Clean your kidneys with natural detox

Published On: Jun 06 2012 03:39:23 PM EDT

By Jessica, Pure Matters

When it comes to “cleansing,” I am a skeptic.

“But your body already does that on its own!” I’ll say. Or, “But you’re putting too much stress on your body!” And finally, “You need fiber! Fiber is necessary!” If you are both my friend and a fan of The Master Cleanse, juicing, etc., you have heard that refrain from me. A lot. I think cleansing is great for losing 10 pounds before that wedding your ex will be at, but for health? Meh. Detoxing is important, but there’s a better way.

When we talk about detoxing the body, what we really mean is cleaning out the kidneys and liver. These organs filter out the toxic substances we come into contact every day, including those we purposefully ingest (alcohol, tobacco, chemicals in processed foods) and those that are we take in involuntarily (environmental toxins). Exposure to too many of those toxins can make those organs a little sluggish, which is why detoxing is important. Luckily, there are a ton of foods that will do that work for us.

1. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, boy choy, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are superfoods for a lot of reasons -- fiber, antioxidants, anti-cancer properties -- but they’re also great for detoxing the liver.

2. Spices
If you’re a fan of spicy food, you’re in luck when it comes to detoxing. Cayenne, cinnamon and turmeric all help stimulate circulation and digestion, which helps to keep the liver humming along.

3. Garlic
When it comes to detoxing, garlic is a powerhouse. It helps to stimulate both the kidneys and liver. It also has powerful antibiotic properties, so if your detox system is sluggish due to an illness, garlic can help support the healing process.

4. Greens
Next time you’re at the farmer’s market, load up on seasonal greens, like spinach, mustard greens and chard. The chlorophyll in leafy greens supports the liver, and is especially helpful for clearing out environmental toxins like pesticides and heavy metals.

5. Berries and Apples
Fruit has three things going for it when it comes to detoxing: high water content, easy digestibility, and fiber. When it comes to the latter, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and apples are superstars. Not only do they help the body flush out toxins, they also support liver functioning.

6. Lentils
When you’re trying to detox your body, the last thing you want to eat is digestion-unfriendly meat. But you still need protein. Enter lentils – these legumes are protein-and-fiber rich, which both help you to feel full and support the body’s detoxification process.

7. Fresh Ginger Root
Like garlic, ginger helps to support both the kidneys and liver. It stimulates digestion, which helps both organs remove toxins faster. Bonus: While your body is detoxing, you might experience some digestive discomfort. Make a tea by steeping grated ginger in boiling water to help alleviate symptoms.

8. Lemons
All citrus fruits are good for detoxifying, but lemon is the absolute best. It helps to destroy harmful bacteria, supports the liver, and cleanses the blood. If you’re going through a detox phase, start each morning with a warm glass of water mixed with the juice of one lemon.

9. Green Tea
Common sense dictates that when you’re trying to detox your body, you should avoid caffeine. And you should, for the most part. There’s an exception to every rule, and in this case, it’s green tea, which is loaded with antioxidants and supports the liver.

10. Omega-3s
Every diet – detox or otherwise – needs healthy oils in it, and Omega-3s are by far the healthiest. Salmon, avocado, flaxseeds and walnuts are all rich sources of this vital nutrient, which supports your immune system, helps to clear out environmental toxins, and stimulates the liver.

When it comes to eating these foods, raw or lightly steamed is best, so you don’t kill the nutrients. Add more of these foods to your diet, and your body will be running like a well-oiled machine (oiled by Omega-3s!) in no time.

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Source: Pure Matters