Time For a Detox?

Written by Kajsa IngelssonMarch 24, 2020

Is it time for a little spring detox? Indeed, detoxes can be a healthy way to support your body. Many people are quick to come down on them, saying they are a hoax since our bodies naturally detoxify. Yes the body has a built-in detoxification system starring the liver, and detoxification is something that’s happening on a daily basis.

However, our modern world contains a lot of foreign toxins, with everything from pesticides, preservatives and herbicides on our food, to the chemicals in our furniture and the sometimes dangerous air we breath. To me, it’s obvious that our our bodies will be grateful for some help to lighten the toxic load.

A common misconception is that detox diets must be extreme, that they’re expensive, or that they’re all green juice misery—but this doesn’t have to be the case.

In fact, they should resemble a pretty simple, balanced, whole-foods-based diet. However, it’s important that you take a time out from alcohol while on your detox, so skip that glass of wine.

Signs you may want to consider a healthy detox diet:

  • You crave sugar and carbs.
  • You experience digestive distress like bloating.
  • You feel spacey or foggy.
  • You’re always exhausted.
  • Your joints are achy.
  • You’re stressed, depressed, or anxious.
  • You can’t lose weight.
  • You have trouble sleeping.
  • You can’t concentrate.

Just as a side note, all these symptoms can also indicate of several more serious health concerns, so be sure to consult your health care provider if you’re worried.

My favourite way to detox is with soups and juices, but you can also throw in some salads or steamed vegetables. The following plants, teas and fruits are detox superstars and can all be consumed without restriction on your detox. I recommend to also consider incorporating them to your daily diet for optimal health 🌼

Sea vegetables

All sea vegetables pack impressive health benefits, but Chlorella is specifically a powerful chelator and has been shown to absorb 40% of the heavy metals in a test solution within seven days. I take chlorella in pill form as a part of my daily routine. Make sure that you are using an organically grown, preferably fermented, brand.

Suggested recipe: Raw Kelp Noodle Pad Thai

Leafy greens

Are you surprised? Dark leafy greens such as dandelion greens, arugula, spinach, and kale are basically good for everything! They contain plant chlorophylls, which help remove chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals from the bloodstream.

Suggested recipe: Garlic Kale Chips

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts help maintain the body’s normal inflammatory response and help the body remove toxins.

Suggested recipe: Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Beets

You know that beets are my fave! The betaine found in beets encourages your liver to rid the body of toxins. It also helps defend the body’s bile ducts which are essential when it comes to assisting in healthy digestion.

Bile also keeps the liver running properly. Beets thin the bile in your liver and allow it to flow more freely and keep it moving through the small intestine, assisting in the digestions process.

Suggested recipe: Roasted Beet Salad

Berries

If you’re craving a sweet treat on your detox, then opt for berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. These are all relatively low-sugar and high-fiber, which means they’ll help keep blood sugar stable and cravings at bay.

They’re also loaded with phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which have potent antioxidant properties that scavenge free radicals and enhance brain health and mood.

Suggested recipe: Breakfast Chia Seed Pudding

Green tea

The phytochemicals in green tea induce phase II detoxification pathways. A little biology lesson: In phase I, toxins are made water-soluble by enzymes, and in phase II, toxins are bound to protective chemicals that neutralize them and allow them to be eliminated via bile or urine.

Dandelion root and leaf

Dandelion root tea, sometimes called dandelion coffee, is caffeine-free and tastes somewhat similar to actual coffee. Dandelion is often touted for its cleansing properties, and one animal study found that it helped rid the body of reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress!

Suggested recipe: Quinoa, Dandelion and Chickpea Salad

Lemon water

I have started every morning with a cup of hot lemon water for years now. The citric acid found in lemon water has been shown to protect liver function and prevent oxidative damage, helping preserve the liver’s natural ability to detoxify. It’s also a great way to stay hydrated, which helps promote the movement of toxins out of the body.

Herbs and spices

If you’re experiencing digestive troubles, then consider adding parsley to your diet. This often-overlooked herb acts as a natural diuretic and helps prevent bloating. Cilantro is another great pick because it has been shown to help accelerate the excretion of heavy metals like mercury and lead from the body.  

We also got ginger, a spice that promotes balanced blood sugar and optimal digestion. Not to forget the humble garlic, which contains naturally detoxifying sulfur compounds (just like cruciferous veggies) and combats the growth of unfriendly bacteria in the gut.

Suggested recipe: Roasted Celeriac with Tahini and Parsley

Fermented foods

Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and other fermented foods are loaded with “good” probiotic bacteria, which promote healthy digestion and a healthy, stable gut that keeps toxins out of the bloodstream.

Suggested recipe: Roasted Miso-Glazed Squash

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds, particularly hemp, flax, and chia, are rich in fiber and antioxidants that promote optimal digestion and move food through the body faster, which therefore aids in toxin removal. Nuts are great, too, particularly walnuts, which have high amounts of plant-based omega-3 fats. These fats help reduce inflammation and can boost learning, memory, and overall brain function.

Suggested recipe: Kitten Protein Crunch

Let’s talk about sweat and zzzzz.

Sweating is another way to take some of the detoxification burden off your liver. Detoxification is dependent on two critical factors: avoiding additional exposure to toxins and removing toxins that are present in the body. Ridding the body of the toxins is done through two major pathways. The first is by improving liver function, and the second is through sweating. The skin is our major detoxification organ, and sweating is the best way to get the toxins out of our body.

I’m not saying that you should do crazy exercise during your detox (you really shouldn’t), but physical movement is something that’s very beneficial to make a daily habit out of. When I’m on a detox, I get my sweat on by relaxing in infrared (or regular) saunas or taking long Epsom salt baths.

Sleep also plays a vital role when it comes to detoxification. During restorative sleep, the brain is able to repair cellular damage from toxins and other exposures. Aim for 7-8 hours a night for the best result. Also, according to TMC, the liver regenerates between 1am and 3am, so make sure not to stay up too late!

I hope this post helped de-buke some detox myths and inspired you to start your journey towards a healthier, happier you 🦋 As always, just shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Next week I’ll share my go-to soup detox with you my honey bees! So stay tuned and stay golden 🍯🐝