best detox foods

Try incorporating as many of these cleansing foods and herbs as possible into your diet for 1-2 weeks — aiming for the recommended serving size each time. You should start feeling cleaner in five days! The more foods you eat, the better the results.

Radishes

best detox foods images - Radishes
best detox foods images – Radishes

Similar to other bitters, radishes help increase the flow of bile, helping to maintain a healthy gallbladder and liver and improve the digestive process. It’s why you see “Daikon radish served pickled with a Japanese meal — it’s to cleanse the pallet and aid in the digestion of the meal,” says Katherine Matutina, certified natural foods chef and massage therapist based in Los Angeles, Calif. Add half a cup of thinly sliced radishes to your favorite salad greens for an added crunch or dip them in hummus as a healthy snack.

Turmeric

best detox foods images - Turmeric
best detox foods images – Turmeric

Traditional Indian and Chinese cultures have valued this ginger-like root for its medicinal properties and recent studies have confirmed its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and its ability to assist the liver in the proper detoxification of harmful compounds. Antioxidants play a role in combating the cell damage that can accumulate with age. “The goal of a detoxification program should be to support the organs of elimination (liver being just one of them) as well as provide the body with a variety of antioxidants from nourishing foods to counter any free-radical damage that has done insult to our cells”, says Ashley Paulson, wellness coach and yoga instructor based in Burlingame, Calif. One tablespoon of powder is all you need.

Lemons

best detox foods images - Lemons
best detox foods images – Lemons

Many underestimate the ability of the lemon to support healthy digestion and elimination. Some herbalists and nutritionists suspect that it’s the tart taste of lemon that promotes bile flow to aid in the digestive process. The peels of both lemons and limes also act as an antioxidant thought to support detoxification. Easy ways to incorporate this citrusy treat: Add some fresh-squeezed lemon juice to water or throw in some zest to your cooking. You could probably sneak in a few fresh-squeezed lemons a day.

Cilantro

best detox foods images - Cilantro
best detox foods images – Cilantro

Did you know the seed of the cilantro plant is known as coriander? It’s a two-for-one: Both parts of the plant possess health-promoting qualities. While the seed can aid in digestion and help maintain normal cholesterol levels, the leaves are known to aid in the detoxification of certain heavy metals (like mercury and lead) that can accumulate in the body. Throw a handful of cilantro into salads and shakes or onto entrees as garnish.

Sauerkraut

best detox foods images - Sauerkraut
best detox foods images – Sauerkraut

This fermented cabbage provides a beneficial dose of “good” bacteria also referred to asprobiotics. Probiotics are especially important in supporting a healthy digestive tract. “Our intestines house trillions of bacteria which play a role in not only digestion, but also supporting immunity. Without these beneficial flora our digestive processes may be compromised and gas, bloating, and/or constipation could result. Constipation can lead to a build-up of toxic wastes in the intestines and bloodstream, possibly increasing one’s risk for cancer,” says Paulson. Adding just a half cup of fermented foods such as sauerkraut to your diet will ensure your intestines are armed with probiotics to support optimal digestion and elimination.

Garlic

best detox foods images - Garlic
best detox foods images – Garlic

You’ve heard about how garlic boosts immunity and protects the heart, but its sulfur-containing compounds also play a role in supporting detoxification. Your liver is usually in charge of neutralizing toxins with sulfur until it’s excreted (in a process called sulfation). Adding more sulfur-rich foods like garlic to your diet will enhance this process. Aim for two to three cloves per meal. And remember to carry gum.

Artichokes

best detox foods images - Artichokes
best detox foods images – Artichokes

The edible portions (base of the outer leaves and the heart) have long been eaten to support liver health. In his book, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Michael Murray states that artichokes “have a choleretic effect, meaning they promote the flow of bile and fat to and from the liver.” The role of bile is to emulsify fats and carry toxins and waste from the liver into the small intestine. Try adding one medium artichoke to your next salad. They also make a great snack or appetizer.

Flaxseeds

best detox foods images - Flaxseeds
best detox foods images – Flaxseeds

Packed full of nutrients that can help facilitate internal cleansing, this little seed is particularly loaded with fiber, a nutrient that most healthcare practitioners would argue is essential to fending off many diseases. And flaxseeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which can help facilitate healthy bowel movements and prevent the reabsorption of cholesterol from the colon. Try adding a few tablespoons to your morning smoothie, yogurt or oatmeal.

