21 Superfoods and Lifestyle Techniques to Detox Your Body and Mind
Detoxification is vital in the modern world since your body is accumulating more toxins than its natural detoxification system (liver, kidney and lungs) can handle. Proponents of this concept believe that chemicals from pesticides, carbon monoxide and bleach and ammonia will build up in the body over time and lead to numerous diseases. However, while many propose fasting and consuming laxatives, the right way to detoxify is by providing your body and mind with certain elements to ensure that it performs optimally under any condition. Therefore, you need to embrace healthy living along with healthy food and healthy movement to achieve a less toxic body.
The following 21 foods and techniques will help you detox and cleanse both your body and mind effectively:
Chlorella is a type of algae that grows in fresh water. The Japanese have been using it for years to create supplements with natural detoxification abilities. Chlorella binds to the chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals and mercury (possibly accumulated by consuming seafood, via your drinking or bathing water, or even silver fillings) in your digestive tract. Therefore, it will rid your body from unwanted metals and toxins. However, what truly makes chlorella so effective is the fact that it doesn’t bind to minerals such as calcium or zinc, which your body needs to function.
However, chlorella is completely indigestible by humans. Chewing and digesting this alga won’t help you get all its health benefits. Therefore, opt for Broken Cell Wall Chlorella as it is easily digestible. Another thing to know is that some people don’t tolerate it as easily as others. Due to its large concentrations of iron some people may experience different effects. If you have a sensitivity to iron please check with your medical practitioner and follow the recommend dose on a high quality chlorella product.
2. Sulfur-Rich Foods
Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in the human body, especially in the muscles, skin and bones. Ideally, you can obtain it through a diet comprising of dietary protein such as fish and organic beef and poultry, organic free range eggs, legumes, garlic, kale, onion, wheat germ, and asparagus. By maintaining a healthy level of this mineral in your body, you may maintain the elasticity of flexible tissue in your body, preventing old-age problems such as joint pain according to a study by the Departments of Surgery and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. Other benefits of sulfur include alleviating the symptoms of allergies, fighting parasites like roundworms, and preventing diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is the organic form of sulfur and what you’ll be using to detox your body. According to the MSM Miracle Brochure posted by the MSM – Medical Information Foundation, this nutrient acts as a strong antioxidant that can bind and inactivate free radicals, i.e. unstable molecules produced by physical and mental stress, air pollution, exposure to heavy metals and contaminants, and radiation. However, its biggest benefit when it comes to detoxification stems from its role in the production of glutathione – an important antioxidant that can prevent the damage of important cellular components caused by the likes of free radicals, peroxides and heavy metals. However, start slow as high doses may cause intestinal discomfort, mild rashes, and swollen ankles.
3. Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli sprouts have made headlines over the past few decades, especially after researchers at Johns Hopkins University uncovered that this vegetable can boost cell enzymes to prevent molecular damage caused by cancer-causing chemicals and treat autism. As a detox solution, broccoli sprouts are a good source of glucoraphanin, a nutrient that accelerates your body’s ability to detoxify from different pollutants when turned into sulforaphane.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables and a blend of chili peppers, garlic and other spices. In addition to being rich in vitamins, this fermented dish can improve your gut flora, or the microbes responsible for forming stool, ensuring immunity, synthesizing vitamins, and protecting from different cancers.
Kimchi has proven to be one of the most effective edibles to detoxify the body from pesticides. A study by the Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Program) at the Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Science in Gyeongsang National University reported the Korean dish’s quick ability to degrade the insecticide Chlorpyrifos. Researchers wrote that it degraded by 83% around day three and completely vanished from test subjects’ bodies by day 9. This is a major feat considering the fact that pesticides are pervasive pollutants that accumulate in your body and remain for long periods of time. Therefore, if you’re exposed regularly to pesticides, kimchi and other fermented edibles may help.
Naturally grown in North Africa, Asia and Europe, beets come highly recommended as they lower blood pressure by relaxing and dilating your blood vessels and improving blood flow. They also improve your stamina, allowing athletes to exercise up to 16% longer. Moreover, they may be effective against chronic diseases including cancer due to their anti-inflammatory molecules.
