Life can be toxic. From contaminants in food and water to noxious chemicals in cleaning and hygiene products, toxins are part of everyday life.
However, you don’t need questionable cleansing supplements or liquid fasts to cleanse your body from the inside out. Fresh, whole, ripe fruits and vegetables as well as an active, low-stress lifestyle facilitates detox and cleansing more than any product can.
I get a lot of questions from readers and people I meet about doing a green smoothie detox. Specifically, they want to know what foods and superfoods they should use to make a detox smoothie. My answer is simple – lots of fruits and vegetables.
Why Organic Fruits Help With Detoxification
Fruits are naturally water-rich and full of nutrients, particularly vitamin C. They have a high fiber content, lots of antioxidants and are super easy to digest. These are all must-have qualities in the food you eat when you want to detox. Fruit creates little strain on your body to digest, and that frees up your liver and kidneys (your primary detox organs) to do their job effectively. Fruit is the real deal when it comes to cleansing.
Citrus fruit ranks highly for their cleansing properties. Not only does it help clear your skin, it is among the most water rich fruits which help flush toxins out of your body. The fiber “scrubs” your intestines. Oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are exceptionally high vitamin C content which also aids in cleansing.
Why Organic Greens Help With Detoxification
Leafy greens are rich in chlorophyll, a plant compound in all green vegetables that some experts believe help purify the blood and cleanse the body. When you combine the purifying power of greens with the cleansing power of fruit in a green smoothie, you have a natural detox shake that will cleanse and nourish you better than any high-priced detox system on the market.
So which green is the king of cleansing greens? Most experts recommend dandelion greens, claiming that they are particularly useful for cleansing the liver and supporting kidney function.
What Else Cleanses and Detoxifies?
Garlic is a well known detox food. While it might be a bit weird for many of you to blend into a green smoothie, you can add it to freshly-made (and detoxifying) blender soups or you can add it to savory smoothies.
Ginger is also a known detoxifying ingredient. Fresh ginger stimulates your digestive tract and speeds up digestion, which may help move things along quicker. Fresh ginger can be grated into a green smoothie or added to fresh juices.
What To Avoid Putting In A Detox Green Smoothie
Green smoothies have a lot of flexibility when it comes to making them, but they are healthiest when they are simple. Stick to the basics of just using fruits, greens and water. Simple is usually better.
You want to focus on water-rich foods that are high in fiber. That means that you should avoid using any dehydrated and powdered supplements and superfoods as well as too many fats like nuts, seeds and refined oils.
If your primary focus with green smoothies is cleansing, then it goes without saying that organic fruits and greens should be used for ingredients. You’re just spinning your wheels if you are using fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides!
If you use protein powder, seek out high quality, certified organic brands that can demonstrate purity of ingredients. I prefer sprouted raw protein or rice-based protein powders. I avoid soy, whey and egg protein powders.
If you use nut milks, consider making your own. It’s not hard at all and if you buy your almonds in bulk, it can be more cost effective than purchasing store-bought almond milk. Plus, you know exactly what is in it (no unpronounceable ingredients!).
The Ultimate Green Smoothie Detox Recipe
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 medium banana, peeled
- 1/2 lime, peeled
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked for 5 minutes
- small piece of ginger, grated
- 2 cups kale or dandelion greens, chopped
- 8 ounces of water or homemade almond milk
Add all the ingredients except for the greens to your blender and hit the “pulse” button a few times. Next, add the greens and blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.
(Nutrition information with almond milk and kale)
Calories: 321 | Protein: 9g | Carbs: 64g | Fat: 4g | Calcium: 25% | Iron: 4.2g
Tracy Russell is the creator of RESET 28: A 28-Day Program For Energy, Weight Loss & A Healthy Glow, and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She has been helping people take control of their health and well being with green smoothies, a whole foods diet, and fitness since 2009.