If you went a little overboard last weekend treating yourself, not to worry. Here at First, we believe food is medicine, and right in nature, you can find all the nutrients you need to cleanse your system from the inside out.
Check out our list of six potent detoxifying foods below.
Leafy Greens Detox
Leafy greens energize internal defenders.
A long winter of fighting off invading viruses hampers your immune system, but luckily, you can restore it to its summer peak in as little as 10 days by adding a cup of leafy greens to your daily diet. UCLA scientists say chlorophyll — the pigment that makes greens look green — is a powerful natural organ detoxifier, plus it neutralizes immunity-weakening toxins in your bloodstream, helping your white blood cells attack invading viruses 33 percent more aggressively.
Black Beans Detox
Black beans rev sluggish digestion.
These fiber-packed gems are rich in “resistant starches,” carbs that your intestines can’t digest or absorb. Instead, they pass through the digestive tract, where they help whisk man-made chemicals out of your body, cutting your risk of indigestion, bloat and other toxin-triggered digestive upsets by 65 percent, Scottish researchers say. Bonus: Resistant starches stimulate intestinal movement, reducing your chances of experiencing constipation by 50 percent if you eat four cups of black beans weekly.
Oranges calm overworked adrenal glands.
Savor a sweet, juicy orange — or a homemade ice pop made with its juice — every day, and your risk of chronic stress and anxiety could drop by 55 percent in one week. University of Arizona researchers say oranges are brimming with a trio of nutrients (vitamin C, hesperidin, and d-limonene) that cleanse and heal the adrenal glands, tamping down their release of the stress hormone cortisol.
Red Onion Detox
Red onions tame inflammation.
Great news from British scientists: Enjoying 1/2 cup of red onions (raw or cooked) a day could cut your aches and pains by 43 percent in as little as one week. Turns out, red onion compounds (quercetin flavonoids) are powerful natural anti-inflammatories that speed the breakdown of pain-triggering waste in your bloodstream.
Berries flush wrinkle-causing waste.
The delicious way to get firmer, smoother skin in just 10 days? Snack on 1 cup of berries daily. Yale scientists say the fruit is packed with healing pigments (anthocyanosides) that help your kidneys flush 25 percent more tissue-aging cellular waste, plus strengthen capillaries that shuttle nutrients to your skin.
Purple Cabbage Detox
Purple cabbage ups liver function.
Munching on 1 cup of purple cabbage four times weekly could boost your energy and stamina by 42 percent in seven days. That’s the word from Stanford University researchers, who say purple cabbage contains compounds (polyphenols and glucosinolates) that switch on liver enzymes that convert fatiguetriggering waste (like pollutants and excess hormones) into watersoluble compounds that can be eliminated through your kidneys.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.