Superfoods energize the body and lift the spirit. They are crucial for balancing your health as you remove toxins safely and wisely from your body. Don't forget water is the first superfood for any detoxification. Before you start a detox program, be sure to consult with your health practitioner.
Water is the master superfood, but it needs to be clean and pure. Drink at least six to eight glasses per day. The most soothing way to drink water, especially on a detox fast, is to warm it to body temperature. You can enhance its taste and balance pH by adding citrus slices, or mint and cucumber. Or, add a little organic red grape juice or even a drop or two of wine--both are full of antioxidants--and detox like the ancient Greeks.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Dr. Andrew Weil suggests that about two-thirds of our diet should consist of fresh fruits (three to four servings) and vegetables (five to six servings). Eat all colors of vegetables. Great cleansing vegetables are bitter greens (chard, escarole, kale) or astringent vegetables (asparagus, artichokes), especially if you have an inflammatory condition, arthritis or are overweight. If you are using oil, olive oil is best; heat it as little as possible.
Replace refined grains with whole grains (three 1/2-cup servings per day), replace meat with beans (one to two 1/2-cup servings per day), and replace unhealthy fats with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil or fats from nuts (five to seven very small servings per day). If you crave a substantial meal, try a Super Burger made with mashed beans, cooked whole grains, garlic, onion, chopped parsley and lots of diced vegetables. A little olive oil, egg and mustard can be added. For enhanced detox, sprinkle in a couple tablespoons of ground psyllium husk, which adds fiber, binds toxins and enhances elimination.
If you don't have a juicer, this might be the time to get one. Be careful to select one which extracts the juice efficiently and quickly, as the type of extraction affects the nutritional content.
Fresh juices are true superfoods, packed with nutrients and minerals. When used wisely, they can increase energy and alertness, can reduce inflammation and can bind with toxins so they are safely and swiftly eliminated from the body. Try a celery, parsley, apple and cucumber combo if you are overweight or have inflammation and fatigue. Inflammation and certain toxins can also be neutralized with fresh juices of cruciferous vegetables; a green leafy vegetable such as kale or chard can be combined with red grapes for a sweet, delicious, clean drink.
Green tea is an extraordinary detoxifying drink and cleanser. Use it to make chai, the energy drink from ancient India, by adding cloves, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. Use almond or rice milk instead of cow's milk, and sweeten with a squirt of agave nectar. Drink liberally after exercise or as a pick-me-up.
Herbs and Spices
Certain herbs become superfoods in detox diets. Dr. Weil suggests using to taste, in unlimited amounts. Parsley and mint have powerful cleansing and digestive properties; they can remove bad breath and clear the skin. Ginger, cinnamon, anise and cayenne pepper are often used to help detox the body, and turmeric and curry are powerful anti-inflammatories.
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