Top 15 Foods to Detox and Improve Digestion
Eat Well —> Feel Well —> Perform Well.
We are all designed for success; internally equipped to rid ourselves of toxins and other junk we don't need to be carrying around. However, without proper maintenance things can get out of whack from time to time and start running slow. Our minds and bodies crave healthy food and other activities to support the release of harmful toxins, bacteria, built-up tension and stress so they can do what they do best. LIVE and THRIVE.
I believe you deserve to wake up feeling healthy and energized for all you have to do in your daily grind — rather than feeling bloated, cramped, completely wiped and exhausted, nauseous or in pain and discomfort. I knew I did, too, as I have battled unknowns with my health and autoimmune illness for the last eight years.
Hands-down one of the best things I've ever done for my overall health has been learning how to incorporate more healing, nourishing and nutrient-dense foods into my regular diet. Some things that have become very important to me and maintaining a base-level of feeling good: eating all of my meals with a “detox mindset” and building self-care habits and rituals that I can stick to consistently every day. I have been able to minimize my discomfort and maximize my energy and focus through eating more nutrient-dense foods with properties that support healthy detox and digestion. I’ve loved learning and exploring how to use food based on the unique health benefits of each ingredient, in addition to what my body needs at the time to move back to an internal state of balance.
For these reasons I’m sharing this list of healthy foods to support daily detox and improve your gut health! I also include details about the specific benefits of each food on the list, along with a tip or recipe about how to cook or include that food item in your diet. By incorporating some these recommended foods into your routines and meal habits regularly, you may better achieve consistent benefits of detoxing as well as an improved sense of balance and health in your daily life.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments!
Spinach and collard greens have amazing detox benefits! Collard greens have an incredible ability to cleanse your system of excess cholesterol, especially when steamed. Spinach membranes contain thylakoids, which are powerful appetite-suppressing compounds.
Pro tip: Combine several types of greens in a salad or cook (sauté, roast, etc.) with rice, legumes and veggies.
In the Eastern world, turmeric is known as the "elixir of life" and ultimate "queen of spices” for its myriad health benefits! Since the liver is an essential organ for fat burning and weight loss, when the liver is damaged it has less ability to detoxify and burn away fat. That’s where this golden spice shines! As a powerful anti-inflammatory, it helps cleanse and detoxify the liver, playing a crucial role in your regular diet and detox plan.
Pro tip: When combined with black pepper, the bioavailability (amount your body can absorb before it's metabolized) of the turmeric is enhanced by up to 10x!
You most likely already possess this metabolism-boosting ingredient. Eating just one teaspoon of mustard can boost your metabolism by up to 25% for several hours after consumption. If using it condiment-style, spread a layer on a sandwich or, in spice form, sprinkle onto meat and vegetables prior to cooking.
Pro tip: Mix a couple tablespoons of mustard with some balsamic vinegar, real olive oil and spices of your choosing for a delicious homemade salad dressing!
#4 DETOX WATER
Stomach bloat is never a fun feeling, and it can be a stage 5 clinger through even your healthiest days of eating and most challenging workouts. Detox waters will naturally help your body release fat cells for water weight loss, all while flushing those toxins for an ultimate slim down effect.
Pro tip: Load up your next round of H2O with a variety of fruits and herbs - mint, rosemary and basil usually taste the best mixed with fruits & citrus.
Delicious and nutritious! One cup alone of antioxidant-rich blackberries or raspberries packs in up to 8 grams of fiber. High fiber foods tend to be more filling, so you are more likely to eat less and remain sated longer. Berries are also known to reduce fat-causing inflammation and increase the hunger-controlling hormone ghrelin, helping you shed those pounds more easily.
Pro tip: Sprinkle a handful of berries onto your morning cereal, oats, yogurt or granola for a tasty topping.
Cleanse stubborn belly flat and flush toxins with lemon! Lemon is a natural energizer, cleanser and purifier that helps your body fight symptoms of toxic build-up. Additionally, they’re an excellent source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants which protect the body.