Apples

best detox foods images - Apples
best detox foods images – Apples

Apples are a healthy fruit to consume year-round, but especially beneficial during a cleansing diet. “They are full of fiber, and especially pectin, a type of fiber that can help promote regularity helping to cleanse the intestinal tract, ridding it of any accumulated toxins and food particles that may remain undigested. It is important to consume a wide array of fibers in the diet to help with daily cleansing and elimination,” says Matutina. You know what they say, an apple a day…

Beets

best detox foods images - Beets
best detox foods images – Beets

These earthy roots, whether enjoyed roasted, steamed or boiled, contain plant pigments that are believed to have antioxidant and liver-supporting abilities. While the beetroot may be the most commonly consumed part of the plant, the greens of the beet also pack a nutritional punch of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Consider juicing the greens — instead of tossing them — for extra added detox benefits. A half cup of beets or one cup of greens in your juice or smoothie should do the trick.

Broccoli

best detox foods images - Broccoli
best detox foods images – Broccoli

This member of the crucifer family is touted as being among the healthiest foods to consume by many nutritionists. When crucifers are digested it releases a nutrient that is known to possess properties that help detoxify the “bad” estrogens that accumulate in the body. “Too much of the so-called bad estrogens and not enough of the good ones could lead to some major health issues, including weight gain, PMS and possibly cancer,” says Paulson. So, eat your broccoli — at least one cup per day!

Asparagus

best detox foods images - Asparagus
best detox foods images – Asparagus

Think of this vegetable as a natural water pill, complete with dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and free-radical fighting and liver-protecting antioxidants. “Flushing out excess water and sodium can be beneficial during a short-term cleansing regime,” says Matutina. A half cup cooked asparagus will do you good.

Dandelion Greens

best detox foods images - Dandelion Greens
best detox foods images – Dandelion Greens

They are bitter in taste and, for some individuals, hard to stomach, but it’s the bitterness that makes it a must-have food for any cleanse and detox program. “Generally speaking, the bitter foods that many shy away from are the ones that are supportive to our gallbladder and liver. Dandelion has been shown to help get bile moving, aiding in digestion and nourishing these organs,” says Paulson. Try sautéing one cup of greens with garlic for enhanced cleansing support.

Burdock Root

best detox foods images - Burdock Root
best detox foods images – Burdock Root

The actual root may be difficult to find in your local grocery store, but you can usually find it in tea form at health food stores. Traditionally, burdock root has been used to remove toxins in the blood and improve the complexion of the skin. It also contains many micronutrients, some of them possessing antioxidant qualities, making it an ideal food for cleansing. If you can find it, try adding half a cup to soup. They are also quite nice roasted.

Blueberries

best detox foods images - Blueberries
best detox foods images – Blueberries

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day

There are so many delicious and nutritious foods to eat that it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why I put together my list of favorite foods. No matter what you choose, just remember to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. If you find foods you love, you’ll be more inclined to eat them. Here, a few of my favorites: 

Cayenne Pepper

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Cayenne Pepper images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Cayenne Pepper images

Spice up your meals this year by adding some heat! Capsaicin is the active component of hot peppers and has been shown to boost metabolic rate (and promote fat burning and weight loss) by revving up how quickly your body processes food. 

What to do with it? Add cayenne pepper to your chicken marinade for a tastier way to eat this lean protein. Or get a kick in the morning by adding it to your scrambled eggs. It’s also a great way to add more flavor to your homemade salad dressing.

Kale: 

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Kale images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Kale images

If you are looking for a way to switch up your usual salad, try using leafy green kale. One cup of raw Kale can provide you with 206 percent of your daily vitamin A and 134 percent of your vitamin C needs.

What to do with it? Kale is delicious as a raw, crunchy salad. Just toss it with an olive oil and lemon dressing which softens the leafy greens and add pine nuts and dried fruit for extra flavor. Kale chips are also a great choice for a healthy snack. Try making them yourself with our easy kale chip recipe.

Chia:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Chia images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Chia images

That little seed you may have grown at home in your Chia Pet, is really, really good for you. Chia is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and should be part of your diet. It has been shown to help control blood pressure, improve mood, and help promote heart health by lowering total cholesterol and lousy (LDL) cholesterol.

What to do with it? Add this wonder seed to your oatmeal, smoothies, baked products, and non-fat yogurt. You’ll thank me for it! Start by trying our Chia Seed Muffins.

