Your organs all work together to sift through everything you take in – food, air, water – to separate the healthy from the harmful.
Here’s just a brief glimpse of how it all works:
- Your lungs breathe in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, a waste gas.
- The kidneys sift through the blood and removes waste and extra fluid through the urine.
- The digestive tract extracts and absorbs nutrients from our food and excretes waste products we don’t need in the form of feces.
- Your skin pushes sweat and bacteria out through pores all over your body.
- The immune system produces white blood cells, which target and destroy any harmful organisms that might enter the body.
- Your liver protects your body from toxins and prevents them from entering the bloodstream.
As you can see, our bodies have a pretty efficient system, with several working parts that come together to keep us healthy and toxin-free.
But the system isn’t foolproof.
If you’re eating right, exercising, and following a generally healthy lifestyle, it can help keep things running seamlessly. But throw in a little extra stress, some environmental toxins, and a few not-so-healthy habits and boom! Suddenly you have a system that’s overloaded, inefficient, and slowing you down.
Natural Detoxifiers to the Rescue
When your body gets congested with a buildup of toxins, it can lead to some side effects that aren’t so fun, like fatigue, a weakened immune system, and low energy levels.
These are just a few possibilities that barely scrape the tip of what can happen when your body’s detox powers are diminished.
Over time, a gunked-up detox system can have even more serious consequences. Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), fatty liver disease, and even kidney failure are all possible byproducts of a failed detox system.
Worst of all, many of these diseases are irreversible. Once the damage is done, there’s really not much you can do to fix it, short of getting a new kidney or liver.
That’s why it’s so important to start ensuring the health of your detox system early on, to prevent any damage or destruction before it has the chance to accumulate.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to detoxify your body, simply and naturally. Adding a few of the following 7 detoxifying ingredients into your daily routine can help your body do its job more efficiently and keep your detox system on track.
Ready to find out just what a natural detoxifier is and how to detoxify your body naturally? Keep on reading!
7 Tasty Natural Detoxifiers
While it may not be known for making breath minty fresh, garlic is a potent natural detoxifier.
Garlic contains an organosulfur compound known as allicin, which has been studied extensively for its many benefits when it comes to heart disease, inflammation, and even cancer prevention.
Not only that, but garlic is renowned for its detoxifying properties and beneficial effects on the liver. In one animal study, they found that garlic decreased oxidative stress in the brain, liver, and kidney, even after exposure to lead (1).
Garlic also helps to scavenge and neutralize free radicals, preventing disease and keeping the body free of harmful toxins (2).
Adding more garlic into your diet is as easy (and tasty) as it sounds. Try my Slow Cooker Garlic Soup, these Spicy Garlic Oven-Roasted Chickpeas, or one these 6 delicious Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing recipes for a quick burst of detoxifying power.
Once you know all the liver-protective benefits found in artichokes, you’ll see that serving up a side of this steamed veggie does much more than satisfy your stomach.
Artichokes contain a type of phenolic acid called cynarin.
This powerful ingredient is found primarily in the artichoke’s leaves. It can help prevent damage to the liver from oxidative stress. It also lessens the liver’s workload by keeping cholesterol levels low and stimulating the production of bile to rid the body of waste products (3).
Used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory agent, ginger is one of the best medicinal herbs when it comes to detoxing your body.
Thanks to its strong antioxidant powers, ginger can also help protect the liver and kidneys from harmful toxins and free radicals.
A recent animal study confirmed the beneficial effects of ginger. They found that mixing garlic, nutmeg, and ginger had a therapeutic effect in protecting the kidneys and liver from heavy metal toxicity, allowing the body’s natural detox system to do its job (4).
Another trial studied the effects of ginger supplementation on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. After 12 weeks, ginger was found to improve the characteristics of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by reducing inflammation, insulin resistance, and fat build-up in the liver (5).
Ready to give it a try? Take out your blender and whip up my Thai Pink Ginger Soup for a quick and easy detoxifying dinner.
While I wouldn’t recommend following the grapefruit fad diet, grapefruit can (and should) definitely be a part of any detox diet.
This is all thanks to their naringenin content, which is a flavonoid also present in oranges and tomatoes that is brimming with detoxifying properties.
In fact, one study actually found that this flavonoid was able to effectively reduce and repair tissue damage caused by diabetic complications in the livers and kidneys (6).
Grapefruit has demonstrated its protective effects on the liver in other trials as well. A 2016 study showed that grapefruit was able to trigger natural killer cells in the body to inhibit liver metastasis of colon cancer (7).
While grapefruit can make a satisfying snack all on its own, adding it to your next green juice or green smoothie can really bump up the flavor and nutrient profile.
Like most cruciferous vegetables, cabbage ranks pretty high when it comes to its extensive list of health benefits.
Rich in antioxidants and full of inflammation-busting properties, cabbage has been shown to be a nutritional powerhouse in terms of preventing chronic disease and protecting the body from oxidative stress (8).
Researchers have found plenty of results confirming the stellar health profile of cabbage. A 2016 trial found that red cabbage was able to lower liver cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and inflammatory markers in mice. This can help optimize liver function so that it can work harder to detoxify your body and keep you feeling healthy (9).
Cabbage casserole is one of the best ways to enjoy this cruciferous veggie because it’s both delicious and delivers a hearty dose of the health benefits provided by cabbage. I’ve rounded up 11 of the tastiest recipes ready for you to enjoy here.
Besides being a delicious source of fiber, folate, and vitamin K, asparagus is full of extraordinary benefits for your natural detox system as well.
Asparagus is especially effective when it comes to metabolizing alcohol. Studies have shown that asparagus stimulates the production of two enzymes: alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. These enzymes are crucial when it comes to processing alcohol and can help protect the liver cells and keep things running smoothly (10).
Asparagus also contains glutathione, an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, cleanses the liver, and pumps up the immune system.
Lightly steaming your asparagus will make it easier to digest and taste better. For a quick and easy dish you can make at home, try out this vegetarian quinoa bibimbap. You can add your choice of veggies – including asparagus – to kick up the detoxing powers.
Beets do much more than give your green smoothie a vibrant pink hue. They are bursting with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties too.
Beets owe their superfood status to a pigment known as betalain. This compound has been shown to ease inflammation and prevent diseases like cancer and arthritis. Not only that, but it can protect against liver disease, ensuring that your liver can keep working hard to detoxify your body (11).
While our body does have its own detox system, sometimes it might need a little help. If you’re feeling sluggish, fatigued, or low in energy, upping your intake of a few of these natural detoxifiers might just do the trick.
Otherwise, make sure you follow a generally healthy diet, cut down or eliminate inflammatory foods – like gluten and dairy – in your diet, and get in plenty of regular physical activity.
Paired with these natural detoxifiers, it’s the recipe for success to keep your built-in detox system going strong.
Natural 1-Day Detox
Want to get a jumpstart on helping your body naturally detox?
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Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.