People are sometimes anxious about the idea of detoxing, or “going on a cleanse,” due to the the perception that it requires lots of effort, planning, and nothing less than a total lifestyle and diet overhaul. This can sometimes be the case, but it certainly doesn’t have to always be. You can help your body get rid of toxins naturally on a daily basis by simply adding more detox foods to your regular diet. The great news is that you probably already have these in your kitchen; and if not, they are easy to find in any grocery store.

Here are 7 of our favorite, easy-to-find detox foods:

1. Lemons

Lemons are the backbone of many “detox diets.” Rich in beneficial antioxidants and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin B, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, they help cleanse the body of toxins, boost the immune system and stimulate the liver.

When added to water, lemon juice can ease digestive issues such as heartburn, bloating, constipation, and nausea. Lemons also naturally help support healthy blood sugar levels, and promote regular elimination.

You don’t need to go for a full-on Master Cleanse-style fast with lemon juice to get the benefits. Simply try starting the day with a glass of lemon water, and drink some hot lemon and honey before bed.

2. Green veggies

green vegetables and sproutsMost of us don’t need to be reminded to include green vegetables in our diets. We know we should be eating them. But for some reason, these delicious and vital foods don’t appear on our plates as much as they should. From a detox perspective, green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, watercress, and sprouts are helpful because they contain nutrients that produce sulphorophanes, which speed along the detox process and boost our immune systems. Click here for suggestions on how to prepare green detox foods for optimal flavor.

3. Brown rice

Full of iodine, potassium and fiber, brown rice is a great detox food to support colon cleansing. For optimum benefit, choose an organic variety. Soak the rice for at least half an hour to soften the bran layer, and then cook it thoroughly to make it easier to digest.

Most brown rice varieties use a 2.5:1 water to rice ratio, but check your package for the exact ratio. To cook brown rice, boil the water, add a dash of Himalayan salt and/or a dash of peanut or coconut oil. Add the rice and return to a boil, then turn the heat all the way down and cover the pot. Your delicious brown rice should be perfectly cooked in 30 to 40 minutes. Just enough time for you to prep the rest of your meal.

4. Beets

beetsBeets get their bright color from betacyanin, which not only acts as a pigment, but also helps detox the liver, which speeds up the elimination of toxins. They also contain the mood-boosting chemicals betaine (used to treat depression), and trytophan; as well as iron and vitamin C. For optimal nutrient density, add raw grated beets to a salad or sandwich, or blend them raw before adding to a soup.

5. White tea

Everyone knows about the benefits of green tea, but white tea is now gaining in popularity as a detox food too. The least processed tea variety, white tea is made by harvesting the leaves while young and at their most potent, then drying them naturally to preserve all the goodness. This gives it a particularly high density of antioxidants; and like green tea, it boosts the effects of enzymes used in detoxing the body.

6. Garlic

Garlic is another detox food with numerous health benefits. It protects the liver and heart from damage, boosts the immune system, and preserves our levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione. It can also boost the effects of detoxing enzymes such as quinine reductase and glutathione transferase.

Studies have shown that more of garlic’s beneficial properties are released if cloves are crushed, and then left for at least five minutes before cooking or adding to other ingredients. You also don’t want to overcook it, so we recommend adding it to the end of your sauté, rather than at the beginning.

7. Artichokes

artichokesThe key to artichokes’ detox powers is a high content of cynarin–the chemical that gives them their sweetness. Cynarin stimulates the liver and gall bladder, promoting the absorption of nutrients and speeding along the excretion of toxins. Some studies also suggest cynarin can be effective in lowering “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, and supporting healthy blood pressure. To get the full benefit, prepare the artichoke by steaming or grilling. 

Detox foods don’t have to be exotic or expensive to be effective.

We hope this article inspires you that even simple, common foods–when prepared properly and consumed regularly–can help your body detoxify itself on a regular basis.

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