It’s that time of year again. January hits and the effects of our Christmas turkey food coma are still with us. If like us, you’ve probably made that old faithful New Year’s resolution of losing those extra pounds by going on a diet - our first thoughts are “how we can reverse the effects of our festive food intake?”
From the Paleo or ‘cave man’ diet to the Alkaline and 5:2 diet, there are so many different ways to shed the weight, but they rarely ever stick. Instead of relying on short-term solutions that can often feel like a punishment why not start incorporating toxin cleansing foods into your everyday food plan?
Here are 9 foods you should introduce into your diet this year. You might even find some of the foods you love are on the list.
The old saying of ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ rings true. Apples are high in pectin, a detoxifying fibre which binds cholesterol and metals in the body, helping to cleanse your intestines. Apples also help to boost your immune system, particularly red apples, as they contain an antioxidant called quercetin.
Avocados are becoming increasingly popular with foodies and rightly so! They contain more potassium than bananas, which help to support healthy blood pressure levels. They are also loaded with good fats, specifically oleic acid - a monounsaturated fatty acid that has been linked to reducing inflammation. Finally, avocados are packed with fibre, a nutrient known to contribute to weight loss and reduce blood sugar levels.
Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fibre and potassium, essential for healthy nerve and muscle function. As one of the few edible plants that contain betalains (plant pigments), beets have powerful anti-inflammatory and fungicidal properties. Betalains also help to promote cell repair and regeneration, particularly in the liver.
Full of essential fatty acids (good fats) including omega-3s (great for your heart), flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are a go-to for cleansing our bodily functions. Flaxseeds are a supportive element in weight loss and help with lowering cholesterol levels.
Besides keeping vampires and nasty exes at bay, garlic (not garlic bread!) also protects your body from harmful viruses and bacteria. If that wasn’t enough, garlic cleanses the respiratory tract by shifting mucus built up in your lungs and sinuses. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and sugar levels. Remember to keep it fresh not dried!
If you struggle to digest your food, pineapple may be your saviour. Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme which purifies protein in the digestive tract. Pineapples are also high in the mineral manganese, which is important for building healthy bones and connective tissues. What’s more, it also increases energy levels and promotes positive brain functioning due to its levels of B vitamins. It's the ultimate stress busting food!
Cabbage is a cleansing machine. It contains various antioxidants compounds that help the liver break down excess hormones, cleanse the digestive tract and strengthen the liver’s capacity to remove toxins. If you are looking to lose a few pounds, cabbage is low in calories and a healthy portion will keep you full for longer. It is also packed with beneficial minerals and vitamins that will give your body the nutrients it needs.
An ideal food for cleansing – Fennel is high in fibre and low in calories. The significant levels of fibre in fennel lower cholesterol levels and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease. Constantly feel bloated? Fennel can also be used to relieve constipation and is great for reducing flatulence and expelling excess gas from your stomach.
With nourishing elements like vitamin C, B6, A and E, it’s no wonder this citrus fruit is considered super! Their antioxidant and cleansing properties are beneficial in the treatment of indigestion, high blood pressure and rheumatism. We have all heard of Lemsip, right? Well lemons are the key ingredients for their ability to strengthen the immune system, fighting throat infections and fever.