Come January and we all start to think of how to detox or cleanse as a way to shed the old - the toxins and habits of 2010 - and usher in some health and vibrancy for the coming year, albeit reluctantly so. The thought of drinking only lemonade, getting colonics and fasting doesn't bode well for some of us - who like to eat.
Think of taking a more moderate approach and leave the extreme cleanses, well, to the extremists. A diet of certain foods proven to bestow detoxification forces upon the body is a great way to ease into the idea of cleansing. Give the following five foods a spotlight in your diet and see if you don't feel a little lighter in your step as we spring forth into February.
Garlic: Owing to this bulb's pungency, it can be highly stimulating to any detox diet. Either fresh or cooked, garlic gets your liver jump-started in producing detoxification enzymes that help filter out toxic residues in the digestive system.
Broccoli Sprouts: This is the sprout of sprouts. Loaded with antioxidants, broccoli sprouts can help stimulate the detoxification enzymes in the digestive tract like none-other. In fact, the live sprouts are superior to their mature counterpart - the oft-praised broccoli floret. Plus, they are super easy to grow in a jar on your own counter, in no time.
Lemons: This citrus wonder aids the body in flushing out toxins, as well as jump-starts the digestive tract with enzymatic processes. Lemons also aid the liver in its cleansing processes. To jump start any detox day, start out each morning with a warm glass of lemon water.
Omega-3 Oils: Make your salad dressings with the use of some healthy oils containing omega-3s: hemp, avocado or flax seed oil are all stellar choices. They will help lubricate the intestinal walls, allowing the toxins to be absorbed by the oil, and eliminated by the body.
Green Tea: Whenever endeavoring to detox, liquids are of utmost importance. Green tea can help to not only flush things out, but it's high in catechins — a flavonoid — which speeds up liver activity and increases the production of detoxification enzymes.
Of course, in conjunction with all this you want to cut out as much processed foods as you can, opting for the ever sensible diet of organic fresh fruits and veggies and whole, hearty grains. And lots of H2O. Maybe next year we'll talk about the Master Cleanse...