In today’s day and age we’re bombarded by fad diets, bad advice and tons of processed, ready to eat foods. Amid all this confusion, many of us believe that obtaining a healthy body and losing weight comes from counting calories and depriving ourselves of certain foods. This approach only leads to problems, such as overeating and food cravings. Taking a step back, we can see that this just doesn’t work.
What we put into our mouths on a daily basis is what matters most for both weight loss and overall health. Pre-packaged and processed foods, convenience foods, comfort foods, etc., are all full of preservatives, coloring, sugar, fat and salt… and totally devoid of nutrients! Eating them causes inflammation, bloating, water retention and weight gain. Eating healthier foods, such as the following detox foods, can reverse these issues!
Why do we overeat? Why do we crave certain foods? Why does counting calories and restricting our diets not work long term? We overeat, because our bodies crave nutrients that pre-packaged, processed foods cannot provide. We crave these foods, because our lives are stressful, and we’ve programmed our brains to associate eating them with feeling comforted. Dieting and counting calories doesn’t work long-term because it’s just not sustainable as a lifestyle.
The path to long-lasting health and weight loss requires hard work and patience. It requires dedication, mindfulness and above all, a lifestyle change. While it can seem overwhelming at first, a good place to start is eating more fruits and vegetables. With so many to choose from, begin by incorporating these top 10 detox foods into your diet.
Artichokes – Support the liver and its functions. They increase the production of bile, which aids in breaking down foods, allowing the body to absorb nutrients better. They are low in calories and in fat. When cooked the stem is normally discarded, but it can also be eaten! Originally from the Mediterranean, artichokes are technically a flower bud that has not yet bloomed.
Seaweed – Packed full of minerals and trace minerals, it has the ability to bind to heavy metals in the body and help eliminate them. About 70% of the world’s oxygen comes from seaweed. While most types of seaweed are soft and fleshy, some varieties are hard as a rock!
Parsley – It contains vitamins A, C and K, as well as flavonoids that function as antioxidants. It has diuretic properties. Fresh parsley is great to chew if you have bad breath! Its high chlorophyll levels reduce garlic odors.
Goji berries – Full of nutrients, they surpass both oranges and carrots in vitamin C and beta-carotene content. Goji berries contain all 8 amino acids, and a single serving provides you with 10% of your daily amount of protein! You should avoid adding goji berries to your diet if you have low blood sugar, take blood thinners, have high or low blood pressure, or are breastfeeding or pregnant.
Ginger – Plays a role in maintaining immune function. It helps organs such as the liver to function optimally. Ginger is a rhizome, an underground plant stem that is capable of making a new plant, from roots to new shoots! The root of the plant is more pungent and is therefore used in spices
Pineapple – High in bromelain, a digestive enzyme that improves digestion, supports the lower digestive system, and reduces inflammation. Keep your pineapple at room temperature for a couple of days in order to soften the fruit and make it juicier. One cup of it only has about 70 to 85 calories!
Beets – Contain antioxidants called betalains that repair and regenerate cells in the liver. Beets can help combat anemia and fatigue, because of their high iron content. They are rich in potassium, which is responsible for muscle health. It can also reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke! Beets relax the mind and can even (in other forms) help ease depression!
Broccoli and broccoli sprouts – Cruciferous vegetables known for their potent antioxidants, they are an excellent source of vitamins C and K. One cup of chopped broccoli provides the same amount of vitamin C as an orange. The sprouts contain phytochemicals that stimulate the release of enzymes in the digestive tract for better digestion. Broccoli sprouts are not grown commercially, but they’re very easy to grow at home!
Avocados – Associated with a healthier diet, lower BMI and waist circumference, and higher ‘good’ cholesterol levels. They have been shown to help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol. Avocados (a.k.a. the ‘alligator pear’) are rich in fibre; a medium one provides 10 mg of it! Avocados have powerful anti-ageing properties, because they are so nutrient-dense.
Celery – Has anti-inflammatory properties that help protect the digestive tract from inflammation. It contains flavonoids and antioxidants like vitamin C. The best way to prepare celery is to steam it. This prevents it from losing most of its vital nutrients!
The primary goal of eating detox foods and/or doing a detox program is to slowly reduce the
amount of environmental toxins that we ingest or are exposed to. Altering our lifestyles and diets is the key to long term success. This list of nutritious fruits and vegetable will help you begin to incorporate healthy changes into your daily routine.