It is almost impossible to avoid the daily ingestion of toxins, whether they are environmental pollutants such as pesticides, mold, automotive exhaust, and cigarette smoke; unhealthy foods and water; or whether they emanate from household elements such as carpeting, wallpaper, and the like. When the body becomes toxic, it produces more free radicals, which can cause problematic changes in cell structure such as mutations in DNA. Removing toxins from the body helps boost the immune system while eliminating many symptoms of discomfort and ill health.
According to an article in Women's Fitness Magazine, eating a minimum of one serving of cruciferous vegetables a day is ideal for helping to detoxify the body. broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnip, mustard greens, rutabaga, radish, and watercress all contain high amounts of nutrients to help deter the growth of cancerous cells and fight free radicals. Information in the online Detox Guide states that eating as many of these foods raw as possible helps to maintain the high quality of photochemicals that are otherwise lost during the cooking process. Because phytochemicals help to detoxify the body while providing the organs with necessary nutrients, eating raw cruciferous vegetables can be an excellent way to return the body to health. Additionally, with the presence of the phytochemical glutathione, the liver is also positively affected, as this element helps the organ excrete chemicals and heavy metals.
Onions and Garlic
As members of the allium or lily family, onions and garlic are chock full of phyto-nutrients and antioxidants. According to Whole-body-detox-diet.com, a site that lists foods for detoxifying the body, onions and garlic are excellent for removing toxins such as heavy metals, viruses, yeast, and parasites from the body. Because they contain flavonoids as well as vitamins and minerals, they also serve to fortify the immune system. Onions, as well as others in the same family such as leeks, scallions, shallots, and chives, are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that helps ward off free radicals. The high quotient of chromium in onions also helps to lower blood sugar levels. Garlic helps to relieve toxicity by fighting free radicals and boosting immune efficiency. A natural antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial, garlic helps to sweep the digestive tract clean of toxic waste while helping to provide healthy intestinal flora and deter infection.
Note: Eating raw or slightly sautéed onions and garlic is the best way to get the most out of these detoxifying foods.
Green tea has been used as a detoxifying tonic for the past 5,000 years. Made from unfermented tea leaves, green tea contains a high concentration of antioxidants due to the powerful presence of polyphenols. Because polyphenols help to fight free radical damage, green tea has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to help fortify and cleanse the body. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that several studies on green tea indicate that it is able to protect the liver from damaging substances such as alcohol while reducing inflammation and counteracting the symptoms of colds and flu. An article in Science Daily reports on green tea's detoxifying enzymes based on data published in the August issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention. Gleaned from studies at the Arizona Cancer Center, research has shown that enzymes present in green tea are able to help increase the body's defense mechanisms against cancer-causing toxins.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Woman's Fitness: Cruciferous Vegetables
- Detoxifying Foods
- Detoxifying Properties of Onions and Garlic
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Information on Green Tea
- Science Daily: Production of Detoxifying Enzymes
- Studies on Garlic and Onions
- Department of Biotechnology, Republic of Korea: Protective Effect of Green Tea