Detox your Body Naturally
A Healthier You
As we continue our all out assault on dealing with this obesity epidemic, I'm trying to do my part by arming not only the fitness/health minded individuals, but also the average, everyday people with the knowledge, the proper know how, and the tools to help get the job done. The first step with any kind of problem is to find the root cause of the issue and in order to do that in this case, you have to have an understanding of how the human body actually works. Whether your eating clean like a health nut or just a bunch of fast food junk, toxins and free radicals will get into the body regardless. They are in the food we eat, the tap water you drink, the air we breathe, your deodorant, medication and even that cell phone that stays glued to your hand on a regular basis. It would take me about 6 days to list all the possible places of where toxins can come from. These toxins that cause/can create havoc and have been indicated as cancer causing agents. They wage a daily war on our bodies, sending exponentially more radicals at us then our natural bodily filters can defend us from.The body has three major organs that assist in it's defenses/natural self cleaning detoxing system that protect us by eliminating these toxins. The liver, kidneys and the colon. The liver filters out toxic substances in food prior to them passing into the blood stream. The kidneys are constantly filtering the blood and removing toxins from the body in the form of urination. Finally the colon flushes the toxins out of the body before they can cause any problems. This is why you should detox your body approximately three to four times annually, because at any giving time, you can have in upwards of 5 to 12 lbs of ....umm we will call it junk that's backed up in your colon. These toxins and free radicals left unattended can cause a multitude of conditions and diseases. These 10 foods will assists your body in the fight against the body's arch nemesis.
How the Body Is Detoxified
Bowl of Healthy Artichokes
In this daily war against an enemy that never runs out of soldiers, the artichoke could be considered an able Lieutenant. I know, it doesn't look appealing in the least, but it does reap major health benefits. There are several different ways to cook an artichoke, but whether you just eat the leaves or you devour the whole thing, with the stem and all, it provides many health benefits. A recent study showed that artichokes contain more antioxidants than any other vegetable. This plethora of antioxidants have the ability to help in liver tissue restoration, augmenting bile flow, and reduction of cholesterol levels by hindering HMG-CoA reductase. In layman's terms, this simply means, it lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL). Being that it's a natural diuretic, artichokes also aid the digestion system processes and improve gall bladder function. The average sized artichoke with have more fiber in it than a whole cup of prunes. As you know fiber is what keeps everything moving briskly through your system. Research has also shown that artichokes can support the prevention of many different forms of cancer by influencing apoptosis and impairing cell proliferation. The artichoke should definitely be on the top of everyone's grocery list and be consumed often.
Bowl of bite size Broccoli
I think it's a pretty safe assessment to say that almost everyone hated broccoli as a kid. In fact, I personally would only eat it with melted cheese over it for an extended period of time, until I finally became acclimated to the taste. No matter how you feel about it, broccoli is in the front line on the war on health. If we are talking benefits, a good place to start would be with the heart. The carotenoid lutein, B6 and folate found in broccoli impede the the thickening of arteries and in turn diminish the risks of a heart attacks and atherosclerosis. The beta-carotene, zinc and selenium reinforce the immune systems defensive actions versus intruders. The abundance of potassium, magnesium, and calcium contribute to an improved nervous system, optimal brain function, control blood pressure, bone health and muscle growth. The vitamin C contained helps fight the bad guys, like the common cold. Like the artichoke, broccoli is also high in fiber aiding in the digestion process, hampering constipation and maintaining low blood sugar. A serving of broccoli contains as much protein in it as a serving of rice, just with out all the extra calories. Broccoli also has anti-oxidants that strengthen the liver and fight against several forms of cancer.
Cucumbers are not just cut up into salads, to be placed over your eyes to relieve the bags under them or to make cute little sandwiches with anymore. They come with a multitude of health benefits. The cucumber is comprised of a large supply of silica, potassium, magnesium, folate, calcium, vitamin A, B1, B6, C and D which help advocate the strengthening of the connective tissues of the joints, regulate both high and low blood pressure, aids in digestion and weight loss due to it's low calorie and high water content, the sterols found in them reduce cholesterol levels, and the juice of the cucumber contains hormones required by the pancreas cells for the production of insulin, which has shown to be advantageous to people suffering from diabetes. They have also displayed the ability to decrease uric acid levels and provide relief from arthritis and gout discomfort with their anti-inflammatory properties. Do you have a friend that likes to talk a lot and let's just say their breath is a little.......ummm tart? Hand them a cucumber! The phytochemicals incorporated in cucumbers kill the bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath.
