Foods that promote and support detoxification are our first line of therapy in a detox, and especially foods that are local and in season. Foods grown during the time of year they are meant to be grown in have the highest amount of nutrients, and if they're grown locally they haven't lost those nutrients to extensive shipping times. That means that greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in the middle of winter aren't going to be your best choice for packing a big nutrient punch — and what your body needs during detoxification are nutritional heavyweights.
The following are my top 12 winter detox foods: they're delicious, seasonal, nutritious heavyweights that promote detoxification and provide antioxidants necessary for protection against released toxins and free radicals.
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Collard greens are high in antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E, B vitamins, and many detox-necessary minerals, such as manganese and magnesium.
The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic give it its pungent taste and odor, but they're also responsible for the many health benefits of this small vegetable — anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral.
Not actually a nut, but the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, they're high in vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium.
Well studied for its anti-cancer benefits, cauliflower contains glucosinolates, substances that activate detoxification enzymes, as well as antioxidants and sulfur-containing nutrients that boost detox capacity in the body.
Ginger, Turmeric, Cumin, Pepper, Fennel
These spices play vital supportive roles in detoxification as potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosters. Paired with other detox-enhancing foods, they provide heavyweight nutrition only mother nature can offer.
Lentils provide both soluble and insoluble fiber, perfect for stabilizing blood sugar and supporting the intestines during detox.
A true superfood, kale contains too many detox-supporting and enhancing nutrients to name. It's an amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant food that also has cardiovascular benefits.
Be careful not to over-peel these phytonutrient powerhouses; the important flavonoids in onions are concentrated in the outer layers of flesh. High in vitamin C, manganese and vitamins B6 and B9, onions are also a good source of potassium.
Lemons and limes
Vitamin C rich, these citrus fruits also contain unique flavonoid compounds that have strong antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
Its antioxidant properties alone make cabbage a wintertime must, but it’s also a potent anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory food. High in vitamins C and A, cabbage’s polyphenol content is different depending on what variety you eat, so be sure to mix it up—red, Savoy, and green varieties.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and it’s no wonder. This common fruit has one of the richest arrays of phytonutrients and antioxidants of any fruit; high in fiber and vitamin C, its benefits extend far beyond detoxification.
You can learn more about detox, nutrition and supplements here. And check this out! You can register for the next TrueClean Gourmet Detox, launching January 10, 2014. Consider giving the gift of health to friends and loved ones too!