Symptoms that we tend to take for granted as everyday ailments can often be indicative of the fact that our bodies are holding onto toxins. If you are having frequent headaches, stomach upset, diarrhea, constipation, feel exhausted, experience cramping, difficulty focusing, lack of energy, or any other symptoms that don’t feel right, that is the time to take action for a detox.  If you want to lose a little weight and winter-clean your system, see what you can include more of or less or from the following:

  • Almonds:  High in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and protein helps stabilize blood sugar and remove impurities from the bowels.
  • Asparagus:  Not only does asparagus help liver function to detoxify the body, it helps your heart to stay healthy and is a general anti-inflammatory.
  • Broccoli:  Broccoli works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into something your body can eliminate easily.  Tip:  Don’t microwave it or it won’t have the same detox properties.  Another tip:  Juice the stem and mix with some sweet apple or pineapple and other veggies.   Yet another tip:  Broccoli sprouts provide more benefit than regular broccoli as they contain 20 times more sulfurophane.
  • Cut out simple carbohydrates, white sugar and flour, and any fried foods:  Products made with white sugar or flour can result in toxins in the body. They make you feel full when eating them, but then comes a surge and fall of your blood sugar levels.  These products can be a major component of the toxins that build up in your digestive system.
  • Drink more water:  Water can help to flush out your system naturally and contributes to clearer skin, properly functioning organs, and a more effective circulatory, respiratory, and digestive system.
  • Eat more fiber: Fiber not only contributes to weight loss (through better elimination), but is also an essential way of cleansing the body. Our digestive tracts tend to hold onto toxins and waste that is not being properly disposed of by the body with the end result of bloat and fatigue.  When you introduce good fiber (fresh fruit and veg, beans, legumes and whole grains) into your diet, it helps to keep the digestive tract working properly which means that toxins and excessive waste will move through rapidly.
  • Garlic:  Garlic boosts the immune system as well as helping out the liver.
  • Ginger:  This root is thought to help the liver function, and has some astringent properties.  Tip:  to make a lemon ginger drink take the juice of ½  lemon and ½ inch knob of ginger root.  Add the lemon juice to the glass of water. Finely grate the ginger and add to the glass of water.
  • Green tea:  Green tea has a high antioxidant value which seeks out and kills free radicals before they can do any damage.
  • Kale:  Kale is packed with many antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals it contains.
  • Legumes:  Loaded with fiber, legumes help lower cholesterol, cleanse the intestines, and regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Lemongrass:  Lemongrass not only helps the liver but also the kidneys, the bladder, and digestive tract.  Tip:  To make lemongrass tea take 2 lemongrass stalks, a pinch of ground cinnamon, honey, boiling water, 1 tea bag and juice from ½ lime.  Cut off the root of the lemongrass stalk and remove any dry outer leaves. Gently bruise the base of the stalk with a rolling pin.    Tie the lemongrass in a knot and place in a cup of cinnamon and honey. Pour in the boiling water. Add a tea bag and remove as soon as the water is golden brown.  Add lime juice to taste.
  • Lemons:  Kick-start your day and boost your liver function with boiling water and a slice of lemon.
  • Replace the morning coffee with hot water and lemon:  Kick-start your morning with hot water plus a slice of lemon to cleanse the liver and improve your skin.
  • The Clean 15: onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, cabbage, sweet peas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, kiwi, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, watermelon, and mushrooms.
  • The Dirty Dozen:   The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 refer to the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use (according to the Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org). The Dirty Dozen:  apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines, grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries, and potatoes.
  • Watercress:  Watercress helps to release enzymes in the liver that clean it out and help rid it of toxic buildup. Tip:  For a watercress smoothie take blend 65g watercress, 160g mango (peeled and chopped), 110g chopped cucumber, ½ avocado, 4 dried and unsulphured apricots, 8g parsley, 350ml water and ½ tsp of spirulina.