Should you Detox?
Unless you spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen, many people will not even know what turmeric is. Basically it's a spice derived from the roots of the Curcuma longa plant. Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier with anti-inflammatory properties (natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor) that can be a treatment for arthritis, not to mention it's a natural antiseptic, which can be used for disinfection of cuts, burns and speeding up the healing process by assisting in repairing damaged skin. Research has also associated turmeric with the ability to aid in impeding prostate cancer, slows the progression of Alzheimer's, hinders metastases from occurring in other forms of cancer and obstructs the growth of new blood vessels in tumors. Turmeric can be taken in supplemental form (pills or powder) or you can just sprinkle some over your salad.
Red Bell Peppers
Red Bell Peppers
Bell Peppers come in a variety of sizes and colors, however the Red Bell Pepper is commonly referred to as being the sweetest and will add lots of flavor to your salad. if you suffer from high cholesterol or are at risk for heart related diseases, eating a bell pepper on a regular basis would be very beneficial to you. Low in cholesterol and saturated fats, the fiber found in the pepper helps maintain a healthy digestive system. They contain high levels of vitamin A, B6, C, E, and K which are indispensable in the battle against free radicals, strengthening the immune system, supports a healthy balance within the central nervous system, and preserve the health of your eyes. You can add the Red Bell Peppers to your salad or just by themselves, raw or maybe even with a little olive oil.
Different Kinds of Lentils
Lentils are low in calories, proteins make up almost a third of these calories. In fact, Lentils are in the top five of all plant foods for having the highest concentration of protein in them. Their high fiber content and complex carbohydrates allows them to provide slow burning energy which lowers cholesterol and helps regulate the blood sugar levels. Lentils also come filled with iron (transports oxygen throughout the body) and B vitamins (folate and niacin) which are imperative for proper functioning of the nervous, digestive and immune systems. Research has shown that the abundance of folate and magnesium found in lentils aid in diminishing the risk of heart disease.
Reasons to Detox
Just a handful of walnuts each day can provide you with the daily recommended amounts of proteins, vitamins and minerals such as potassium, copper, manganese, iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium that are the co-factors for the enzymes that control sperm generation, digestion, nucleic acid synthesis, growth and development. Walnuts can also provide you with your daily intake of omega 3's which assists in lowering bad cholesterol, raising good cholesterol, decreasing the risk of coronary artery disease, blood pressure, strokes, and several different forms of cancers. The anti-oxidants found in walnuts have displayed potential effects against inflammation, aging and neurological diseases. 1 oz of walnuts will provide you with a whooping 18.5 grams of good fats.
Garlic has always gotten somewhat of a bad rep because of it's association with bad breath and can be quite.....umm distasteful to eat by itself. However there are many health benefits that come in consuming garlic on a daily basis. Garlic has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties that have shown a percentage of potency as that of penicillin and have been known to hamper the common cold. The antioxidants found in garlic stimulate the white blood cells, thus strengthening the immune system and have also shown to be good for the skin complexion, relaxes the arteries preventing hypertension, and inhibits bad fats from being oxidized, reducing your cholesterol levels. Simply adding garlic when cooking meat can greatly decrease the carcinogens found on the meat, which suggests it helps fight different forms of cancer as well. Garlic does have a very powerful odor to it, so I would definitely recommended it be cooked properly to alleviate the unflattering aroma. You might want to try the odorless supplemental version.