Buy a bag now in our wellness store and start enjoying the many health benefits.

Walnuts:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Walnuts images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Walnuts images

Walnuts are rich in fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants such as vitamin E. A study published by Diabetes Care found that 2 ounces a day of walnuts could help improve blood flow and help lower blood pressure.

What to do with it? Walnuts are easy to incorporate into your diet. They’re perfect added to oatmeal, salad, or trail mix. You can also try one of our tasty recipes: Chicken, Walnut & Brown Rice Stir-Fry or Spinach Salad with Oranges and Walnuts.

Almond Butter:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Almond Butter images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Almond Butter images

Almond butter is full of healthy fats and protein. If you are buying a nut butter, however, make sure to look at the ingredients label. You want butters that are unsalted with no added sugar and preservatives.

What to do with it? Almond butter is a fantastic way to change up your standard PB&J sandwich. It’s also delicious with raw apple slices or atop 100 percent whole grain crackers.

4 Mindless Habits That Are Hurting Your Weight Loss

4 Mindless Habits That Are Hurting Your Weight Loss images
4 Mindless Habits That Are Hurting Your Weight Loss images

If you’ve ever tried to break a bad habit, health-related or otherwise, you know how difficult it can be. Every morning, you awake to a daunting, gut-wrenching choice: to commit to change or to fall short of your goals. Those of you who have taken on the challenge of becoming your healthiest self can attest that this choice especially applies to creating changes in your diet and exercise routines. We all realize that the trick to lasting good health lies in mastering positive fitness and nutrition habits. But how can you put bad habits behind you and make wellness your main priority… every single day?

When attempting to dial back unhealthy behaviors, you’re up against several obstacles:

  1. It is likely that you’ve been practicing your unhealthy behavior over and over again for decades. Since your first childhood experience with brussel sprouts, you’ve become a master at avoiding vegetables. Since middle-school gym class, you’ve become adept at excusing yourself from exercise. Because you’ve been forming those unhealthy habits for so long, it isn’t easy to leave them behind.
  2. Efficiency and convenience are another knock against your good-health goals: unhealthy habits are often much easier than the alternative. Should I drive to work or ride my bike? Play football with the kids or rent a movie? Chop and prep fresh veggies or hit the drive-thru? Usually, unhealthy alternatives save us lots of time and require less physical and mental effort than their healthy counterparts. We’ve created such an efficient society that making good choices is almost impossible next to the not-so-healthy, yet quick and easy options.
  3. Finally, bad behaviors also come with sneaky, seductive pay-offs. It is understandable that most of us enjoy chocolate more than apples–it’s sweeter! And why wouldn’t we avoid morning exercise when we could stay cozy and warm just by hitting snooze one more time? Of course, there are pay-offs for healthy habits as well: lower cholesterol, lower BMI, increased energy, longevity… But they’re usually not immediate or powerful enough to control our choices in the moment.

With the odds stacked against us, it’s easy to understand why conquering unhealthy habits with willpower alone can be rough. Luckily, the science of habit change gives us more effective ways to go about banishing unhealthy routines for good. Let’s take a closer look at some common unhealthy habits to see how we can put behavioral science to work for us.

Bad Habit: Eating on the Run
We’ve all fallen into the trap: You’re late for work, so you stop for a latte/muffin combo. The kids have soccer practice after school, so you settle for take-out tacos. And if you’ve ever taken a road trip, you’ll agree that convenience stores definitely live up to their name: there’s a one-stop-shop for all kinds of unhealthy eats within every 5-mile stretch!

Bust It!
Eating out while you’re in a rush is a habit that can definitely wreak havoc on your health and fitness goals. But there are ways that you can combat the convenience of fat-laden fast foods. Get savvy about stowing snacks in your vehicle. If you’ve got apples, carrots, granola bars and water on hand, you’ll be less likely to make unplanned pit-stops. Additionally, if you know you’re in for a busy week, prep quick and easy meals at home ahead of time. This way, you can grab a healthy bite to eat and avoid the all-too-familiar fast-food run in between evening activities. When you’re preparing to leave the house, give yourself more time than you’ll actually need to get ready so you can make healthy decisions with a level head instead of instinctively reaching for the easiest option.

Bad Habit: Skipping Workouts
As important as nutrition is in your health-focused efforts, exercise ranks right up there with it as a tool to achieve lasting wellness and weight loss. There’s lots of work that goes into planning meals and pumping weights, but only one will get you sweaty and crank up your cardiovascular health. If you find yourself missing workouts, you’ve probably fallen victim to one of two bad habit culprits: lack of practice or more powerful pay-offs.

