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5 Foods To Promote Detoxification In Your Body

Margaret Wertheim, R.D.
April 10, 2013
Image by Adrian Cotiga / Stocksy
April 10, 2013

We're all exposed to many environmental toxins on a daily basis—from the air we breathe, food we eat, and water we drink—to the products we put on our bodies and in our homes. To achieve optimal health, it’s best to limit your exposure to toxins and to eat foods to strengthen your body’s detoxification pathways.

Research suggests that these foods may help support liver detoxification by altering levels of liver enzymes involved in deactivating and clearing toxic compounds from your body.


Chlorophyll is the compound that gives vegetables their green color, and it has many beneficial effects. Chlorophyll may actually be able to bind cancer-causing chemicals (such as heterocyclic amines found in meat cooked at high temperature), thereby allowing these chemicals to be excreted by the body instead of being absorbed. It's best to include a green vegetable in at least two meals a day. Especially good food sources of chlorophyll are spinach, parsley, green beans and arugula, but all greens will have some chlorophyll. Have greens raw in a salad or sauté in olive or coconut oil as a side, add to omelets stir-fry, or soups.


The colorful pigments in beets may help support liver detoxification and also serve as potent antioxidants in addition to being nutrient-rich. Serve beets roasted with carrots, onions, with some olive oil. Alternatively, chop boiled beets or shred raw beets and add to a salad or add to homemade juice.


This delicious spice contains a phytochemical called curcumin which may decrease inflammation and promote liver detoxification. 

Use turmeric in curries, stir-fries, or add to smoothies.


In addition to garlic's detoxifying properties, some studies suggest that populations with higher garlic intake have decreased risk for stomach and colorectal cancers. Garlic also may help protect against cardiovascular disease. For maximum benefit, have some garlic daily. 

Cruciferous Vegetables

These powerhouse vegetables not only help promote liver detoxification, but also contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound that helps balance estrogen levels. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. For an added bonus, most cruciferous vegetables (the green ones) also contain chlorophyll!

Margaret Wertheim, R.D. author page.
Margaret Wertheim, R.D.

Margaret Wertheim, R.D., is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and is the author of Breaking the Sugar Habit: Practical Ways to Cut the Sugar, Lose the Weight, and Regain Your Health. Take this quiz to determine whether you need to curb your sugar intake. Margaret holds a Bachelors in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She counsels individuals and groups on how to adjust their diet to include whole and real foods to support optimum overall health. She also specializes in supporting women's health, fertility, and pregnancy through nutrition and lifestyle choices. Check our her blog for the latest nutrition information, healthy eating tips, and recipes, check out her Breaking the Sugar Habit online course, or sign-up to download your free Natural Sweetener Guide or Fertility and Pregnancy Resource Guide.