2010-01-31

Get Rid of Toxins - Food for Detoxification

 
 WATERCRESS
Packed full of toxin-fighting vitamin C, this peppery leaf is a detox dream.

Watercress packs a double-detox punch by not only stimulating cleansing enzymes in the liver, its diuretic properties help the body flush out festive detritus.

Use it in: watercress soup is a delicious lunch - simply add onion, garlic and stock. Even simpler, adding just a small handful in a sandwich is enough to work its magic.
  
 
 
 LEMON
Lemons feature frequently in detox plans and for good reason. They work by breaking down stored toxins in the liver and gallbladder and aren't just a powerful cleanser: their hefty vitamin C content boosts the immune system and supports the body's ability to purge accumulated toxins.

Use it in: a slice of lemon in hot water first thing helps to flush out toxins at a time when the body is most receptive to a good cleanse. Lemon also makes a great salt substitute when squeezed on curries and salads.

   
GARLIC
Garlic is as good at fending off toxins as it is vampires. This small but mighty bulb increases phagocytosis, a process in the body that destroys foreign cells.

The sulphur compounds that cause that distinct garlic whiff stimulate the production of white blood cells which, wipe out any unwanted foreign bodies in the blood stream.

Use it in: garlic adds flavour and punch to just about any dish. We suggest you roast it whole with your favourite vegetables or cut it up finely and add it to a tomato sauce for a delicious pasta supper.
 

   
 TURMERIC
 A member of the ginger family, this spice is hugely popular in Asian dishes, where its healing properties have long been known.

This mild but mighty spice is a powerful antioxidant that also increases anti-inflammatory enzymes in the liver.

Use it in: add a teaspoon to curries or to rice to add flavour, colour and detox powers.

  
 GINGER
 Not only can ginger heal a body battered by mince pies and turkey it can build up resistance for future binges.

Ginger helps build up powerful antioxidants in the blood and liver to fight future invasions of foreign bodies, while also destroying any free radicals that are already lurking in the body.

Use it in: a few slices added to hot water make a delicious, therapeutic tea. Adding grated or chopped ginger adds zest to Thai and Indian curries.

   
PARSLEY
 Parsley is usually left forgotten at the side of the plate, but its detox powers are far too good to use it only as a garnish.

This unassuming vegetable is a powerful diuretic and helps rev up the kidneys, one of your body's most important waste eliminating organs, so they are at full toxin-purging throttle.

Use it in: parsley works well in tomato sauce and soups, as well as salads. It also pairs up nicely with vegetables or you can mix it with garlic and lemon and mix it into chicken, lamb or beef.

   
ARTICHOKES
Artichoke's ability to heal an overworked liver is no secret in the Mediterranean, where it's long been used as a blood purifier. Artichokes work in two ways: they are another diuretic, but they also contain ingredients that stimulate bile and fat in the liver, which serve as the oil in its engine.

Use it in: Artichokes are delicious in salads with a squeeze of lemon juice (a double detox bonus!) or add to pasta with some low-fat crème fraiche
 
 
PINEAPPLE
 Detoxing is easy if it means eating succulent pineapple. Not only does it taste divine, but this tropical fruit contains bromelain, an enzyme that kills toxins in your colon and digestive system.

Use it in: it makes a great dessert that can satisfy the sweetest of teeth but it also works well in salads with grated carrots, papaya and mixed leaves.

   
 SESAME SEEDS
These little golden seeds of detox magic are proven to protect liver cells from the damaging effects of alcohol and other toxins.

Their secret lies in amino acids called methionine and tryptophan, which encourage the liver and kidney to function at the top of their games, ensuring they banish harmful toxins quickly and effectively.

Use them in: sesame seeds add crunch and flavour to salads. Tahini paste - ground sesame seeds - is a key ingredient in hummus along with garlic and lemon juice: just add chick peas and you've got yourself possibly the best detox food of them all. 

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