By consuming beets, you can further support your body’s phase II detoxification process, which is when broken toxins bind with other molecules to be excreted from the body. Furthermore, you help the liver fight liver toxins. Beet juice maintains betaine, a substance that encourages the liver to eliminate toxins while protecting the liver and bile ducts to ensure the liver’s proper function. By also protecting the liver, beets ensure that your daily detoxification process remains efficient. You can also consume beets in powder form.
Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is very important for the health of your body. Not only can this organic compound improve cholesterol levels, but it can significantly reduce cardiovascular events and relatively decrease coronary and cardiovascular mortality. As a detox agent, niacin targets the toxins stored in your fatty tissues. Niacin opens the capillaries (small blood vessels) to allow more blood to flow through. Since these reach the fatty tissues, they remove the toxins from there to the bloodstream and ultimately out of the body. However, you need to maintain the dosage, which is 100 mg once to twice per week. Also, you should combine it with exercise and/or a hot bath or sauna to remove any toxins. Click here to purchase organic vitamins.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are important for the health of your digestive system as well as your whole body since 80% of your immune system is within the gut. If you were born through a normal delivery, you’ve probably been exposed to these bacteria on your way through the birth canal, cultivating your own GI tract probiotics early. High quality probiotic supplements act just like kimchi and other fermented foods, helping detoxify your body from pesticides.
Moreover, probiotics eliminate the toxicant bisphenol A, which is found in thermal printer receipts, canned food liners and plastic containers and other products. Linked to over 40 diseases, it can be excreted 2.4 times more with probiotic supplementation. These healthy microorganisms can also protect from metal toxicity. “This is because [lactobacillus bacteria] have resistance mechanisms which are effective in preventing damage to their cells and they can bind and sequester heavy metals to their cell surfaces, thus removing them through subsequent defecation,” wrote the researchers at the Human Microbiology and Probiotics at Lawson Health Research Institute.
Other detoxification benefits of probiotics include the elimination of cancerous food preservatives such as sodium nitrate, the detoxification of perchlorate (an ingredient in jet fuel that made its way to organic food), and the reduction of the toxicity of heterocyclic amines in foods cooked at high temperatures.
Ginger root has many benefits to offer aside from detoxing your body. It acts as a natural pain reliever, reducing pain caused by exercise by 25% within 24 hours. It’s also effective for morning sickness, reducing nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. Finally, ginger may positively affect cardiovascular health by preventing the hardening of arteries, lowering cholesterol levels, and preventing the oxidation of LDL.
Used in many cleansing programs, garlic cleanses the body by stimulating digestion, circulation and sweating. As a result, it is known for effectively cleansing built-up waste and toxins within the colon, liver and other organs. Moreover, ginger contains gingerol and shoga, which are responsible for the root’s anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects in your GI system. It is these properties that sustain digestive enzymes, neutralize acids, and support the whole digestive process.
9. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is one of the important spices to have at home as it can ease upset stomachs and sore throat. Its anti-fungal and anti-allergen properties further protect your body from fungi and allergens respectively. A well-known circulatory stimulant that can also optimize the performance of lymphatic and digestive systems, cayenne pepper supports the detoxification process by heating the body and causing it to sweat. Combined with lemon juice and honey, it’s an excellent choice for a full body detox.
Cilantro is a very popular herb that can be used for treating urinary tract infections, relieve intestinal gas and pain, treat nausea, and relieve mental stress. According to Dr. Yoshiaki Omura from the Heart Research Foundation in New York, cilantro is the poor man’s chelation therapy. According to his research, consuming this herb accelerated the excretion of lead and aluminum deposits from the body.
In another study, he was able to remove the mercury deposits caused by removing three amalgam fillings. Despite using all precautions possible, including strong air and water rinses, significant amounts of mercury made their way to the test subject’s lungs, kidneys, endocrine system, liver and heart. However, administering 100 mg tablets of Chinese parsley four times a day cleared the deposits within just three weeks.
11. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important even beyond cold and flu season. It can repair and grow tissue in all parts of your body as well as offset workout fatigue. Research also suggests that low vitamin C levels in adrenal glands leads to elevated oxidative stress levels, therefore consuming foods and supplements containing this vitamin is important. Finally, vitamin C reduces belly fat, which in turn increases insulin sensitivity and decreases blood sugar.
As a detox agent, vitamin C makes its way into the lower bowel and causes watery stools that cleanse your colon.
12. Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Free radicals are produced by the liver while iron-dependent enzymes start breaking down toxins. While some of these are harmless and easy to convert before they’re excreted from the body, the reactivity of these unstable oxygen molecules can result in cell damage and ultimately bring on early aging and diseases like male infertility and cardiovascular disease. While some antioxidants such as glutathione are produced in your body, some like zinc, selenium, copper and iron can only be obtained through your diet.
Now it’s important that you understand that antioxidants work together and support one another’s mechanism during detoxification. Catalase (CAT) for instance finishes the detox process initiated by s peroxide dismutase (SOD), another antioxidant which uses copper, zinc, iron and manganese to break the toxic superoxide into hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. Moreover, your diet can promote the production of important antioxidants. For instance, consuming curcumin (turmeric) , organic grass fed dairy products and high quality whey protein promotes the production of glutathione, which maximizes the performance of other antioxidants, protects your cells from damage, eliminate toxins from cells, and prevents aging-related diseases.
13. Vegetable Juicing
One of the traditional detox methods around, vegetable juicing allows you to obtain all the benefits of healthy greens without damaging their micronutrients. Moreover, it ensures that you consume a wide variety of veggies you don’t enjoy eating regularly, reducing your chances of developing an allergy to a certain food.
The mixture of veggies you use can help your liver and immune system. For instance, by adding celery, kale, green apple, lemon, ginger, lime and parsley, you can create a potent detox cocktail.
Grown from wheat seeds, wheatgrass is a superfood as well as a popular supplement. According to the Chicago Tribune, Lithuanian immigrant to Boston and holistic health practitioner Ann Wigmore promoted the consumption of this herb. She even developed the wheatgrass diet, a program that eliminates dairy products, cooked foods and all forms of meat and focuses on sprouts, nuts, seeds and other ‘live’ foods.
Rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals, wheatgrass is a superior detox agent in comparison with carrot juice and other fruits and vegetables. This is because of its high amount of chlorophyll (70%), which in turn increases oxygen levels in the blood. As a result, harmful toxins flow out of the body, Wheatgrass also flaunts high phenolic content, allowing it to bind with metal ions in the colon and liver. In fact, enemas with this herb are recommended for detoxifying the colon walls, especially as they heal and cleanse internal organs. Finally, fresh wheatgrass contains active enzymes and amino acids that complement glutathione, helping in the breakdown of toxins.
When it comes to detoxification, lemons contain an antioxidant known as d-limonene. Though also found in oranges, it’s highly concentrated in the peels of lemons. D-limonene boosts the enzymes in your liver during both phase I and phase II detoxification. These processes take toxic compounds in the liver and convert them to less harmful versions. Unfortunately, you’ll need more than lemon juice to detoxify with lemons. Research indicates that your body needs 500mg of d-limonene to enhance the detox process. Unfortunately, a liter of citrus juice only contains 100mg.
Once consumed in the body lemon juice leaves an alkaline residue which helps the body’s processes operate effectively – this includes detoxification. Try squeezing 1/4 or 1/2 lemon into a glass of warm water and consume every morning and evening.
16. Pure Water
While distilled and alkaline water are traditionally recommended for detoxification, both can only benefit you for a short time. Therefore, you need to hydrate with pure water, which is either filtered tap water or living water (a.k.a. mountain spring water). For starters, drinking pure water keeps your body well hydrated, preventing the kidneys from passing their purification workload onto the liver and other organs.
Pure water also boosts your metabolism, accelerating the elimination of toxins and fats. Furthermore, it separates blood platelets and floods fatty tissues to remove the toxins within. You can also use pure water for sweat baths/sauna and detox baths. The first allow you to eliminate toxins and waste through your pores and further improve circulation. On the other hand, detox baths accelerate toxin and fat elimination by creating a vibration in the interconnecting tissue covering your internal organs.
