Detox diets are everywhere - and the restrictions on some diets can be mighty hefty. Fortunately, all you really need to detoxify your body is found in simple, real food. Detoxing your body from toxins is fairly trendy right now, and for good reason. Now, more than ever, our bodies are exposed to a great many pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, heavy metals, chemicals and pollutants. Many are fat-soluble, meaning they don't just leave our body in the same way water-soluble molecules do. We need to help our body get rid of these toxins. The more toxins we're exposed to, the more we need. Toxins are found in everything including the lotion we put on our skin, the peel of a conventionally-produced apple, the exhaust of the cars in traffic and even the cleansers we use to wipe down our counters. Let's not forget about the self-induced assaults we do to our own bodies, like smoking and excess drinking. Sounds a little bleak, I know, but here's how you can help yourself - and it's not that hard!
1. Drink Lemon Water
Wake up every morning to a big glass of lemon water. Most professionals will recommend using fresh-squeezed lemon juice, which is ideal. If you don't have the time or the lemons to squeeze fresh juice, add about an ounce of a bottled version to 12 - 16 ounces of room temperature or warm water. Lemon juice, while acidic in taste, actually alkalizes the body (a very good thing) and pushes excess fluids and some toxins out of our body's sponge-like cells.
2. Eat Spinach Salads
Raw spinach contains high amounts of a small protein called glutathione. Glutathione provides free radical protection, but also helps to eliminate fat-soluble toxins by "handcuffing" the toxins to a molecule, which then escorts them out of the body. Keep in mind that cooked spinach, while still very healthy, doesn't contain the detoxing properties of raw spinach.
3. Snack on Carrots
Carrots are another food high in glutathione. If you're exposed to toxin all the time, deal with inflammation, suffer from arthritis or have diabetes, foods rich in glutathione can be particularly helpful. The more toxins you're exposed to, the more glutathione you'll need - so eat up. Other foods high in glutathione include avocados, walnuts and asparagus.
4. Sip on Dandelion Root Tea
This herb actually helps to increase bile flow, which assists in helping cleanse the liver and improving circulation. Dandelion Root Tea is easily found in grocery stores that have a section devoted to natural or organic foods. I even managed to find some of this tea while visiting my parents in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. This was my go-to postpartum tea after my having my last daughter. Drinking it for a couple weeks helped a lot!
5. Start Loving Cilantro
Cilantro helps to drag heavy metals out of the body. Enough said! We're exposed to heavy metals each and every day, particularly if you live in an industrial area. Start adding cilantro to salads, salsas, or anything else it might pair well with.
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