“Detoxing” means helping the body get rid of harmful substances and protecting against their damage. Usually, it involves consuming certain foods or drinks or following a particular diet.
The body’s organs are already very adept at removing toxins. Fruits, vegetables, and pulses all support this process, and adding antioxidant-rich foods to the diet may help protect against toxin-induced damage.
Below, we explore the process of detoxing and specific foods and drinks that can help.
A “detox” is short for “detoxification.” It involves consuming certain foods or following a particular diet to cleanse the body of toxins.
A common misconception is that detoxing helps remove toxins that have accumulated in the organs, but the organs naturally do this on their own. It is not necessary to detox the body with special diets or products.
Nonetheless, certain foods contain substances called antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals. These are unstable molecules that can damage the body’s cells. A person can become exposed to free radicals through toxic substances, such as cigarette smoke and air pollution.
The damage caused by free radicals is known as “oxidative stress.” This plays a role in a number of diseases, including:
- cardiovascular diseases
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- age-related macular degeneration
Consuming antioxidant-rich foods may help
Vegetables that are high in antioxidants can help protect the body from free radical damage. Some examples
Anthocyanins are red, blue, or purple pigments in some plants. These pigments have antioxidant properties that help protect against free radical damage.
According to a
- antimicrobial properties
- anti-inflammatory properties
- anticancer properties
Some fruits that are rich in anthocyanins include:
This may allow the liver to concentrate on detoxing the body instead of combating inflammation.
Some fiber-rich pulses include:
Nori is a type of edible seaweed that is popular in Japanese cuisine. There is some
- certain heavy metals, such as mercury
- certain chemical toxins, such as:
Below, find examples of drinks that can boost the amount of antioxidants in a person’s diet.
Smoothies can be packed with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. A person might make a smoothie with:
Vegetable smoothies are also called green smoothies. They typically contain leafy green vegetables plus some fruit to increase their sweetness.
Fruit smoothies are tasty, but because they can be high in sugar, it is a good idea to drink them in moderation. It is also worth keeping in mind that detox juices do not contain enough nutrients to replace meals.
Green, black, and white teas all come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Both green and white teas are abundant in a type of antioxidant called catechins.
The liver filters toxins from the blood and converts them into waste products. These waste products are eliminated from the body via urine and feces.
The liver also has other
- metabolizing nutrients and medications
- breaking down old or damaged blood cells
- stabilizing blood sugar levels
Certain issues can impair liver function, making the organ less able to detoxify the body. These factors include:
- having a
high intakeof alcohol
- using drugs in a harmful way
- having sex
without a barrier method, such as a condom
To help the liver function:
- Maintain a healthy weight by having a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
- Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all.
- Refrain from using drugs and receive appropriate care for a dependency or addiction.
- Use a barrier method, such as a condom, when having sex.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there is not enough evidence to suggest that liver cleanses can help with existing liver damage.
The goal of detoxing is to help the body remove harmful substances and protect against damage.
Dietary detoxes are not necessary because the body is already very adept at getting rid of toxic substances. However, consuming antioxidant-rich foods could help protect against toxin-induced free radical damage.
Fruits, vegetables, and pulses all help the body detox. A person might boost the number of antioxidants in their diet by adding certain smoothies and teas.