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 detox supplements or liquid, starvation diets to cleanse your body from the inside out. Fresh, whole, ripe fruits and vegetables as well as an active, low-stress lifestyle supports your body’s natural detoxification abilities more than any product can.
Does Your Body Really Need To Detox?
Your body is always in a state of detoxification – regardless of how you eat. Detoxification doesn’t begin only when you do a cleanse or a juice fast. Your liver, kidneys, colon, and to some extend, your skin and lungs, are constantly processing toxins and contaminants, and removing them from your body.
I do not agree with, nor do I support, the commonly promoted idea that your body holds or accumulates toxins, needing periodic cleanses to purge these toxins in order to restore health or heal from disease. There is zero scientific evidence to support this.
When I refer to “detox” or “cleansing” on Incredible Smoothies, I am talking about cleaning up your diet by consuming whole foods that support your body’s natural cleansing abilities.
Therefore, a “detox green smoothie” doesn’t start detoxification in your body, but helps support optimum health and the functioning of your primary detoxification organs.
The types of cleanses I support are not liquid starvation diets or dubious, powdered detox supplements. Instead, a short-term regimen of green smoothies (and smoothie bowls) can help break through a weight loss plateau, and break the cycle of bad eating habits and low energy levels.
Unlike juices or lemon-water regimens, green smoothies can feed your body while giving you a fresh start.
There are a few specific green smoothie ingredients that go above and beyond to promote cleansing. These include water-rich, fiber-rich organic fruits, bitter leafy greens (dandelion, kale), and other ingredients that stimulate digestion.
Why Organic Fruits Are Critical
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the ultimate foods for supporting a clean, healthy body. They are water-rich and hydrating. They are also full of fiber, which supports a healthy colon (your body’s main detox organ). The ultimate cleansing fruits include citrus (orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime).
Sadly, one source of potential toxins in our food comes on our fruits and vegetables. Pesticide residues are found in many fruits and vegetables, and an organization called the Environmental Working Group produces an annual “Dirty Dozen” list of items that have shown to have the highest concentrations of pesticide residues.
In 2016, the Environmental Working Group’s annual “Dirty Dozen” list included strawberries, apples, stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, cherries), and grapes, as well as leafy greens like spinach and kale. Due to the high level of pesticides used on these products while they are grown, they may have higher levels of residues by the time they are sold. Therefore, it is best to always buy organic versions of these foods.
Many fruits are treated with fungicides to prevent mold and extend shelf life, too. While these chemical treatments are generally considered safe, many people prefer to buy fruit that hasn’t been treated, or coated in wax to enhance appearance.
Why Organic Greens Support Detoxification
While dark, leafy greens give you superpowers (okay, maybe not superpowers, but definitely a health boost), they play a critical role in supporting optimum health. Leafy greens are rich in minerals, and contain antioxidant compounds that may protect against disease.
Leafy greens contain large amounts of chlorophyll, a plant compound that gives green vegetables their color. While the clinical evidence is limited, some natural health experts believe that chlorophyll helps support healthy blood and cleanses the body. Most experts suggest that dandelion greens are the ultimate detox green, claiming that they are particularly useful for supporting kidney and liver function.
What Else Supports Detoxification and Cleansing?
Garlic is a very popular food that is said to have cleansing properties. While it might be a bit weird for many of you to blend into a green smoothie, you can add it to freshly-made blender soups.
Fresh ginger stimulates your digestive tract and speeds up digestion. It can also help fight nausea. Fresh ginger can be grated into a green smoothie or added to fresh juices, and may help move things along in your digestive tract if you’re regretting what you ate.
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
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