Now that ‘Women’s Christmas’ has passed, the onslaught of partying, drinking, chocolates, late nights and general excess is probably in decline. Many of us feel sluggish, tired, headachy, overweight and generally low on these dull, grey, drizzly days. Why not spring clean your body and mind by changing your diet for even a week or so?
This week let’s see what we can put in to help the liver cleanse (next week we’ll see what to cut out!).…
- Apples and Pears – the fibre pectin helps lower cholesterol and prevents constipation (good bowel movements are essential in a detox).
- Avocado – full of essential fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin E and potassium.
- Beetroot – historically known for protecting the liver and lowering cancer risk.
- Broccoli, cabbage, turnip and brussels sprouts – helps rid the body of old hormones, thus lowering the risk of cancer. It’s also full of antioxidants that are great for the liver.
- Cranberries – beneficial to the kidneys and great for cystitis, they inhibit E-coli and acidify the urine.
- Dandelion – this well-known weed and pest is excellent for the liver. Cook the leaves with other greens or add to a salad, and drink the root in Dandelion Coffee (available from health food stores). It supports the kidneys and helps with weight loss.
- Fennel Bulbs – improves digestion and prevents flatulence and colic, therefore reducing the work the liver has to do.
- Garlic – perhaps has the most benefits of any food as it helps support the immune system. It’s antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. It also helps the liver to remove toxic metals like mercury out of the body.
- Globe and Jerusalem Artichokes – this low-calorie food nourishes the good bacteria in the digestive system and the leaves encourage liver regeneration and aid bile flow.
- Grapes – contain proanthocyanidins which are powerful detoxifiers
- Grapefruits – great in a detox to help reduce unpleasant symptoms, encourage old red blood cells to be eliminated
- Kale – loaded with nutrients including carotenes, vitamin C, minerals and more calcium than milk.
- Leeks and Onions – very nutritious, contains lots of bioflavonoids and calcium. Similar to garlic, the sulphur within it helps detoxify the body and helps normalise cholesterol, blood sugar and blood clots. Onions may also help reduce tumour growth.
- Lemons – the juice and pith help dissolve gallstones.
- Parsley – may help reduce fluid retention and blood pressure.
- Radish – another vegetable thought to help the liver directly. Sprouted beans and seeds – full of minerals and really easy to sprout yourself.
- Watercress – contains liver supporting nutrients beta-carotene and sulphur. Your liver will have to work hard to detoxify the pesticides and herbicides on inorganic vegetables, so try to eat all organic food when detoxifying your body.