Foods that flush the body
WE often spend thousands of dollars on pharmaceuticals developed for the specific purpose of flushing and detoxifying our bodies. But nutritionist and dietitian Jenelle Solomon has identified various foods with these specific qualities which also provide other health benefits, and which are free of the possible side-effects of medications.
"Whether it is for a new weight loss plan, for medical reasons, or just a desire to cleanse our bodies, they help us to achieve some type of balance in our bodies, which is something we should [always] aim for. And while I know by now you are thinking about nasty blends and mixes, in reality you don’t need to torture yourselves with all that. All you need to do is include detoxifying foods in your diet," Solomon advised.
Below, she has compiled a list of foods that are generally easy to access and which contain very high cleansing properties:
1. Onion and garlic
They don’t just add flavour to your food or serve as excellent natural antibiotics; they also contain properties called flavonoids which stimulate the liver and encourage the production of detoxification enzymes. In addition, garlic contains high quantities of sulphur, which is another very good detoxifying component.
2. Turmeric and ginger
Both are from the same family of roots; however, they contribute differently to body cleansing. In the case of ginger, it increases your metabolism, and by extension flushes out waste. It also contains astringents which clean the pores of the skin. Turmeric, on the other hand, has curcumin, a component that makes it yellow and stimulates the production of bile by the gall bladder. Bile is used by the kidneys, not just to eliminate toxins, but also to restore and revitalise liver cells that are central to the deconstruction of harmful compounds. Turmeric is used worldwide in the treatment of many liver and digestive system-related disorders.
3. Citrus fruits
Perhaps one of the most common body cleansers — lemons and limes being the most common — citrus fruits are rich in the antioxidant Vitamin C. They stimulate the liver and release enzymes which also contribute to the conversion of toxins into a water-soluble form which facilitates excretion from the body. In general, the liver produces more enzymes with lemons, but its Vitamin C-rich component is also a bonus since the body needs it to produce glutathione, the strongest known antioxidant. Glutathione is crucial to achieving phase two of the liver’s detoxifying process. Detoxing the body is one of the reasons that drinking lemon water, warm or otherwise, is encouraged, but it also serves to alkalise the body so as to ward off diseases encouraged when the body is too acidic.
Certain seeds, for example, chia seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, have been found to be very effective in cleansing the body. Flax seeds — ground flax seeds in particular — are a very good source of fibre that helps with binding and flushing toxins from the intestinal tract. Sunflower seeds are not only high in selenium and Vitamin E, but also assist the liver’s detoxing capabilities. Chia seeds, among the more common seeds in the detoxifying process, contribute to binding cholesterol and helping to usher it out of the body. In addition, they are filled with antioxidants which help to resist the inevitable decline of old age with all its associated ailments.
Commonly used in spa treatments and skin care products because of its detoxifying properties, on average the cucumber is said to be about 95 per cent water. This property alone encourages flushing toxins out as well as alkalising the body.