Chlorella takes the number 1 spot as a natural and gentle detoxifier, as it is a powerhouse of phytochemicals, amino acids, beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and other vital nutrients. Chlorella is a type of algae that has been used as a source of nutrition for centuries. The combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, protect against cancer and broadly support the body’s detoxification.
However, the main reason why this freshwater algae is so nutritious and beneficial for detoxification is the high chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll is actually found in many plant foods, including alfalfa, asparagus, mint, parsley and coriander. A key role that chlorophyll plays is as a 'chelating' agent, which means it binds to heavy metals like cadmium, mercury and lead, and stops these harmful metals from being reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. Heavy metal toxicity can lead to a host of health conditions, ranging from fatigue, and thyroid imbalance to Alzheimer's disease.
Some research has also shown that the chlorophyll in chlorella enhances glutathione activity in the liver, further protecting against toxicity and liver disease. Chlorella (and similarly spirulina) is one of the most nutritious foods available and should be considered if you're keen to support detoxification naturally.
Beetroot is a deep purple root vegetable that’s a great source of dietary fibre, which helps to cleanse the digestive system. Right off the bat, it's a great choice as far as foods that support your microbiome, digestive health and detox processes. Beetroot also contains antioxidants, which can help neutralise free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, beetroot has been shown to improve heart health, due to the high nitrate content which helps regulate blood pressure.
Beetroot contains important B vitamins, which the liver uses to instigate detox processes. A recent study demonstrated the beneficial effects of beetroot juice on detoxification, via certain enzymatic pathways in the liver. When you keep your liver healthy, the rest of your body benefits!
While not strictly a food, green tea is by far one of the healthiest things you can consume in your day to promote detoxification and overall health. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that support detoxification. It's been used in ancient cultures to support the body in various ways.
Green tea is also rich in catechins, which can help protect against oxidative damage. Inflammation, oxidative stress and cell damage can lead to various chronic health conditions, including cancer. Green tea has been shown to be protective against cancer development, via the production of detoxification enzymes in the body.
Are there other foods that support detoxification?
In addition to chlorella, beetroot, and green tea, there are a number of other foods that can help with detoxification, which include:
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Broccoli Sprouts
- Citrus fruits
What about activated charcoal and natural clay?
These are two commonly seen ingredients that help the body ‘detoxify’. Both have their place, however always seek the advice of a trusted health provider before use.
Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a form of carbon that has been processed in a way to increase its absorptive properties. It has a large surface area with millions of tiny pores, allowing it to absorb impurities from liquids and gases. Activated charcoal can be used for many different purposes, however one popular method is to eat charcoal to help eliminate toxins from the body. It’s typically used in extreme cases of toxicity and shouldn’t be attempted without proper medical advice. Activated charcoal has historically been used to address gas and bloating, treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses, relieve digestive distress and remove (chelate) heavy metals from the body.
Clay has been used for centuries in healing and cleansing rituals around the world. It helps to draw out toxins and impurities from the body, making it an effective detoxification tool. Clay comes in many forms such as bentonite clay, kaolin and fullers earth, all of which have their own unique properties that can help to improve digestion, remove heavy metals and may boost the immune system. Clay has a similar binding effect that charcoal does, however it’s also rich in minerals and other nutrients, thereby possibly making it a gentler option.
Chlorella, beetroot and green tea are some of the most effective detoxifying foods that you can add to your diet. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which can help boost immunity and reduce inflammation in the body. Additionally, there are a number of other foods that have detoxifying properties such as garlic, coriander, parsley spirulina, probiotics, apples, cruciferous vegetables, broccoli sprouts, ginger, turmeric and citrus fruits. With the right foods and a healthy lifestyle, it’s possible to enhance your body’s natural processes of elimination and detoxification.
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