What does it mean to flush toxins? Most people think of fasting, diets and cleanses. And while these can help you flush toxins from your body, they tend to be only a temporary fix and may even cause undesired effects like dehydration, anxiety or fatigue.
In this article, we’ll teach you a few tips that will help you eliminate toxins and strengthen your immune system. We’ll also show you which foods you should eat for their detoxifying properties.
The detox process
Detoxification is actually a natural process of the liver, the largest internal organ in the body. Unfortunately, it’s often overworked as it gets bombarded by toxins in the air, ground, water, foods, the home, office and transportation.
All this quickly depletes the body’s ability to detoxify itself. A weakened detox system allows chronic conditions (like heart disease, obesity, cancer and autoimmune diseases) to develop.
To prevent toxins from accumulating, it’s important to eat healthy while reducing your exposure to toxins. How? By adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle.
How to flush toxins and increase your defenses
Eat raw fruits and vegetables
These foods will help your body produce more detoxifying enzymes. For example, broccoli contains sulforaphane, which is believed to increase detox enyzymes and help prevent cancer and premature aging. Other detoxifying foods that you should include in your diet are:
Season your food
Season your dishes with herbs and spices like rosemary, cilantro and garlic. It’s a simply way to add extra flavor to your food while increasing your defenses and detoxifying the body. The allicin in garlic, apigenin in celery and the carnosol in rosemary are compounds that help detox enzymes do a better job.
Use natural cleaning products
Your cleaning products shouldn’t contain bleach. Opt for non-toxic “green” products to clean your home like vinegar, baking soda or lemon. This way you’ll avoid inhaling harmful chemicals.
Pay attention to air quality
Every home should have a carbon monoxide filter and fire alarm installed. You should also invest in a radon kit. Prolonged exposure to this gas, which seeps into your home from the ground, can cause lung cancer. Also be careful with older stoves and furnaces because they can release more carbon monoxide into the air.
If you have to pass by a fire, a factory that’s spewing smoke out of its chimney, or are walking in the city center, try to wear a mask to keep from breathing in harmful compounds. If you don’t like the idea of walking down the street with a mask on, try to avoid the busiest areas. Stay away from smokers.
Exercise at least 3 times a week
Physical activity gets your heart rate up and gets your blood flowing to carry nutrients to your organs and remove waste products. It’s been shown that exercising produces healthy changes in your DNA.
Researchers at Karolinksa University in Stockholm (Sweden) studied healthy volunteers who were instructed to ride a bicycle using only one leg. Several analyses showed that the exercised legs developed new methylation patterns linked to genes that regulate energy, inflammation and insulin response.
Fight fire with fire
Capsacin is a chemical compound that is responsible for the heat found in peppers, jalapenos, and Cayenne pepper. By stimulating blood flow and the metabolism, these foods help the body flush toxins.
It may be a meal for the more daring, but you can also get the same warming effects (increased blood flow and metabolism) by eating foods like garlic, ginger and mustard.
Foods that help flush toxins and improve the immune system
While we’ve already named a few above, it’s worth mentioning these foods that are also good for your immune system. Take a look at this list of foods that you should never be without:
Tomatoes contain vitamin C, which helps increase your body’s defenses to keep you from getting sick. They’re also loaded with licopene, a phytochemical that fights cancer in the body, especially in the stomach, lungs and prostate. Tomatoes also help protect the dermis from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Grapes help cleanse the blood and intestines, strengthen the heart, and reduce cholesterol. They’re also diuretic and possess laxative properties.
Grapes contain antioxidants that stimulate cardiovascular function and fight cancer. Of all the varieties, red grapes are the most recommended as they prevent blood clots and contain high levels of fiber and potassium.
Celery allows you to remove residues that accumulate in the body. In addition, celery improves intestinal transit (thanks to the fiber content) and improves blood circulation. Celery also contains vitamin C and strengthens cell walls.
Asparagus contains folic acid, potassium, fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene. It fortifies brain and nervous system function, prevents and fights cancer and ocular disorders. Asparagus is diuretic and will help you flush toxins out through the urine.
Lemons cleanse and purifies the body, they’re loaded with vitamin C and other antioxidants to strengthen cells. They also stimulate the gallbladder and help the digestive system and liver to function better.
Watercress contains 15 different vitamins and minerals. It’s diuretic, purifies the blood, prevents fluid retention, and improves liver function and skin health. Watercress contains more calcium than milk, as much vitamin C as an orange and more iron than spinach.