For energy, clarity and vibrant health
The body has the amazing, natural capability of eliminating toxins through the skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, colon and lymphatic system. However, when any of these organs of elimination become overburdened and sluggish, the body will begin to store toxins in places such as the nervous system, joints, liver and fat tissue. The accumulation of toxins in the body can cause problems such as poor concentration, depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, digestive issues, low immunity and much more.
In today's day and age, our toxic load is quite heavy. We are exposed to chemicals in and out of our homes, in our food, our workplace and on the road. Furthermore, we are often hurried, stressed, and choose to consume large amounts of convenience foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugar which hinder digestion and detoxification. This is why it is important for most people to follow a cleansing program once or twice per year.
Superfoods for Spring Cleansing
Spring is the time of year that cleansing is vital to optimal health, energy and well-being. Due to unavoidable exposure to pollution, pesticides and stress, we all would benefit from annual cleansing. Some signs that you may be suffering toxic overload are fatigue, irritability, headaches, mood swings, digestive problems, constipation, skin problems, aches and pains, sinus problems and mind fog. Cleansing will improve the functioning of your body's organs of elimination: the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, lymphatics and skin. This will in turn lift your spirit, increase your energy and immunity, improve your digestion, circulation and metabolism, and improve your ability to cope with stress.
The first step in cleansing the body is to reduce exposure to toxins. How can you do this? Firstly, it is important to buy organic produce whenever possible and to clean your produce well before eating. The average Canadian consumes 1 gallon of pesticides per year! Also be sure to reduce your intake of salt, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, greasy foods, dairy and red meat. And of course, drink plenty of fresh water to flush out the toxins.
There are many specific foods that encourage the elimination of toxins. Most whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds support detoxification, while processed foods hinder it. The following are some detox superfoods which should be the heart of any cleansing program:
- Apples - Contain special pectin that removes toxins and cholesterol.
- Berries - Fight infections and inflammation, improve digestion and elimination.
- Lemons - Stimulate the liver and gallbladder to release bile, improve digestion. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into water and drink daily.
- Avocado - Contains glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that protects against toxins and cancer. Make fresh guacamole with 1 mashed avocado, a few tbsp lemon or lime juice, and a little garlic powder.
- Beets - One of the best liver and bowel cleansers. Grate fresh beet into salads, sandwich, soups or stir fry.
- Broccoli - One of the best detox superfoods and cancer presenters! Experts say that eating 1-2 lbs of broccoli per week will protect against colon cancer.
- Carrots - Help to detoxify and protect against cancer. Studies show that women who eat 1 carrot per day decrease the risk of breast cancer by half!
- Dark green leafy veggies (spinach, kale, arugula, chard, collards, watercress) - High amounts of vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll to help cleanse and protect against toxins. Vary the greens in your salad. Steam, juice or add to soups.
- Flaxseed (ground) - High in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, helps to support healthy elimination. Add 1-2 tbsp. to food or smoothies daily.
- Oats - High in soluble and insoluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and cleanse the colon. Cook rolled or steel cut oats and enjoy for breakfast.
- Wheatgrass or Barleygrass - Extremely high in chlorophyll and nutrients which cleanse and support the blood and liver. Available in powder or frozen cubes.
Following a detox should be a positive, relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Be sure to prepare for your cleanse by shopping for ingredients and planning your meals ahead of time. Be sure not to overcook vegetables as they tend to loose valuable nutrients the longer they are cooked. It is best to eat foods as natural as possible, either raw, lightly steamed, in soups, salads or juiced.
To get you started, below are a couple common and useful light cleaning recipes:
Liver Flush Drink
- ¼ inch fresh ginger
- ½ small beet
- ¼ lemon
- 1 pink grapefruit
- couple dashes cayenne pepper
Process in a juicer.
Healing Greens Soup (High in minerals and iron)
- 3 cups kale chopped
- 1 cup fresh finely chopped parsley
- 3 cups spinach chopped
- 1-1 ½ tsp Herbamare
- 3 cups swiss chard chopped
- 1-2 vegetable bouillon cube
- 4 green onions chopped
- 2-3 dashes powder ginger
- 4 cups water
- dash of stevia sweetener if needed
Steam the chopped greens lightly. Combine all ingredients in pot and simmer on med-low for 20 mins.