by Dr. Will Cole
As a society we are surrounded by more toxins than ever before. On a daily basis we are exposed to a plethora of chemicals in the products we use and genetically modified foods sprayed with pesticides and herbicides in our grocery stores and restaurants.
Our genetics have not caught up with this onslaught of toxins, and it is evident in the rise of inflammation spectrum health problems. Now more than ever it’s important to make sure we are diligent in avoiding as many environmental factors as possible as well as detoxing from the unknown number of toxins we are exposed to. But we can’t live in fear. Your body is amazingly strong and resilient. Instead of curling up in a ball and deciding to live in a bubble, let’s cultivate ways to live cleaner.
The last thing the internet (or you) needs is another quick-fix cleanse, so make your everyday life a detox. By using specific food medicines and functional medicine tips and tools, you can support your detoxification pathways so your body can do what it is designed to do naturally: thrive.
1. Add parsley to your smoothies.
This little green plant packs a mean detox punch. Add some to your favorite smoothie to boost the liver-supporting goodness.
2. Eat three cups of sulfur-rich vegetables.
Onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and mushrooms all support methylation detox pathways. By bringing these foods into your diet on a regular basis you are supporting detox and naturally making your life a cleanse. Mushrooms have twice the benefits if you make sure they are adaptogenic; look for chaga, turkey tail, and lion’s mane to add in some hormone-balancing love.
3. Sip on a blue-green algae latte.
Spirulina, chlorella, and blue-green algaes are epic detoxifiers. Add a teaspoon (or two!) into some steamed or iced almond milk for some detox magic.
4. Eat three cups of dark leafy greens.
Vegetables like kale, collards, spinach, and chard all contain folate, which is needed for methylation. Some of my favorite ways to include these into my daily diet are through smoothies, salads, and just sauteing them right up with whatever vegetables I am having for lunch or dinner.
5. Add garlic to every recipe.
Certain foods have detoxing properties especially beneficial if you have high levels of heavy metal toxicity in your body. Garlic is one of them and also aids in methylation. So add it to any dish you please, as garlic enhances the flavor of almost all recipes!
6. Unwind with some dandelion tea.
Drink some dandelion tea in the evenings to help you relax from the day. Dandelions contain many B vitamins that will continue to help support methylation and also help the body flush out toxins.
7. Munch on blueberries.
This one is super simple. Get additional help with detoxing by including blueberries to your diet. These berries will satiate your sweet tooth and help flush out any toxins in your body. Bake with them, put them in smoothies, or just eat them by the handful for maximum benefit!
8. Dress up your food with cilantro.
This powerful superfood is something that can easily be incorporated into your diet. Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over salads or on top of everyone’s favorite obsession – tacos! Make Taco Tuesday a regular occurrence to take advantage of nature’s toxin-reducing plant power.
9. Get moving.
Make exercise a part of your daily routine by picking activities that not only get your heart moving but make you work up a sweat. Sweating is your body’s way of clearing out toxins. If you can’t handle high-impact workouts, hot yoga is a great way to get your sweat on.
10. Green up your home and workplace.
Purify the air you breathe by bringing some fresh plants inside your house and workspace. Spider plants, dracaena, garden mum, and peace lilies are nature’s air purifiers.
11. Relax in an infrared sauna.
Start sweating a different way by sitting in an infrared sauna. Not only will you release toxins through your sweat, infrared saunas have been shown to reduce inflammation, which can be a hindrance to proper detoxing. And bonus: They also help promote relaxation and reduce stress!
I originally wrote this article for mindbodygreen.
Photo: HEX. / Stocksy