Spring is well underway, and what better time to revamp your diet than with the season of renewal?
Spring is a great time to give your body a fresh start with some cleansing foods that support a healthy detox. And here’s some good news – detoxing doesn't have to be complicated, expensive, or joyless. Simply incorporating delicious cleansing ingredients into your diet can help your body detox more efficiently and leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Read on to discover the top 7 foods to “spring clean” from the inside out!
7 Cleansing Foods that Help You Detox
Before we dive into our top detox foods, remember this: most fresh fruits and vegetables are a good choice! They’re full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and water content that support your body’s natural ability to cleanse. If you fill your plate with a varied rainbow of colorful fresh produce, you’ll do your body good.
Now, let’s dive into these 7 cleansing superfoods and how they give your body a “spring clean,” all while satisfying your taste buds!
#1 - Artichokes
While artichokes are often considered a vegetable, they are actually the unopened flower bud of a plant, also known as globe artichokes. These buds are related to milk thistle, an herb that is known to stimulate bile flow and encourage the removal of toxins from the liver.
Like milk thistle, artichokes also promote healthy detoxification. They contain a compound called cynarin that stimulates the liver and promotes the production of bile. Bile is necessary to break down fats and eliminate toxins from the body. Artichokes are also high in fiber, which helps to promote healthy digestion and bowel movements. Last but not least, artichokes are packed with antioxidants that help to fight inflammation and protect against oxidative stress which contributes to our overall toxic load.
Try it in: Garlic & Artichoke Hummus
#2 - Beets
Dark-colored fruits and vegetables tend to be high in healing antioxidants, and beets are no exception. These deep ruby root vegetables contain a compound called betaine which supports liver and gallbladder function and makes the elimination of toxins from the body more efficient. Beets are also high in antioxidants, which help to protect against inflammation and oxidative stress. When your body is better able to fight inflammation and detoxify, you’ll also enjoy better nutrient absorption, hormone balance, and increased energy.
Try it in: Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic
#3 - Dark leafy greens
Kale, spinach, and chard have gone from detested sides to sought-after superfoods. Research proves, again and again, that dark leafy greens are one of the best things we can eat to cleanse our systems, improve digestion, and reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases.
Dark, leafy, bitter greens are rich in chlorophyll, a powerful antioxidant that helps to support liver function and detoxify the body. Greens also tend to be high in fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals – all of which support healthy digestion, bone health, brain health, immunity, and more.
Don’t like bitter greens? No problem. Leafy greens are incredibly easy to “hide” in some of your favorite dishes. Add them to smoothies, blend into soups, or even chop them small and incorporate them into meatballs and burgers.
Try it in: Immune Boosting Creamy Greens or Tropical Green Smoothie
Lemon water has long been a go-to cleanse ingredient. Many people even drink lemon water each morning to “flush” the digestive system and promote weight loss. Lemon (and other citrus fruits) contain high levels of vitamin C – a vitamin and antioxidant that supports liver function and helps clear away toxins. Lemons also have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that cleanse the digestive tract and promote healing. Studies show that those who consume lemon regularly tend to maintain healthier weights and even age slower!
Lemon is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways to enjoy its detoxification benefits. Lemon juice and zest can be used in salads, soups, stir-fries, sauces, and spritzed over fish or veggies. Or, simply add it to your morning water or cup of tea to enjoy the benefits.
Try it in: Detox Lemonade or Superfood Salmon Salad
#5 - Brown Rice
Thought all cleansing foods were fruits and veggies? In reality, many healthy whole grains also help improve the liver’s ability to detox and cleanse. Brown rice is a particularly good choice because of its high fiber content, which improves bowel movement regularity and reduces toxic build-up in the colon. It also contains the compound inositol – a type of sugar that improves detoxification, balances blood sugar levels, reduces harmful cholesterol, and regulates blood pressure.
Brown rice can be difficult to digest for some people. Before you cook brown rice, rinse it and soak it for a few hours. This will significantly increase its digestibility and prevent any issues with bloating or gas.
Try it in: Brown Rice Buddha Bowl
#6 - Broccoli
Gone are the days of soggy, tasteless broccoli. Today, there are plenty of ways to enjoy flavorful broccoli – and its many health benefits.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate, and it's also great for detoxing. It's rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants – all of which help to reduce inflammation and toxicity in the body. Broccoli contains sulforaphane. This compound gives broccoli its characteristic aroma, as well as its ability to boost liver function and cleanse the blood. Along with cleansing the body, broccoli has also been shown to improve gut health and microbiome diversity.
# 7 - Pineapple
Juicy, vibrant, sweet…and detoxifying. The tropical pineapple is one of the most delicious cleansing foods out there. Pineapple is best known for containing high amounts of bromelain. This enzyme helps to break down proteins and reduce inflammation in the body (which makes pineapple a great ingredient to pair with meat for improved digestion). Pineapple is also a great source of essential nutrients, especially vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6.
You can enjoy pineapple on its own as a snack or add it to smoothies, salads, or grilled dishes. Pineapple pairs well with other detox foods like ginger, spinach, and mint.
Try it in: Detox Pineapple Smoothie or Grilled Paleo Pineapple Chicken
Support Your Cleanse with Supplements
Along with eating cleansing foods, strategic supplements can help you make the most of your spring cleanse and improve overall gut and liver health.
Liver Assist is a specially-formulated supplement that can improve your body’s ability to detox while eating healthy. It contains organic milk thistle, which has been used for centuries to support liver health and detoxification. Studies show that milk thistle contains a compound called silymarin, which has been shown to help protect liver cells from damage caused by toxins. By protecting liver cells, milk thistle can improve liver function and enhance its ability to detoxify the body.
Liver Assist also contains other natural ingredients like dandelion root, artichoke extract, and beetroot extract, which are known to support overall liver health and promote healthy digestion.
For any cleanse or detox to be successful, we need to support the gut. Dr. Danielle’s Gut Assist helps you restore your gut health by repairing and protecting the intestinal lining.
When the intestinal lining is compromised, toxins from the gut leak out into the body and increase inflammation and the risk of autoimmune disease. This also overburdens the liver and other organs of detoxification. Gut Assist uses gut-healing ingredients (like L-glutamine) to repair and protect the intestinal lining, preventing waste and toxins from leaking outside the gut.
Gut Assist also improves your overall gut health, so you can absorb more nutrients from the cleansing foods you eat.
Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that supports your body's natural detoxification processes – especially during a spring cleanse. Dr. Danielle’s Alpha Lipoic Acid supplement offers an easy way to supercharge your body with antioxidant support that significantly reduces inflammation and neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, Alpha Lipoic Acid supports healthy glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, making it a great supplement for those looking to improve their blood sugar control and overall metabolic health.
Eat Your Way to a Healthier Spring
If you want to look and feel your best this spring, look no further than your dinner plate! Doing a cleanse or detox is not just about what you don’t eat – it’s about using food strategically to enhance your body’s natural ability to clear, cleanse, and renew.