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Monday, November 28, 2011

10 Foods to Help You Detox

Even the most disciplined among us sometimes overindulge around the Holidays. If you're feeling a little sluggish from Thanksgiving weekend, here are some foods you can incorporate into your diet that will help you detox.

1. Watercress
Watercress is a natural diuretic, keeps free radicals away from your cells and helps energize cleansing enzymes in the liver. Try throwing some into a soup for a peppery crunch

2. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens boost chlorophyll levels in the digestive tract, which helps the body get rid of environmental toxins like smog and herbicides. Try throwing them in a juice, adding to a salad, or sauté them with a touch of olive oil.

3.  Cabbage
Not only is cabbage eaten in many cultures for luck and prosperity in the New Year, it's also known for its liver-cleansing properties. Mix cabbage, apples, and caraway for a crisp treat for your palate and liver,

4. Artichokes
Numerous studies show that artichokes promote healthy liver and gallbladder function. They're also loaded with cynarin, which helps increase bile production, prevents indigestion, and stimulates healthy digestion. Steam a whole artichoke for about 15 minutes then enjoy with a drizzle of olive oil, a touch of salt, and lemon juice to top it off.

5. Ginger and Garlic
Ginger and garlic are good friends to the liver because they help it get rid of free radicals that are built up in the body. Make yourself a healthy stir-fry and don't be shy to season it with these two liver-loving foods.

6. Whole Grains
Choosing whole grains over refined grains should be a part of any diet - detox or not. Besides being full of nutrients and antioxidants, they're incredibly high in insoluble fiber, which keeps you regular. Make sure to read the ingredient list when you buy whole grain bread - many of the big brands' "whole wheat" breads are loaded with sugar, sometimes even high fructose corn syrup! My favorite bread is the Sprouted Wheat vegan bread by Alvarado Street Bakery. It's loaded with flavor and contains only organic and natural ingredients.

7. Green Tea
Green tea is high in catechins - a flavonoid - which speeds up liver activity and increases the production of detoxification enzymes.

8. Beets
Fiber in beets helps increase the production of antioxidant enzymes in the liver, which help the liver and gallbladder eliminate bile and other toxic substances from the body.

9. Fresh Fruit
After filling up your body with butter and booze, what better way to say sorry to it than to treat it to juicy, vitamin-filled fresh fruit? Check out the farmer's market for locally grown, seasonal fruit.

10. Lemon Water
Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, which is known to help the body detox and burn fat. Try drinking room-temperature water with a quarter of a lemon in the morning to help with digestion and to alkalize the body.

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