- HEALTH TRACKER
Want to baby your liver? Keep your GI tract fit? Flush out toxins? These 10 foods can spring clean your body and keep refreshing your vital parts all year 'round. No need to fast. Just take these three steps:
"Eat clean," avoiding processed foods and chemical additives.
Stay well hydrated by drinking lots of filtered water.
Include some of these 10 foods in several meals throughout the week.
The Detox Top 10
1. Dark green leafy vegetables. Eat them raw in a salad or boil the crap out of 'em like your favorite grandma used to do when you were a kid for Thanksgiving dinner. Throw them into a broth, steam them, and mix with rice or add to an omelet, or puree them into juices. The chlorophyll in greens helps swab out environmental toxins (like heavy metals, pesticides, and other undesirables). It's also an all-around liver protector, which your liver needs since it's your major domo detoxifier and the main reason you haven't passed out in the street after a long night "hoisting 'em and tossing 'em" back last weekend.
Lemons. Remember the old neumonic for learning the human body parts we learned as kids - "Milk, milk, lemonade, round the back fudge is made..." Well... maybe you didn't grow up east of Sesame Street like I did but, fresh lemonade made with filtered water (i.e. non-tap) will keep you hydrated, and its vitamin C helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that's easily flushed away.
Watercress. Put a handful into salads, soups, and sandwiches and eat them with your pinkies extended like you're at the now defunct Tavern on the Green or the posh Four Seasons restaurant. Those peppery little green leaves have a diuretic effect that helps the flushing process. Plus cress is a mineral gold mine, rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Now you can feel pretentious and snobbish as you also detoxify your "culo" all in one shot.
Garlic. Add it to everything -- salads, sauces, spreads. In addition to the heart-friendly bulb's cardio benefits, it activates liver enzymes. Research also indicates that garlic diminishes a process that creates cancer-causing compounds in your body. ***Be warned though*** -After consuming large quantities of garlic it will ooze out of your pores and cause you to smell a lot like that guy that no one wants to sit next to on the bus. Everything in moderation.
Green tea. This antioxidant-rich brew is one of the healthiest ways to get more water into your system. Bonus: It contains catechins, which speed up liver activity. Be mindful not to drink Extra Sweet Green tea or any variation thereof with a high sugary/syrupy/high fructose corn anything content unless you plan to look forward to blurred vision and diabetes amputations with a crooked smile on your face in the near future. Diet green tea is my recommendation.
Broccoli sprouts. These little tree stump looking buggers pack 20 times more cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating activity into each bite than the actual grown-up vegetable. Research suggests that eating the sprouts (they have a radish-like taste) kills off H. Pylori bacteria that causes stomach irritation and ulcers. Just what the doctor ordered when you want to sweep your bottom chimney free of all the soot.
Sesame seeds. They're credited with protecting liver cells from the damaging effects of alcohol and other chemicals. For a concentrated form, try tahini, the yummy sesame seed paste that's a staple of Middle Eastern cooking.
Cabbage. These taste great but while they boil on the stove cooking they will leave your house smelling FUNK-KAY! There are two main types of detoxifying enzymes in the liver, and this potent veggie helps activate both of them. It's the largest member of the Brassica veggie family, all of which delivers colon-cancer fighting isothicyanates and vitamin C. Coleslaw, anyone?
Psyllium. This plant's bursting with soluble fiber, which mops up toxins (cholesterol, too) and helps clear them out. Stir powdered psyllium into juice to help cleanse your colon, or have psyllium-fortified Bran Buds for breakfast. (Start with a small amount and gradually increase your dose as your GI tract becomes used to it.) Drink it down quickly or it WILL turn to gel on ya like an 8th grade science experiment if you don't. Don't make a big jug of it and put it in the fridge for later. You'll be angry that you can't get any of that goop to come out of the jug after sitting too long.
Fruits, fruits, fruits. They're full of almost all the good things listed above -- vitamin C, fiber, nutritious fluids, and assorted antioxidants. Besides, nothing tastes better than a ripe mango, perfect pear, or fresh berries. Just make sure that you take an extra pair of drawers to work with ya if you plan to eat these for breakfast all week. And for Godsakes don't trust your farts or a sneeze.