Pro tip: Lemon water can also be helpful in relieving indigestion or an upset stomach, all while keeping insulin levels steady, which allows you to get more nutrients out of the food you consume.
The jewel tones of this veggie are due to plant pigments that have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and promote cell repair and regeneration. Beets are high in antioxidants and contain a number of nutrients that are known to be naturally cleansing and detoxifying, keeping the liver in tip top shape.
Pro tip: After boiling your beets, set the juice aside for a nutrient-rich drink or mix into a soup base or smoothie.
#8 SWEET POTATO
This low-calorie superfood is a complex carb and excellent source of fiber, so it takes longer to be digested, which keeps you full longer and supplies the body with energy over a longer period of time. Sweet potatoes also reduce inflammation, boost brain health with beta-carotene, and rejuvenate the skin with vitamin A.
Pro tip: Mix a cup of Greek yogurt with fresh or dried spices of your choosing for a healthy baked sweet potato topping.
Get things moving with some digestive-friendly oats and steaming cup of tea. One cup of oats delivers 16 grams of fiber, which feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut in addition to keeping you feeling full longer. Bonus perk: As an anti-inflammatory, oats can also aid in prevention of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Pro tip: Mix oats with nuts, seeds and berries of your choosing, along with a little milk or almond milk. Combine in a bowl or mason jar and let it sit overnight for a tasty travel-friendly breakfast the next morning.
Kiwi is one of the most effective forms of fiber, which makes it an important part of your regular detox diet! Kiwi is also loaded with vitamin C and promotes healthy digestion. If you are suffering from any digestive issues, consuming a daily dose of this powerful little fruit could be very beneficial.
Pro tip: Tasty when paired with yogurt, oatmeal, in a smoothie or on its own.
#11 GREEK YOGURT
An effective digestive system is absolutely crucial to maintaining a relatively toxin free body. Toxins destroy the healthy bacteria in our guts, known as probiotics, which are an important part of supporting effective digestion. Yogurt is one of the highest natural sources of probiotics, so consuming it a few times weekly will keep your gut in great shape if you can tolerate it. Coconut yogurt is a delicious non-dairy option!
Pro tip: Top with a little fruit, nuts, seeds (flax or chia are my favorites) and a drizzle of raw honey.
#12 CACAO POWDER
Cacao powder – the real stuff – is a great way to combat bloat and sneak more fiber into your diet. The perfect excuse to appease those chocolate cravings️.
Pro tip: Mix two tablespoons of cacao powder into hot water, milk alternative or whole milk for a healthy, filling and cozy beverage.
This green goddess has good news for your next hangover. According to a study in the Journal of Food Science, the amino acids and minerals found in asparagus may alleviate hangover symptoms and protect liver cells against toxins. As a natural diuretic, they will also help flush any pesky excess toxins from your system. Never thought steamed greens would sound so good?
Pro tip: Roast in the oven with fresh garlic, sundried tomatoes and our Herbes de Provence spice mix for a healthy and delicious side dish.
#14 CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts make great additions to your diet to support the body’s efforts in remaining toxin free! Packed with powerful antioxidant properties, phytonutrients, vitamin C and fiber, they sustain healthy functioning for the liver and digestive system so that detoxification is more effective. Research has shown that a diet rich in cruciferous veggies reduces the risk of certain cancers.
Pro tip: Boil and blend broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, garlic and onion together for a delicious soup base.
#15 WHITE AND GREEN TEA
Fantastic news for all tea drinkers: any tea will help soothe your nerves, but white and green teas are also known to block fat and boost metabolism. White tea attacks belly fat by simultaneously boosting the breakdown of fat and the formation of fat cells. Green tea alleviates bloating by counteracting water retention.
Pro tip: Begin your morning with a cup of tea after some yoga and mindset work - tasty hot or cold.