Spring Cleaning the Body: 5 Ways to Detoxify with Food
The following is a guest post, written by Laken Price of Farmhouse.
I consider myself lucky that spring has officially sprung here in Alabama. Picnics and long walks have become commonplace again while my sweaters have been packed away! But whether you’re already wearing sandals or still watching ice melt, it’s time to start thinking about spring cleaning.
One of the most important things for me this spring (aside from cleaning out my overflowing kitchen cabinets) is getting rid of that “extra-ness” that we all seem to acquire in our physical bodies during cold weather.
But there’s no need for days filled with nothing but juice. Instead, try these five naturally detoxifying ingredients to spring clean your body from the inside.
Swiss chard boasts some pretty great perks when it comes to natural detoxification. Not only does it have properties that help ward off carcinogens, but it also cleanses the large intestine, lungs, stomach and spleen.
High in vitamins C and E, swiss chard wilts like spinach and makes a refreshing addition to a springtime soup. Sauté swiss chard leaves with extra virgin olive oil and garlic to serve as a side dish. Or make it the star of your breakfast with this recipe from Sprouted Kitchen.
If you’re looking for a vegetable that literally dispels toxins and excess water from your body, asparagus has got you covered. This super-veg has a long list of medicinal benefits including strengthening female hormones, relieving menstrual pain, easing infectious diseases and even calming nervous disorders!
Packed with protein and tons of vitamins, asparagus is best to purchase when it’s bright green. But before cooking, chop off the bottom of the stalk where it seems almost “woody”. I like to cook asparagus as simply as possible – toss with extra virgin olive oil, add salt and pepper; then either grill or roast in the oven at 425 degrees.
If you’re looking for something more involved, try this decadent Asparagus and Mushroom Tart from Bon Appetit Magazine.
So, you’re probably thinking that internal spring cleaning means no baked goods, right? Not so fast.
With the addition of buckwheat flour, pancakes, cakes and muffins all get a little detoxifying kick. Because of the long amount of a time that buckwheat takes to be digested, it keeps you fuller for longer and even helps to stabilize issues like diabetes. This gluten-free grain builds blood while ridding it of toxic wastes and reducing cholesterol.
Buy whole buckwheat to mix with your morning oatmeal or add to other grains. But if you can’t find it, buy buckwheat flour to substitute for wheat flour in baking recipes. A good rule of thumb : substitute 10% of buckwheat flour for wheat flour. And if you want someone else to do the math for you, try this waffle recipe from 101 Cookbooks.
Photo by Crystl
Known in Eastern cultures as the “universal medicine”, it’s no surprise that ginger has a pretty impressive resumé of detoxifying powers. By boosting circulation, ginger helps to cleanse the skin, bowels and kidneys. It even helps to ease pain from headaches, colds, fevers and nausea. This powerful root also destroys parasites in the stomach and stabilizes blood pressure.
And if that wasn’t enough good news, it’s one of the most versatile ingredients! Use ginger in baking or in Asian-inspired stir-frys. This Ginger Smoothie from Whole Living is one of my favorite afternoon snacks!
But why bother with all of this spring cleaning if you can’t enjoy one of the season’s most prized fruits? Lucky for us, strawberries have a history of detoxification. These bright berries are a tonic that helps break down excess toxins in the liver. They’re also packed with vitamins, potassium and fiber.
And bonus: strawberries can be used to strengthen teeth and remove tartar by halving, rubbing on teeth andsitting for 45 minutes. Just be sure to rinse with warm water afterwards!
Enjoy fresh strawberries with a drizzle of honey or on top of yogurt.
Source : The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood
Have you tried any of these foods as a way to naturally detoxify? What other ways to you “spring clean” your body?
Laken Price is a writer and student living in deep south. She grew up on a farm in rural Alabama where she learned the value of homegrown, natural living. Today, Laken spends most of her time in the kitchen where she experiments with traditional foods and cooking methods. She has learned that living a simple life is all about focus — so she chooses to focus on faith, togetherness and domesticity. Laken blogs about her life at Farmhouse, and can be found on Twitter as well.
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