The word “detoxification” is almost becoming a household word.
We are better understanding why “detoxing” is more important than ever. Those who are more sensitive than others to toxins have a particularly daunting task to face in this overly toxic modern world. From the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, to the products we put on our bodies and in our homes, we are exposed to an overload of environmental toxins on a daily basis.
The number one way to reduce this load is to educate yourself as to what things cause this exposure and do your best to avoid them. As a daily practice towards the achievement of optimal health, it’s best to limit your exposure to toxins.
The second thing to do is to eat foods that strengthen your body’s detoxification pathways, as well as boost your immune system. The research behind these facts is mounting. T. Colin Campbell’s book covering the 27-year research project he lead that included more than 880 million people is a perfect example of the amount of data being gathered supporting the fact that plant-based foods help us achieve optimal health. Some of the research being done shows that following five foods can help support liver detoxification by altering levels of liver enzymes involved in deactivating and clearing toxic compounds from your body. With regards to cancer, this is a vital step in boosting the immune system and releasing cancer from your body.
These beneficial foods are:
- Greens; Barley or Wheatgrass, Chard or Kale, Lambs Quarters or Dandelion — Chlorophyll is the compound that gives vegetables their green color, and it has many beneficial effects. Chlorophyll may actually be able to bind cancer-causing chemicals (such as heterocyclic amines found in meat cooked at high temperature), thereby allowing these chemicals to be excreted by the body instead of being absorbed. It’s best to include a green vegetable in at least two meals a day. Especially good food sources of chlorophyll are spinach, parsley, green beans and arugula, but all greens will have some chlorophyll. Have greens raw in a salad or sauté in olive or coconut oil as a side, add to omelets stir-fry, or soups.
- Cruciferous Vegetables; Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and Cabbage — These powerhouse vegetables not only help promote liver detoxification, but also contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound that helps balance estrogen levels. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. For an added bonus, most cruciferous vegetables (the green ones) also contain chlorophyll!
- Turmeric — This delicious spice contains a phytochemical called curcumin, which studies are showing, decreases inflammation and promotes liver detoxification. Sprinkle on any meal, in any smoothie or juice. The taste is mild enough to not alter flavor unless too much is used.
- Beets — The colorful pigments in beets may help support liver detoxification and also serve as potent antioxidants in addition to being nutrient-rich. Serve shredded raw beets over a salad or toss plain with avocado oil, salt and pepper. Be careful adding it to homemade juices as its high sugar content can feed cancer cells. Best to eat it whole or in a smoothie.
- Garlic — In addition to garlic’s detoxifying properties, some studies suggest that populations with higher garlic intake have decreased risk for stomach and colorectal cancers. Garlic also may help protect against cardiovascular disease. For maximum benefit, have some garlic daily.
The following recipe is a favorite at my healing center in Arizona! It is simple and delightful. Send us feedback and tell us what you think!
Eggless Egg Salad
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 cup lemon juice (or simply remove the skin of 1 lemon and use the rest)
1-1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cloves of garlic
1-1/2 tsp Celtic salt
1-1/2 cups raw macadamia or cashew nuts or a combination (soak over night)
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
1/3 cup celery, chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1. Place the first six ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary.
2. Place mixture in a bowl along with last 3 ingredients and mix well.
3. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Will last refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.