Photo: Alycin Bektesh (for WFIU)Via Real Age, the Top 10 Detox Foods.
Add these 10 foods to your grocery cart and you'll get three terrific benefits:
1. Liquids to flush out the body while pouring in the nutrients.
2. Fiber to keep your GI tract fit.
3. Foods that energize cleansing enzymes in your liver, the body's built-in detox center.
The Top 10
1. Leafy green vegetables. Eat them raw, throw them into a broth, or add them to juices. Their chlorophyll helps swab out environmental toxins (heavy metals, pesticides) and is an all-around liver protector.
2. Lemons. You need to keep the fluids flowing to wash out the body, and fresh lemonade is ideal. It has vitamin C -- considered the detox vitamin -- which helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that's easily flushed away.
3. Watercress. Put a handful into salads, soups, and sandwiches. The peppery little green leaves have a diuretic effect that helps move things through your system. And cress is rich in minerals, too.
4. Garlic. Add it to everything -- salads, sauces, spreads. In addition to the bulb's cardio benefits, it activates liver enzymes that help filter out junk.
5. Green tea. This antioxidant-rich brew is one of the healthiest ways to get more fluids into your system. Bonus: It contains catechins, which speed up liver activity. Here's another beverage your liver loves.
6. Broccoli sprouts. Get 'em at your health-food store. They pack 20 to 50 times more cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating activity into each bite than the grown-up vegetable.
7. Sesame seeds. They're credited with protecting liver cells from the damaging effects of alcohol and other chemicals. For a concentrated form, try tahini, the yummy sesame seed paste that's a staple of Middle Eastern cooking.
8. Cabbage. There are two main types of detoxifying enzymes in the liver; this potent veggie helps activate both of them. Coleslaw, anyone?
9. Psyllium. A plant that's rich in soluble fiber, like oat bran, but more versatile. It mops up toxins (cholesterol, too) and helps clear them out. Stir powdered psyllium into juice to help cleanse your colon, or have psyllium-fortified Bran Buds for breakfast.
10. Fruits, fruits, fruits. They're full of almost all the good things above -- vitamin C, fiber, nutritious fluids, and all kinds of antioxidants. Besides, nothing tastes better than a ripe mango, fresh berries, or a perfect pear.
Here's the ultimate detox recipe.
Easy Wilted Garlic-Sesame Salad
Toss dark green leafy vegetables in hot, garlicky oil for a cleansing -- and delicious -– dish.
4 servings, about 65 calories each
1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. spinach, stemmed,
or 1 lb. swiss chard, stems sliced, leaves torn
or 1 lb. mixture of spinach and watercress
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. sesame seeds for garnish
Warm oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir until lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Add greens (do in two batches if necessary) and toss until just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Find more healthy recipes with the RealAge Recipe Finder.