Bust It!
There are two types of people who are most likely to fall off the exercise wagon: people who haven’t yet mastered making fitness an everyday priority, and those who have become bored with their age-old routine.

In the first case, when you’re starting a new workout regimen, it is extremely important to set small, measurable goals and to track your progress daily. Keeping a chart on your wall of the days you fit in your workout will help you stay on track toward creating a lasting healthy habit.

If you’ve been rocking it out at the gym for a while and have recently hit a wall, consider changing up your routine and adding in incentives for reaching new heights. Never tried yoga? Complete a month of classes and then treat yourself to a massage. Think you hate cycling? Commit to biking to work for a week and, only then, indulge in that new handbag or pair of jeans. When you’ve lost internal motivation, adding outside incentives can give you the boost you need to get back on track.

Bad Habit: Mindless or Emotional Munching
On the surface, the analysis of unconscious eating behavior seems pretty simple. Food tastes good, especially the sugary or salty snacks we choose when we’re munching away in front of the television. It is obvious that there’s an immediate, powerful pay-off in the taste and texture of whichever treat you choose from the pantry. What you may not realize is that there’s another nasty habit-maker at fault here as well. If you really think about your instances of mindless munching, you’ll realize that they often occur in coordination with some other environmental trigger. Many of us turn to food when things go bad or when we’re bored; maybe you reach for chips when you hear unexpected bad news, or you’ve always had ice cream as a bedtime snack. The practice of situational eating is deeply ingrained and can be tough to correct.

Bust It!
Here again, keeping track of mindless munching and adding in incentives for staying away from unhealthy snacks can help you to reign in your behavior. Notice your food/mood triggers when they happen and make a point to keep your biggest trigger foods out of the house. Be mindful about what you’re eating and set a goal for avoiding senseless snacking. Is there a favorite show you’ve taped or a new album you’ve been eyeing for your iPod? Deny yourself those little luxuries until you’ve met your goal of mindful eating for one full week. Adding a pay-off more powerful than the flavor of food can help you avoid so many extra calories. And, you can start practicing an alternative healthy behavior to get you through stressful times instead of food. Try journaling, meditating, calling a friend, or going for a walk instead of reaching for your usual comforting snacks.

Bad Habit: Skimping on Sleep
Late to bed, early to rise is a poisonous pattern that rings true for most of us. We know that sleep helps us to function well and be productive. But, between career commitments, family time, social activities and personal fitness, who has time to get a good night’s sleep?

Bust It!
Sleeping patterns are typically programmed in when we’re young. If you think back, you may realize that you were a night owl in` high school or an early riser in college. Your body has found a rhythm and is happy sticking with it. Because being awake is so well-ingrained, when you’re trying to change your sleeping habits, you’ve got to start small. Set up a bedtime routine and stick with it; this will help trigger your brain and body to prepare for rest. Brush your teeth, wash your face, read a book, or meditate to calm your body. Avoid looking at a computer or TV screen right before bed, as this can sometimes make it more difficult to fall asleep. It also helps to reserve your bedroom for sleeping only; relegate the television, video games, and home office to the rest of the house.

After you’ve got your bedtime routine down, aim to go to bed 5 minutes earlier or sleep in 5 minutes later than usual. When you achieve this schedule for a few days, add 5 more minutes of shut-eye. Making little changes like this can lead to big results. Keep it up for a month and you’ll have added over one full hour of restful rejuvenation!

How to Establish New, Healthier Habits
When you’re working on wellness, it always seems like someone is asking you to cut something out: sweets and fast food from your diet, time from your day to exercise, and so on. To stay sane while decreasing unhealthy behaviors, you need to fill the gaps! One of the best ways to break a bad habit is to insert an alternative healthy behavior in its place. You can use tips and tricks based on the information above to help you build new, healthier habits and make them stick, in conjunction with the following three tips:

  1. Practice. Set an achievable weekly goal for how many miles you’re going to bike, laps you’re going to swim, fruits you’re going to eat, and healthy meals you’re going to cook–and get cracking! As you reach your goal each week, you’ll find a rhythm and your healthy behaviors will start resembling a well-oiled machine.
  2. Make healthy choices easier and more convenient. Get environmental obstacles (like lack of jogging gear and a pantry full of junk food) out of your way. Once you’ve set up your environment for success, sticking with healthy habits will become much simpler!
  3. Plan some powerful pay-offs for reaching your wellness goals. Sure, internal motivation is great and hopefully you’ll have a ton of gumption to get fit. But, no matter how committed you are to your cause, unhealthy habits will always entice you with their quick, underlying pay-offs. If you plan ahead and reward yourself with extra incentives for working out and eating right, you’ll be riding high on healthy habits for a lifetime.

Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant “Bolognese”

Eggplant stands in for the ground beef in this substantial vegetarian main dish. Be sure to serve it with plenty of grated cheese on the side.

Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant Bolognese images
Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant Bolognese images

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant
1 bay leaf1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary, oregano, or both
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces spaghetti
2 garlic cloves, minced
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, pulsed a few times in a food processor or blender

directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut eggplant into ½-inch dice, toss with salt in a large mixing bowl, and transfer to a colander. Place bowl underneath to drain, and nest a smaller bowl inside the colander pressing down on the eggplant cubes. Put something heavy inside the bowl to weight it (like a container of salt or can of tomatoes.) Let eggplant drain for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until tender but not brown, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes, then uncover pan and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in herbs, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
  3. Remove eggplant cubes from colander and spread between two double layers of paper towels, pressing down to dry them. Transfer to a bowl and toss with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet; roast for 10 minutes, then increase oven temperature to 475 degrees, gently stir, and continue baking until eggplant cubes are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes more.
  4. Stir roasted eggplant to the pot containing the tomato sauce and gently reheat while pasta cooks. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain well and toss with eggplant sauce. Top with grated cheese and serve immediately.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie images
Strawberry Banana Smoothie images

Whether you’re suffering from nausea, heartburn, or just in need of a cool and refreshing snack or breakfast idea, this is the perfect nutritious pick-me-up. Leftover shake can be frozen in pop molds or 5 ounce paper cups with popsicle sticks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or skim milk
  • 1 banana, sliced

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.

Calories per Ingredient:
Here are the foods from our food nutrition database that were used for the nutrition calculations of this recipe.

Calories per serving of Strawberry Banana Smoothie

90 calories of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt, (0.50 serving)

53 calories of Banana, fresh, (0.50 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long))

52 calories of Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened, (1 cup, unthawed)

27 calories of Orange Juice, (0.25 cup)

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 221.3

Total Fat 0.6 g

Saturated Fat 0.1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 4.2 mg

Potassium 572.4 mg

Total Carbohydrate 33.7 g

Dietary Fiber 4.7 g

Sugars 6.8 g

Protein 1.7 g

Vitamin A 3.3 %

Vitamin B-12 0.0 %

Vitamin B-6 20.8 %

Vitamin C 145.4 %

Vitamin D 0.0 %

Vitamin E 3.4 %

Calcium 3.4 %

Copper 7.9 %

Folate 11.9 %

Iron 7.8 %

Magnesium 10.1 %

Manganese 26.7 %

Niacin 5.9 %

Pantothenic Acid 4.3 %

Phosphorus 3.8 %

Riboflavin 7.4 %

Selenium 2.5 %

Thiamin 8.3 %

Zinc 2.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Pasta

Pasta – Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

Pasta images
Pasta images

Pasta is often made out to be a dietary villain by those trying to avoid carbs and gluten, but it can actually be pretty healthy, says Rania Batayneh, a certified nutritionist and author of the upcoming book, The 1:1:1 Diet. Pasta is not only high in folic acid but also naturally low in fat (unlike unhealthy reduced-fat packaged foods). And pasta’s glycemic index, or GI, (a way of measuring short-term changes in blood sugar after a meal) is only 41. That number is similar to pears, lower than many types of bread and much lower than glucose, which ranks 100, Batayneh says.

Butter

Butter – Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

Butter images
Butter images

While we’re not recommending you load up on butter, experts say naturally occurring saturated fats (like those found in butter, red meat and cheese) may actually be good to include in your diet in moderation (especially when compared with more processed fats like those found in margarine). “Butter made from grass-fed cows is high in conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty-acid linked to heart health and weight loss,” Batayneh says. “It also contains vitamin K2, (which boosts nervous system and cardiovascular function), as well as a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.” Batayneh recommends going organic with your butter since some non-organic dairy products can contain growth hormones and/or antibiotics.