from the body, which is remarkably beneficial in preventing colon cancer. Of course, any extra fiber you can get helps to eliminate all unwanted toxins from the body.
- Cinnamon helps to prevent chronic and acute inflammation. So, whether you’re dealing with a bothersome toothache or ongoing arthritis, cinnamon can help.HOW TO USE IT: Combine ½ to 1 teaspoon of Ceylon cinnamon in smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt in the morning. Add to roasted vegetables or stews in the evening.
Dandelion Root Tea
I never leave home without a handful of dandelion root tea pouches, especially when I’m travelling. Dandelion root tea is available in most mainstream grocery stores and a tea no one should be without. If you’re prone to fluid retention or can’t seem to shake the last ten pounds, make this tea your friend.
- Dandelion root tea helps to facilitated the metabolism of fat in the liver, making it easier to get rid of unwanted weight.
- Dandelion root tea helps to reduce bloating and puffiness by pushing toxins and unneeded fluid out of the body.
- Dandelion root tea helps to improve digestion.
HOW TO USE IT: Steep one bag of dandelion root tea in one to two cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Add a little lemon and enjoy.
You may not love Brussels spouts, but they will love your body! Available year round, Brussels sprouts are best when they are lightly roasted or steamed. This cruciferous vegetable is arguably one of the greatest detoxifiers known.
- Brussels sprouts help to handcuff toxins, escorting them out of the body.
- Brussels sprouts turn on the enzymes in our body that fight cancer.
- Brussels sprouts help to squelch the effects of inflammation that can lead to weight gain, skin conditions and disease.
HOW TO USE THEM: Toss cleaned Brussels sprouts, toss with two tablespoons of olive oil and and roast at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (just until they’re cooked through, but not burned).
Carrots are my favorite vegetable of all time. I eat a lot of them. A lot. I am not even the least bit far sighted. Coincidence? I think not. Carrots are an inexpensive and convenient way to make your diet so much better.
- Consuming just ¼ cup of carrots a day helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Carrots are an excellent source of carotenoids, which help to prevent oxidation in the body.
- Carrots contain provitamin-A, which helps improve both our immune system and vision.
HOW TO USE THEM: The greatest benefits of carrots from in their raw form. Enjoy solo or paired with guacamole, hummus or black bean dip.
The only other vegetable on the list that rivals Brussels sprouts for top spot in the detox category. Raw or lightly roasted, beets do amazing things for your body.
- Our body detoxes in two phases – 1 and 2. We tend to eat plenty of foods that help with phase 1, but pull up short when it comes to phase 2. Beets happen to be great with phase 2 detoxification. This all-important phase helps to move toxins out of our body after they’ve been liberated from our liver.
- Beets are a stellar inflammation fighter, easing aches and pains.
- Beets have been shown the reduce blood pressure. (2) Regularly drinking just one glass of beet root juice a day can have a positive effect!
HOW TO USE THEM: The benefits of beets are easily destroyed if you bake them at too high of heat for too long. I recommend washing the beets unpeeled, chop them into cubes, toss with a little olive oil or coconut oil and bake at 325 for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, add a little sea salt and enjoy.
Alternatively, you can juice beets as well! If you have a Vitamix, blend away with a few berries, water and a dash of stevia. Enjoy!
If you want more information on detoxifying foods, and the recipes that go with them, pick up a copy of my book, The Belly Burn Plan. Your body will love your for it!