The body accumulates toxins over time from the foods we eat, what we drink, the air we breathe, and chemicals and pollutants in the air. Detoxes and cleansing diets are often marketed to help rid the body of these toxins and waste products. However, extreme dieting may lead to adverse health concerns. There are a number of healthy foods, including cranberries, that can be added to your diet to aid in toxin removal. These berries help eliminate and prevent bacterial growth in the body and should be part of a well-balanced diet.
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Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Cranberries are a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health. Vitamins and minerals aid in normal body functioning, energy metabolism and preventing health risks such as heart disease and stroke. Cranberries are high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and C as well as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, folic acid, potassium, sodium and selenium. Many of these nutrients are necessary for healthy liver function to help keep your body in balance.
Heals The Liver
Cranberries help eliminate toxins from the body by detoxing the liver. The liver, which is the largest internal organ in your body, works to support digestion and break down foods that enter your body. According to nutrition specialist Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., author of "The Fast Track Detox Diet," healthy liver function is essential to flushing toxins from the body, as the liver must distinguish between nutrients that need to be absorbed in the body and toxins that must be eliminated from the blood. The high antioxidant levels of cranberries assist the liver in its detoxification processes.
Cranberry juice aids the body in flushing out harmful toxins. The juice has antibacterial properties that inhibit bacterial overgrowth in the body that contribute to poor digestion or urinary tract infections. Increased bacteria in the body leads to toxin accumulation and increased health risks. Cranberry juice works to cleanse the lymphatic system that works to neutralize waste products to eliminate toxins from the body's tissues. Be aware of commercially prepared juices that are sold in most supermarkets, however. Many of these juices have added sugars or other juices such as apple or grape juices. Look for a brand that is labeled unsweetened and mix juices with filtered water to decrease natural sweetness or calories.
There is no one magical food that will help detoxify the body to eliminate toxins. Rather, it is essential to eat a well-balanced diet that contains essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. In addition to adding cranberries to your diet, be sure to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats. When possible, purchase organic produce and meats that are free from hormones, antibiotics or pesticides to decrease toxicity in your body. Add cranberries to your daily diet plan by drinking cranberry juice with breakfast or as a snack or adding cranberries to a milk smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal for a healthy antioxidant boost.
- "The Fast Track Detox Diet"; Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., CNS; 2005
- "The Fat Flush Plan"; Ann Louise Gittleman & Barry Sears; 2002
- MayoClinic.com: Nutrition and Healthy Eating: Detox Diets: Do They Work?