Our top 9 detox foods

Jan 12, 2024

Your body works all day to eliminate toxins – through sweat, excretion, and internal systems (including the liver) – and certain foods support this process.
Instead of thinking of detox as something you do to yourself (“I’m going on a detox”), we recommend thinking of detox as an ongoing process in your body that requires continuous nutritional support from you. This remedy includes water, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein-based enzymes. For example, antioxidants remove toxic free radicals, compounds that promote harmful oxidative stress in the body. A consistent diet ensures that your body regularly receives the nutrients it needs to support the detoxification process.
Biotransformation is the term we use to describe detoxification. It refers to the process of converting unwanted compounds into a form that can be easily excreted. Most biotransformations occur in the liver, removing toxins from the body in a complex and remarkable way. Most toxins – including prescription drugs, pesticides, and alcohol – are fat- soluble. This means they cannot circulate through the bloodstream, which is also water- based, nor can they be excreted in urine, which is also water-based. Using bioactive ingredients in food, the liver converts these toxins into water-soluble metabolites for elimination. (We also eliminate toxins by exhaling them from the lungs.) If left untreated, toxins can be stored in fat tissue.
To support your detoxification system, add the following foods to your weekly shopping list:
1. Onions
Onions offer many health benefits and contain allicin, quercetin, and many other polyphenolic antioxidants. These compounds help protect the body from oxidative stress, which contributes to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. The health components of onions are mainly concentrated in the outer layers. So, the next time you cut them, peel them as minimally as possible. (Even freshly cut and crushed garlic contains allicin.)
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, are full of sulfur compounds for detoxification, such as sulforaphane, which give them a sharp taste and smell. They also help the liver do its job of eliminating toxins. This crunchy vegetables are associated with inhibiting the development of several types of cancer, and sulforaphane also helps with estrogen metabolism.
3. Turmeric

Turmeric originates from South and Southeast Asia and has been used for centuries to treat liver and digestive issues such as colitis, ulcers, and indigestion. Turmeric’s main benefit is its anti-inflammatory effect, which helps strengthen the immune function. Research has shown that turmeric promotes brain health, lowers triglyceride levels, and can protect against colorectal, stomach, and esophageal cancers.
4. Blueberries
These small berries pack a concentrated punch. Anthocyanins, which give them their dark blue color, can act as antioxidants and help neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules linked to the development of cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Berries also contain fiber (like most plant foods), which feeds probiotic bacteria in the gut, providing a fuel source for gut cells. This is an essential process for digestion and helps balance immune system function. Fiber also binds harmful compounds and prevents their absorption from the intestines into the bloodstream. If possible, opt for wild blueberries, which contain more anthocyanins than larger commercial varieties.
5. Green Tea
If drinking green tea isn’t part of your daily routine, you should give it a try. It’s rich in catechins, powerful antioxidants that can aid the detoxification process. Green tea also provides protection against cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and even tooth decay.
6. Yogurt
Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics, beneficial microorganisms that can help combat inflammation. Anything that reduces inflammation promotes detoxification and immune system health. Probiotics also promote balance in the gut by creating colonies of healthy bacteria that can help fight their harmful counterparts.
7. Flaxseed
Flaxseeds are by far the most concentrated natural source of lignans, chemicals found in plants that provide antioxidant benefits and help the body detoxify and metabolize estrogen regularly. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which fights inflammation. Flaxseed can lower cholesterol, improve hemoglobin A1C levels (three-month blood sugar), and even alleviate mild menopausal symptoms. Ground flaxseed is easier to digest (its nutrients are more readily absorbed), providing more health benefits than whole seeds.
8. Soy
Good news for edamame lovers: Soy is rich in vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant in detoxification reactions in the body. It also contains isoflavones that convert free radicals (also through detoxification reactions) into water-soluble compounds that can be easily excreted. We recommend buying only organic soy foods to avoid genetic modifications and pesticides.
9. Red Grapes
Red grapes contain resveratrol, a phytonutrient and antioxidant that keeps free radicals at bayand can protect us from heart disease. Resveratrol is also associated with longevity and cancer prevention in studies on mice and other animals. However, be cautious about the grapes you buy: due to their thin skin, grapes contain more types of pesticides than any other fruit.”

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