1. Dandelion Greens: Bitter greens are liver loving foods! They help support liver detoxification and gallbladder while improving kidney function. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Native Americans traditionally used boiled dandelion root to treat kidney disease.
2. Parsley: You can add this herb to salads, smoothies and cooked dishes to add an additional layer of nourishment and liver protection. It’s also a blood cleanser which helps to clean the blood and as a result, can lead to glowing skin. You can take parsley in tincture form as well from a herbalist.
3. Ginger: A natural anti-inflammatory, this sweet and spicy root is very complimentary to a detoxification protocol due to it’s warming properties that can help to increase circulations and help the liver move out excess toxins from the body. Ginger can be juiced, blended in a smoothie, or cooked into a warming and grounding dish along with other spices.
4. Turmeric: This bright orange-colored root is touted as one of the world’s healthiest foods right now in the health community, and for good reason. Ayurveda has been utilizing the medicinal benefits of turmeric (rich in a compound called curcumin) for ages. It promotes liver detoxification and can help to beautify the skin, though take note you can overdo turmeric, which will have the reverse effect: it can damage your liver in excess amounts. Sometimes less is more, and in the case of turmeric, this is true. Try half to 1 tsp. per day.
5. Reishi Mushroom: Found in abundance in many forests around the world, Reishi is commonly found in tea, capsule or tincture form. Those with an inclination towards “superfoods” are often drawn to Reishi for its potent ability to move excess toxins through the body, and to strengthen the immune system which is always important when doing a detox.
6. Seaweed: Especially brown seaweeds, these powerful foods help to prevent many forms of women’s cancer and radiation. Seaweeds can be taken in teas or soups and replace the need for roughage (fiber) to push excess toxins that may end up stuck in the small intestine during a detox. Angela Willard, Clinical Herbalist and Co-Creator of HarmonicArts.ca spoke to this in-depth in our upcoming Winter Beauty Detox, soon to be released.
7. Broccoli: Cruciferous vegetables are really an under looked superfood that deserve far more attention than they’re currently getting. From cancer prevention, to estrogen detoxification and hormonal balance – eating broccoli is a pretty good idea if you want to improve your bodies own ability to defend against imbalance.
8. Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts are my personal favorite, I even eat them steamed for breakfast some days. Brussels sprouts are under the scope these days in quite a few studies, and they’ve proven to be powerful little veggies. They’re rich in sulfur which supports the detox process, and they’re also very anti-inflammatory. If you’re not a huge fan of brussels sprouts (apparently not everyone loves them), I encourage you to give them one more shot. Click here to learn more of the health benefits of brussels sprouts and see if this motivates you to eat them often!
9. Avocado: High in delicious and hyper nourishing fats, avocados can boost magnesium levels in the body and provide a source of good fats and proteins that the liver needs to adequately function during a detox. Avocados make a great replacement for bananas in a smoothie to stabilize blood sugar.
10. Coconut Oil: Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-anything-not-good-for-you, coconut oil finds its way into any healthy diet, be it raw, vegetarian, vegan or paleo. This is one oil almost everyone can agree on, and it’s good stuff. Coconut oil is commonly used to fight off candida overgrowth attributed to the monolaurin. Doing a candida detox? This product “Lauricidin” is a concentrated extract of coconut oil that can help treat and heal candida overgrowth. I don’t make any money by referring you to this by the way, but I use this product myself so I thought I’d share it with you.
11. Burdock Root: It’s not the tastiest root (personally, I don’t think it’s tasty at all) but it sure does work. Burdock root cleanses the blood and is often used in skin formulas to support healthy and clear skin. Anytime you have a blood cleanser, you can know this will mean positive effects on the skin, our skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside. Often times, skin issues are related to hormones, however if you’re eating foods you may be allergic to, or if you’re still consuming refined white sugar or processed foods, cleaning your blood may be beneficial.
12. Sauerkraut: Fermented foods are one of the best ways to support the detoxification process. They essentially magnify nutrients you consume, especially other fats. If you’ve eaten a meal that contains good, healthy fats, having 1 tbsp. of sauerkraut afterwards will support digestion and assist in the absorption of the nutrients you consumed. Sauerkraut also supports your bodies detox pathways and immune system.
13. Green Tea: Loaded with antioxidant, green tea is a well-known beauty enhancing leaf and often used to support weight loss. Simply drinking a cup of green tea each day isn’t going to do the trick, though it will compliment any healthy regiment quite nicely and support the detox process.
14. Cilantro: Cilantro is most often used to chelate heavy metals like mercury from the body. It’s important to do this slowly, as heavy-metal detox is no joke and can get serious very quickly if you over do it. Cilantro can be eaten on salads, blended in smoothies, juiced or cooked which will help reduce its intense flavor if you’re sensitive to it. Those who require more serious heavy metal detox can find cilantro in tincture form, though it’s best to work under the guidance of a herbalist and or Naturopathic Doctor before you take the plunge.
15. Milk Thistle: By far, one of my favorite liver detox herbs. I use milk thistle in times of detox, and have personally felt a difference in my energy levels and my skin when I use it. Milk thistle directly blocks certain toxins from penetrating the cells and supports the liver in safely clearing them out. The active compound in milk thistle is called Silymarin and many liver detox formulas have been concentrated to 80% Silymarin for effectiveness. I use a detox formula by HealthForce Nutritionals called Liver Rescue and so far it’s the best, I keep a bottle of it on hand at all times.
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