Spring Clean Your Body
Photography by: Glen Wexler
7 Detox Foods
These foods harbor healing promise for those looking to detox--and they're safe to consume every day.
* Apples and grapes are high in fiber to cleanse the colon. "The pectin present in apples helps detoxify the gut, while the phytonutrients in grapes support the immune system, which in turn addresses toxins in the body," says integrated-medicine specialist Elson Haas, M.D. Both fruits are easily tainted by pesticides, so buy organic if possible.
* Artichokes are a source of antioxidants and liver-supporting cynarin. "Artichoke not only cleanses this organ," says holistic nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., "but also helps convert the inactive T4 thyroid hormone to an active T3, which helps to increase metabolism and weight loss. Artichoke also helps the liver decongest fats."
* Cranberries kill bacteria in the urinary tract and contain digestive enzymes that cleanse the lymphatic system, says Gittleman. Unsweetened cranberry juice is available at health-food stores.
* Leafy greens like chard, kale, spinach, dandelions, chickweed, and salad leaves not only are among the most nutrient-rich vegetables, they help purify the GI tract, according to Haas. Buy organic--or collect fresh greens that are harvested in spring from untreated soil.
* Lemons contain antioxidant, antiseptic, and cleansing substances. Once ingested, lemon's alkaline effect helps counter excess acid, while its high vitamin-C content bolsters the immune system.
* Whey, a milk protein that's rich in amino acids, offers immune-system and bone support. Research has shown it also helps the body produce more glutathione, facilitating toxin removal. Herbalist Sharol Tilgner, N.D., advises buying the undenatured whey power (which needs refrigeration).