Goldenseal is an herb that can help during seasonal allergies, especially since its active ingredient berberine flaunts anti-microbial properties that are helpful in destroying different yeasts, bacteria and parasites. Moreover, its combination of components – which include alkaloids like canadaline and hydrastine – offer anti-inflammatory, laxative, and astringent effects. These are further vital for the detoxification actions within your body. However, you may suffer from gastro-intestinal discomfort at times. Consuming excessive quantities may also lead to convulsions, hallucinations and respiratory difficulties. Therefore, consume goldenseal wisely and after checking with your physician.
18. Air Purification
Air purification cleanses the 10,000 to 70,000 liters of air you breathe, eliminating the contaminants that make their way into your home. In fact, according to a study by the Columbia Environmental Research Center and Office of Research and Development, the household air in Arizona homes had over 400 chemicals ranging from pesticides to spice flavors and all the way to alcohols. Due to poor air quality, the EPA’s Indoor Environments Division warns individuals of a range of health issues such as asthma, allergies, sore throat, and memory loss.
While opening a window can improve your indoor air quality, the best way to eliminate toxins from the air you breathe is incorporating an air purifier. You need to take your pick according to which of three functionalities you need:
a) eliminates biological particles [e.g. animal dander, allergens, bacteria]
b) biological particles [e.g. smoke, dust, radioactive isotopes]
c) and gases [e.g. pesticides, fumes from adhesives, carbon monoxide].
You can also detoxify your air (and ultimately your mind and body) via the following seven tips below:
1. Add houseplants to improve the air of your home.
2. Avoid smoking in or around your home if possible,
3. Take your shoes off once inside your house to avoid tracking in toxic particles.
4. Opt for non-toxic cleaning products.
5. Vacuum your carpets and rugs regularly. It is best to purchase a high quality vacuum which contains a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to remove allergens.
6. Ensure the proper draining of your home and seal the foundation properly.
7. Ventilate your car properly as chemicals from plastics, solvents and carpets increase the toxicity of the air inside it.
Some detox agents such as niacin achieve the best results when combined with exercise. This is because moving your body allows it to breathe, stretch, circulate and sweat. Since you’re bound to consume more water, your kidneys will filter more toxins and effectively flush them out with fats and waste. Moreover, exercise allows your body to circulate blood and lymph, further enhancing the functions of the liver and lymph nodes.
Exercise also allows you to breathe deeply with your lungs, increasing their capacity. As your heart muscles also grow stronger, you’ll be able to expel more carbon dioxide from your body. Finally, workouts help with detoxification by reducing your body’s subcutaneous fatty tissue. As fatty tissue is reduced, toxins are released and filtered out by your organs.
Sauna sessions will help you excrete toxins through your pores. The sauna heats several inches within your tissues, improving your natural metabolic processes.
Saunas also improve circulation and oxygenates your tissue, enhancing the function of cleansing organs. Moreover, they slowly restore skin elimination or the ability to sweat. Many people may not be able to sweat naturally, be it due to tight clothing, sedentary living or exposure to chemicals. However, regular sauna sessions will help you sweat again, removing toxic chemicals and metals faster than any other method.
Teens and adults alike report the inability to sleep quite often, an issue that drives them to fall asleep in class or at work. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep has many consequences including the inability to eliminate toxic waste. Known as the glymphatic system, this waste removal system operates like the lymphatic system, eliminating cellular waste products from every part aside from the brain.
By pumping cerebral spinal fluid through your brain’s tissue, the glymphatic system flushes waste from your brain and into your circulatory system. From there, the waste is transported to your liver where it’s ultimately eliminated. However, you need to be asleep for your body to carry out this function. Therefore, embrace good sleeping habits and learn tricks such as avoiding all screens before bedtime.
These are just 21 ways you can eliminate waste and toxins from your body. However, make sure to start each right away to get rid of the years of toxic materials hidden within your tissue.