Sunflower seeds obviously come from the sunflower, which gets it's name from it's uncanny ability to turn throughout the day and follow the course of the sun. It's not just a pretty flower, they come loaded with magnesium and copper, which are critical for strong, flexible, healthy bones and joints. Filled with vitamin E, the body's dominate fat soluble antioxidant, the sunflowers anti-inflammatory properties adequately lessen the symptoms of arthritis, asthma, osteoarthritis and numerous other health related conditions in which free radicals are a primary precursor. Vitamin E also impedes the oxidation of cholesterol. It's when cholesterol is oxidized that it begins to stick and block/clog the arteries. You can get approximately 90% of your daily vitamin E from one cup of sunflower seeds. Selenium is a major player in sunflower seeds. Low selenium intake has been linked to the occurrence of cancer. Selenium has displayed the ability to prohibit the proliferation of cancer cells and influence their apoptosis. it also activates the synthesis and DNA repair of damaged cells. Grab a bag of sunflower seeds as a healthy, life preserving snack.
List of Citrus Fruits
A citrus fruit is basically any number of fruits that have a thick coat, pulp and can only be grown in warm climates. All citrus fruits are acidic and brimming with vitamin C, potassium, and folate which makes them an effective antioxidant, protecting the body from free radicals. One of vitamin C's many abilities is to heighten the absorption of iron. It's also mandatory in the fusion of collagen. This aids in the healing of wounds and assists in holding bones, ligaments and tendons together. Potassium is necessary for heart contractions, nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism. The flavonoids found in citrus fruits have been known to impede the growth of cancer cells, block the oxidization of bad cholesterol and obstruct the formation of blood clots in the arteries. Some people tend to have issues with citrus fruits due to their high acid content and it probably wouldn't be a good idea to consume them if you're having issues with your stomach, but outside of that, the rewards can be great.
Being healthy and fit requires you to work on the inside of your body as well as on the outside. You can appear to be fit and healthy from the outside and actually be in a worse health condition than that of an overweight person. So don't let your ego fool you into believing that because your working out consistently and look good without cloths on, that you're in good health.
Other informative links on Health and fitness
- 6 of the Best Fruits and Vegetables with Health and Fitness benefits
When trying to develop muscle mass, animal proteins are a must, however the body does require other types of proteins & things to maintain that muscle and keep the body at an optimum level.
- 7 Healthy eating tips for the non-gym goers/fitness people
Losing weight can be a constant struggle for some. Many people, for whatever reason chose not to attend the gym for exercise. These tips will assist the non-exercisers in their weight lost quest.
Jacobb9205 on April 01, 2015:
Thank you for this list, I will now be having Broccoli and Cucumber daily to detoxify my body! :)
swilliams on April 24, 2014:
It's a pill. What kind of garlic vitamin should I take?
Kevin W (author) from Texas on April 24, 2014:
Thank you all for the read.
@ Scott, Good to know there are men such as myself that like to get down in the kitchen.
@Ms Dora, It took me awhile to get acclimated to the taste of the artichoke as well, its all in the preparation.
@Swilliams - They shouldn't leave a taste in your mouth. Are you taking a capsule or pill?
Neetu M from USA on April 20, 2014:
Good article - thank you!
swilliams on April 18, 2014:
Very insightful! I take the garlic pills when I get sick, it leaves a slight garlic taste in the mouth, it does fight against colds and allergies. Great article!
Jeremy Hendershot on April 14, 2014:
I had no idea what turmeric was. Now, I have some research to do... Great article!
Geri MIleff from Czech Republic on April 14, 2014:
Thank you for this useful article! This Hub gets my vote. Cheers to healthy living. :)
Tara G from Leawood, Kansas on April 11, 2014:
Turmeric is one of those spices that is tricky to incorporate into your diet since it is one of the lesser recognized, unless it is in pill form. While planning for those family barbeques this summer, you can use this in your potato salad. I like to throw in about a teaspoon along with hot sauce, cayenne pepper, allspice and some bacon for a Jamaican twist that will wow even the pickiest of palates.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 09, 2014:
A great list of foods and I enjoy all these foods your suggestions are very helpful
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 09, 2014:
Wow! Your article is jammed-pack with great information. The artichokes finally get my attention, and I recently added turmeric to my arsenal. Thanks for your wise nutrition counsel.
Scott P Williams on April 08, 2014:
I love all of these foods but I cut back on my garlic. Turmeric is no joke, it really helps with inflammation. Thanks to this hub, I think I'm gonna cook with that tonight. Good info!