These are our favorite superfoods for detox options to consider adding to the diet on a periodic basis when cleansing protocols might be in order.
Since we are all exposed to some form of toxins on a day-to-day basis, it is good to have a handy list of herbs, supplements and drinks that help clean them out on occasion to assist the body's own natural detoxification processes.
Chlorella is a whole-food algae supplement usually available in powder or tablet form. Two benefits of chlorella make it very suitable for detox support.
One is that, as the name implies, chlorella is very high in CHLOROPHYLL, a natural toxin neutralizer (*) known for its cleansing potential. The second is that chlorella contains metal-binding plant proteins like METALLOTHIONEINS which have a high attraction to certain metallic ions. (*)
Chlorella is shown to help the removal of lead according to some science on mice. Likewise, supplementation has been reported to have a chelating effect on toxins such as mercury, cadmium and radioactive strontium.
Quality chlorella supplements are always pulverized or "cracked" to enhance digestibility. They are best taken on an empty stomach or between meals.
Celery juice can be a cleansing drink that's very hydrating and alkalizing to the body. It's great for decreasing acidic conditions and helpful for flushing out accumulated pollutants via the kidneys, lymph and liver detoxification pathways.
Fresh celery juice is also notably high in living plant enzymes which may further assist in the breakdown of undigested wastes and encourage their release. Many people following the 16 ounce/per day celery juice protocol commonly report an increase in bowel regularity.
The slightly bitter taste of celery when concentrated as a juice, especially if the leaves are included, will help to increase its bile-stimulating attribute and support liver function.
Probably the most famous (yet controversial) aspect of celery juice is its claimed CLUSTER SALT content believed to have a detoxifying influence.
The seeds of the milk thistle plant are another great one to have in your pantry of herbal allies and superfoods for detox. Straight seed powders, capsules or extracts are most frequently used.
Milk thistle seeds are traditionally utilized in Western herbalism for their overall assistance to liver functions. The seeds are composed of three flavonolignans known as silybin, silydianin, silychristin, which are collectively known as SILYMARIN. (*)
These are the compounds proposed to have hepatoprotective ("liver-protecting") properties with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic actions. (Source) As the body's major organ of detoxification, the liver's main goal is to filter the blood and remove what doesn't belong there.
We personally prefer to use freshly ground milk thistle seed, kept in the fridge to prevent rancidity.
Activated charcoal is a food-grade oral charcoal supplement that has potent adsorbent (toxin-adhering) qualities yet is not systemically absorbed by the body.
It has been utilized since the early 1900s as a natural remedy and top universal antidote for extreme cases of gastrointestinal poisoning or toxic exposure.
Activated charcoal was largely popularized in the alternative health community after a 2012 study on rats revealed a dramatic increase in lifespan.
Today it is not only a convenient household first aid kit item, but likewise considered a powerful substance to take during periodic detox regimes. This is due to its ability to effectively adhere to certain toxins and chemicals that may accumulate in the body over time from impure foods, water sources and/or environmental pollutants.
Note: Consult your physician if taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, as it can also remove them as well.
As a detox drink, it doesn't get any easier than plain and simple lemon water. What makes lemon juice especially beneficial when added to water from a detoxification standpoint?
Well, for one it’s a strong digestive aid that can be balancing to body pH. In some research on mice, lemon water was identified as useful for reducing uric acid levels in the bloodstream.
In the same regard, consuming lemon water is a thirst-quenching way to hydrate the body and can work with regular aerobic exercise and the natural cleansing that happens when we sweat and activate the lymph system.
In many herbal systems, the liver organ correlates to the sour taste. So, foods and drinks that have a very tart flavor are considered beneficial to liver health. Furthermore, lemon juice acts as a mucus dissolver and is a great source of the antioxidants Vitamin C and citric acid.
It is recommended to use about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon) added to 8 ounces of pure filtered water and consume it first thing in the morning for best results.
Dandelion root tea and supplements are one of the top herbs most commonly utilized to assist the body's own natural cleansing processes.
This is because of two intertwining aspects. Dandelion roots support to liver health and the benefits of the tea as a digestive tonic.
In Western herbalism, dandelion root is traditionally the most basic nutritive herbal tea to begin with for its influence on the liver. Like milk thistle, it is viewed to have a hepatoprotective (liver-protecting) property.
The liver, often deemed the "Master Detoxifier", helps to neutralize and remove metabolic wastes and filter out various toxins that find their way into our bloodstream. It is therefore a good idea to do what we can to care for this vital organ during the course of our lifetime through healthy diet and lifestyle practices.
Dandelion root is one of our favorite detox teas in the spring, the season that correlates most closely to the liver organ. Simply low-heat simmer one to two tablespoons of dried roots in a quart of water for 10-15 minutes.
Poor diet and lifestyle habits can cause digestive enzyme deficiency and/or inhibited glandular secretions, preventing full nutritional uptake from the foods we eat.
Incomplete digestion of our food is known to lead to excess waste accumulation which can have toxic effects in the body throughout of one's life.
A quality digestive enzyme supplement can be good to have handy for intermittent use during certain phases of a detox protocol to help eliminate undigested intestinal material.