As a nutritionist, I always suggest that my clients get a
jump-start on weight loss and a new way of eating with a short
"cleanse," to help eliminate cravings, wake up the digestive system and prepare the body for a new healthier way of eating.
Figuring out which foods are best for a cleanse can be
tricky. So many foods feel refreshing and rejuvenating—hot tea, raw vegetables and fresh fruit come to mind. And with good reason: foods with insoluble fiber
(like raw veggies) or a diuretic effect (like green tea), promote speedy
digestion and "flush" the GI tract. These foods
can be considered the best "cleanse" choices. Fiber is essential to slimming down. Learn How to Sneak More Fiber Into Your Diet.
Here are some of my faves and why they just might work!
Artichokes contain antioxidant plant compounds called
caffeoylquinic acids, which are used to treat hepatic (liver) disorders because
they stimulate bile flow. Bile helps the body to digest fats, and efficient
bile flow clears the system of potentially inflammatory substances contained in
Avocado provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty
acids and glutathione, a compound that blocks the absorption of certain fats by
the intestines that cause oxidative damage AND is essential for liver pathway
cleansing. Avocados made our list of disease-fighting,
weight-maintaining foods. Here, 15
Superfoods to Try This Week.
Beets are among the few edible plants that contain
betalains, plant pigments that give some beets their deep red color and have
powerful anti-inflammatory and fungicidal properties. Betalains promote cell
structure, repair and regeneration, especially in the liver—the body's primary
Broccoli is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which
are named for their cross-shaped flowers and known for powerful antioxidant
properties. Science has shown that a diet rich in cruciferous veggies reduces
the risk of certain cancers. Other cruciferous vegetables include cabbage,
cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale.
Collardgreens increase bile acid binding, which
makes it easier for bile to bind to large lipid molecules and pull them apart.
Leftover bile acids are then excreted from the GI tract normally, taking
leftover lipid molecules with them. Bile acid binding therefore helps to keep
LDL "bad" cholesterol in check.
Dandelion Root, Dill, Fennel, Green Tea, Lemon, Milk
Dandelion root acts as a diuretic by increasing urine
fennel are plants rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatory chemicals. Dill
contains chemicals that help with the activation of glutathione, a liver
antioxidant that attaches to free radical molecules and disarms them. Fennel is
rich in Vitamin C, which has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Fennel
is also high in fiber but low in calories—an ideal cleanse food.
Green tea is richer in antioxidants than white, black,
and oolong teas, even though they all come from the same plant. The caffeine in
green tea also gives this energizing drink a diuretic effect, which helps to
alleviate bloating by counteracting water retention. It's true that green tea can rev your metabolism. Learn The Right Way to Drink Green Tea for Weight Loss.
Lemon, like all citrus fruits, is rich in antioxidant
Milk thistle is one of the frequently researched
plants in association with promoting liver detoxification. While more
scientific inquiry is needed for firm recommendations, Milk thistle contains a
mixture of polyphenolic compounds (plant protectors) that assist liver cells in
removing toxins from healthy blood cells.
Onion, Garlic, Fresh Veggies, Wheat Grass and Yogurt
Onion and garlic are both members of the allium
family of vegetables, which provide pungent flavors to foods. These plants
contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, one of the
liver's strongest antioxidants. As a
result, onion and garlic have powerful anti-bacterial and immune-boosting
Other fresh veggies (greens) are a good source of
glutathione—essential for detox of liver pathway. Fresh vegetables can also provide
excellent sources of insoluble fiber, which gets the gut moving. Crisp, crunchy
raw veggies are highest in this sort of fiber. Think kale, collards and
Wheat grass is a vitamin- and mineral-rich grass
commonly served in powder or juice form. While scientific evidence to support
health claims about wheatgrass is lacking, products containing wheatgrass may
add some yummy, low-calorie variety to your selection of cleanse foods and
Yogurt that contains probiotics—make sure to read the
yogurt label—supplies healthy bacteria that fortify the GI tract's natural
flora, aiding digestion and boosting the body's natural immune responses. Yogurt is the perfect ingredient to add to a smoothie. Try
this powerfood-packed Energizing