10 Detox Superfoods You Must Keep In Your Kitchen At All Times
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There are many chemicals in our environment that enter our bodies through plastics, foods, water, packages, etc. We're exposed to thousands of toxins, of varying levels of toxicity, on a daily basis, which can cause us harm in the long term. Detoxification is a process that is already present in our body in some measure. Such processes transform several of these harmful substances into more benign particles that are eliminated through waste and urine. Enzymes (like Cytochrome P450, or CYP) are powerful agents that oxidize steroids, fatty acids, and xenobiotics (chemicals not produced naturally), break down the toxins, and keep us healthy. This process is called biotransformation. So, one of the primary functions of the food we eat is to keep this system working smoothly.

Detoxification is a two-step process in the body. Phase 1 detoxification relies on the P450 enzymes to make the toxins less harmful so they can be removed easily, and phase two adds a chemical to the toxin to make it water soluble so it can be removed quickly. Phase 1 of this process tends to get weaker as we age, so eating the right foods that keep us healthy becomes increasingly important. Fortunately for us, there are plenty of good foods that help the body cleanse itself of harmful chemicals. Let’s look at the 10 superfoods that you must have in your kitchen at all times to help your body detox efficiently and regularly.

1.    Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables are fantastic at inducing and aiding biotransformation, so they must be consumed regularly. The most popular member of this family of vegetables is broccoli. It contains sulforaphane, which fights infectious cells in the body. It also contains nutrients like glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin that neutralize and remove contaminants from the body. Broccoli aids both phases of detoxification: the glucosinolates contained in broccoli stimulate the first step, while the sulforaphane helps the second phase. So, broccoli flushes toxins from the body and resets energy levels. This is a must-have in your kitchen at all times.

2.    Lemon 

Lemon is a detox superstar. Lemon juice has an atomic structure that is similar to the digestive juice found in the stomach. So, it kind of "tricks" the liver into producing bile, which then pushes the food through the gastrointestinal tract. It may also aid liver function and protect the organ from oxidative damage. That helps preserve the liver's ability to detoxify the body. Lemons are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, two of the most vital nutrients for the detoxification process. The citric acid in lemons increases urine volume, which helps fight off kidney stones. One of the best ways to add lemon to your routine is to drink hot water with lemon slices early in the morning. This flushes out toxins from your system, which is good for your skin and digestive system. Adding lemon to curries and salads also helps restore the body’s PH balance.

3.    Garlic 

Garlic is awesome as a detox food because it activates liver enzymes that remove toxins from the body. It is also a heart-friendly food. Garlic has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties that protect us from infections. It contains an antibiotic substance called allicin, which speeds up the production of the white blood cells that fight toxins. It also adds flavor to our food, so garlic is a must-have in every kitchen.

4.    Apples 

Apples (especially the skin) are rich in a soluble fiber called pectin, which binds cholesterol and heavy metals in a sticky gel form that is easier to purge from the body. Pectin also helps stop the body from absorbing sugar too quickly, and it keeps us satiated for around 4 hours! Apples also help remove toxins from the gut and the blood, and they also lower LDL cholesterol. The hype is real, guys—an apple a day really is a good idea.

5.    Turmeric 

Turmeric is not food by itself, but adding it to the food you cook is a great way to help the body detox. It contains curcumin, which aids the liver in processing and removing harmful metals by binding to these metals and increasing protection against their negative effects. Turmeric also stimulates the gall bladder to release bile, which, in turn, improves liver function.

6.    Green Tea

Green tea went from a trend to a staple because it is packed with antioxidants. Unlike black tea, green tea does not undergo fermentation. The antioxidants in green tea wash away toxins from our body and protect against free radicals that may be roaming around in our system. People who read Ikigai will know that the Ainu in Japan swear by jasmine green tea as one of the foods that helps them live healthier for longer. Three cups of green tea per day can hydrate the body better and also fight against the harmful chemicals swirling around in your body.

7.    Beetroot 

Beetroot, or beets, contain an antioxidant called betalains, which help liver cells repair and regenerate. Studies show that the betalain pigments "display potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and chemo preventive activity," meaning they can reduce inflammation and even protect against diseases like cancer. Beetroot is higher in sugar compared to other vegetables, so you may want to have it regularly but not too frequently.

8.    Ginger 

We’ve been adding ginger to our chai for ages now, so we take it for granted sometimes, but ginger is great for detoxification. It aids the body’s metabolic functions, flushes toxins, boosts liver function, and may also reduce inflammation. You can have ginger water, which contains antioxidants and minerals like potassium, magnesium, choline, and calcium.

9.    Bananas 

Bananas increase "bloat-fighting" bacteria in the stomach and also aid in maintaining healthy bacteria in your gut. That leads to cleaner intestines, which means lower inflammation and a healthy weight. Bananas are also a great source of potassium, which helps reduce water retention. Yes, they can be "too sweet" for some people, but the health and detox benefits mean that bananas need to be a regular part of your grocery list.

10.     Cucumber 

Cucumber is mostly water and full of health. It replenishes the electrolytes in your body, which is especially useful on hot days when one can easily become dehydrated. Cucumber water (a cucumber in a jug of water) prevents dry mouth and removes food residue stuck on teeth. This fruit (yes, cucumber is a fruit, not a vegetable) is packed with healthy digestive enzymes that help the body’s metabolism and immune system.

These 10 foods are simple additions that can be included in your diet throughout the week. They are easily available and not hard to fit into your routine. Use them as your mid-day or evening snacks (aren’t you sick of fried foods?), and you’ll be aiding the body’s natural detoxification process significantly. It really is this easy to detox the body and rejuvenate your health.