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Top Five Foods for Naturally Detoxing the Body

Teresa Tanoos's picture
Fruits and vegetables with lots of antioxidants have natural detoxification properties.

Many health experts believe that detoxifying the body is important for achieving optimal health, but how to do it safely and effectively remains a subject of debate.

In the meantime, there are foods you can eat that can naturally help the process along, including fruits and vegetables, which are high in potassium and low in sodium; thus, they can be especially useful as a natural diuretic.

Fruits and vegetables also contain lots of antioxidants, which can be helpful in slowing down the aging process by reducing damage to cells.

So what are the top fruits and vegetables for helping you achieve optimal health?

Here is a list of the Top Five from various sources and research found on the Internet:

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1. Artichokes – Artichokes are rich in potassium, which has diuretic properties, and magnesium, a mineral that can help stabilize moods and sleep patterns. In addition, artichokes contain a lot of fiber, which further aids digestion while also making you feel full without consuming too many calories.

2. Black radishes – Whether they are round or oblong, black radishes are roots with a thick black skin that, when peeled, offers up a crispy and spicy white flesh. Black radishes also can improve the health of your intestines because they contain sulfur, an ingredient known to stimulate the liver and gallbladder, but if you’ve ever had gallstones, you should not consume black radishes to avoid triggering hepatic colic.

3. Fennel – Fennel is a low calorie, rich source of fiber that can help create a sensation of fullness while preventing you from indulging in higher calorie foods. High in antioxidants, the leaves and seeds of fennel are frequently used in herbal teas to aid digestion.

4. Spinach – This potassium-rich vegetable provides plenty of other vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C and K, which help strengthen the immune system by protecting it against unhealthy bacteria and viruses that typically circulate this time of year.

5. Tomatoes – Aside from having a lot of potassium, which accounts for about 50 percent of its total mineral count, tomatoes also contain high amounts of lycopene, which is an antioxidant that may help lower the risk of stomach, prostate and other cancers. Moreover, the acidity of tomatoes fuels the secretion of stomach juices that help you digest other foods more efficiently. While fresh is always best, you can also reap health benefits from tomato juice or canned tomatoes.

There are many other foods that have detoxifying properties, such as beets, which are full of vitamins B3, B6, C and beta-carotene. Other foods for natural detoxification include broccoli, which has important phytochemicals that get released when chopped, cooked and chewed.

And garlic should be a staple for any detox plan, as it contains powerful antibiotic and antiviral agents with antiseptic properties as well.

SOURCE: Advances in Nutrition, Health-Promoting Components of Fruits and Vegetables in the Diet, Rui Hai Liu, published May 2013; doi:10.3945/an.112.003517