Saturday, April 27, 2013

After a long winter of indulging in comfort foods, you may feel like you need to press a reset button on your body for spring. The good news is it’s possible to rid your body of toxins and restore alkalinity simply by eating right. Here are seven of my favorite foods to help detoxify, hydrate, and refresh your body all naturally, just in time for spring and summer!


Berry Green Smoothies
Start your day on a healthy note by blending together a cup of greens like spinach, kale, and celery with a handful of berries to make a delicious smoothie. These leafy greens contain chlorophyll, a molecule that helps eliminate harmful environmental toxins that can contribute to illness and liver damage. The berries’ bounty of antioxidants and enzymes help fight free-radical damage that may lead to disease, and their sweetness takes over the more bitter taste of the greens—you won’t even notice they’re in there!
Green Tea
Polyphenols, antioxidant-rich phytochemicals found in green tea leaves, help to detoxify the body by eliminating harmful free radicals. Studies have also shown that increased consumption of green tea may reduce your risk of several cancers. And that's not all: Research has linked drinking green tea to improving memory and reducing belly fat when combined with exercise, thanks to the catechin EGCG, a powerful antioxidant. Win-win!
Want to detox sans the caffeine? Herbal "detox" teas—Yogi Detox is one of my favorite brands—contain a blend of caffeine-free herbs with special cleansing properties.

Curry Powder
The main spice in curry powder, turmeric gets it beautiful yellow color from a compound called curcumin. In holistic medicine, curcumin is used to help aid with digestive disorders and liver issues. Curry powder is also an anti-inflammatory and contributes to the production of glutathione, a powerful liver-protecting antioxidant. Next time you’re in the kitchen, reap the benefits by sprinkling some curry powder on eggs, roasted veggies, lentils, or chicken masala.

Cabbage
Cabbage, made up of approximately 92 percent water, is a natural diuretic that can help expel excess fluids from the body, so you can’t go wrong by filling up on this water-based food. It’s packed with glucosinolates, organic compounds that contain nitrogen and sulfur which help flush out unwanted toxins. Plus, cabbage delivers a good dose of many essential vitamins, including C, K, E, and A, minerals, dietary fiber, and folic acid. Click here for a yummy salad 

Detox Apple and Cabbage Salad

Detox Apple and Cabbage Salad
whole foods as FWB, or "foods with benefits," meaning they'll give back to you—all you have to do is consume them, and let the nutrients do their work! The FWB in this salad are cabbage, apples, and fennel.Cabbage, a natural diuretic, helps expel excess fluids in the body. Fennel seeds are full of antioxidants that help to de-bloat and are naturally anti-inflammatory. Apples contain pectin, a fiber that aids in digestion.
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
Dressing:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Salad:
1/2 head savoy cabbage
1/2 head red cabbage
1 Fuji apple
1/4 red onion
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
Directions:
1. To make dressing, place all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
2. Using a mandoline or sharp knife (for best results, invest in a nice-quality mandoline), thinly slice cabbages, apple, and red onion to resemble extremely fine confetti. Transfer to a large bowl and add walnuts and raisins. Toss gently to combine. Drizzle with dressing. Using salad tongs, mix until evenly dressed.
Nutrition score per serving: 278 calories, 10g fat (1g saturated), 44g carbs, 9g protein, 9g fiber, 30g sugars, 371mgsodium
Adapted from Cook Yourself Sexy by Candice Kumai, Rodale Books, 2012

Water
The best things in life are free—including tap water. Start off your morning with a glass of water, and stay hydrated all day by carrying a reusable water bottle (I bring a Klean Kanteen with me everywhere!). Drinking water before a meal can help take the edge off hunger, and of course it's important to drink up before and after a workout. Aim for nine cups a day, as recommended by Mayo Clinic, to help flush out toxins through your liver and kidneys.

Pineapple
Fresh pineapple is not only sweet and delicious, but it also aids in detoxing your body, thanks to the presence of bromelian, a powerful digestive enzyme. This enzyme has been proven to aid in digesting protein, breaking down fats, and reducing inflammation. Pineapple is also packed with manganese, which has been recommended by nutritionists as a way to boost your mood if you’re experiencing symptoms of PMS—how’s that for an added bonus?

Lemon
Drinking a glass of water infused with lemon (or adding lemon to a mug of hot water) is a proven strategy to help cleanse your body. Lemons contain antibacterial properties that help purify the blood and balance the pH level of your colon. The citrus fruit's vitamin C will also help boost your immunity. Lemon juice is so versatile in cooking—you can add it to salad dressings, marinades,