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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

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.

Photo by di_the_huntress

Asparagus

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.

Buckwheat

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

Ginger

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!

Strawberries

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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25 Comments

  1. Mike Lieberman

    I put swiss chard into my morning green smoothies for some added nutritional kick. Have loved seeing asparagus back in the farmers markets lately and have been using it much more.

    Also been staying away from strawberries since the use of methyl iodide has been approved to be used on them. Been buying blueberries and raspberries instead.

    • Nicole

      Organic strawberries are free of that, though, right? {I hope so!!}

    • Laken

      Mike,
      Blueberries and raspberries both have some pretty great nutritional benefits — but I personally just love strawberries.
      So it’s important to mention that I always buy organic strawberries, which should be free as possible of chemicals.

      And I love that you add chard to your morning smoothies! I’ll have to try that!

      • Mike Lieberman

        Yup. Gotta be careful and know your grower. “Methyl iodide is set to become the default pesticide used in the California fields that produce 90 percent of the country’s strawberry supply,” from Rodale News.

  2. Krissa

    That ginger smoothie sounds delicious! I’m actually doing a cleanse this week since I’m off work for Spring Break, so I’m excited to bring in lots of these great foods!

    • Laken

      Spring break is the perfect time for a cleanse! Good luck!

      • Sea

        I actually did a juice fast on my break from work too recently, it left me craving more fresh fruit and veggies! Good luck with yours!!

  3. Kara

    I cannot wait for asparagus and strawberries to be in season here in Nebraska. One more month and the farmers markets will be open! Not to say that I haven’t cheated and bought some Florida strawberries already…

    • Laken

      Kara,
      I have to admit — I caved this weekend and bought a package of organic strawberries that looked perfect, instead of waiting a month for the farmer’s market.
      And they were such a disappointment! I guess good things will come to those who wait 🙂

  4. Suanna

    Thanks for the info. I love asparagus and strawberries and have already started eating them as they are in season now. I usually try to buy organic strawberries. I also use buckwheat in my pancake mix, that we eat almost every week. I’m glad to know that these are simple things that I can eat, even when I am expecting.

  5. Laken

    Suanna,
    It’s great to know that you’re already incorporating these foods! 🙂

  6. Stephanie - Green Stay at Home Mom

    All I can say is that I’m really glad that I have a girl’s night coming up with some friends. We’re going to check out a local farmer’s market. I have some high hopes for some really good produce.

  7. Charis

    i would add fresh garlic to the list – so good for health and we take it pressed into a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. great list – i am going to try swiss chard. never had it, but we love spinach and kale!

  8. Kitty

    I make crepes using buckwheat as the only grain but I have not made them for almost a year. Strange as they are so easy to make. Have to whip up a batch this week.

  9. Chalise @Memphis Misfit Mama

    Thanks for the great information! I love asparagus and strawberries. Have to admit I have never had swiss chard.

  10. Brooke Premo

    Great article, Laken. I’m going to try to incorporate all those into my diet this month.

  11. RaisingZ

    Thanks for this post, LOVE all these foods and can’t wait for them to be in our Farmers Markets. The winter markets here in NE are just not the same 🙂 I’m getting a little tired of root vegetables and we just had the last jar of canned tomatoes 🙁

  12. Magic and Mayhem

    Swiss chard is also one of the easiest plants in the world to grow in my experience! It produced bucket loads of greens and rainbow stalks (I use those in stir fries) all summer until hard frost in my organic Minnesota garden, hardly ever needed extra watering and needed no coddling against any kind of pests or diseases. I can’t wait till we can harvest it again. We also have asparagus and strawberry beds in the back yard and it’s good to know that we grow 3 of the 5 you suggested. Thanks for the list!

  13. Scarlet of Family Focus Blog

    I love articles like this. They make me so excited to go eat swiss chard and buckwheat. I love eating food that I know is good for me!

  14. Anna Hep

    I have liver problems and I find that my diet makes a huge difference in how I feel. Thanks for the this article on detoxing foods. I like to read all I can about what is helpful to my body.

  15. Meagan

    Great tips, Laken! Thanks for sharing and caring 🙂

  16. Haley

    Great tips,Thanks for your sharing,Laken.I will choose straberries

  17. Esteban Dagraca

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