Unlike their expensive counterparts, everyday superfoods are those you can enjoy daily! You don’t need big bucks to get the benefits of a daily detox.
‘Everyday superfoods’ is a term I like to use to talk about simple foods we can enjoy for daily detox and improved wellness. Rather than thinking of superfoods as only those dehydrated powders and juices that come from the far reaches of the globe and are promoted as THE solution to our health issues, everyday superfoods are those you can enjoy, well… everyday! Some of the everyday superfoods I enjoy on the daily include leafy greens, dark chocolate (yep!), green tea, sauerkraut, and coconut.
Recently Food Revolution shared an article written by Dr. Deanna Minich entitled, How to Detox Daily with 5 Types of Nutrient-Rich Foods, and I loved their list for the same reason – it promotes simple foods as the main solution to ‘detox’ and deep health.
Why Do We Need to Detox?
But what are we detoxing from, exactly? “Toxins” is a phrase that is sometimes met with skepticism, but there are compounds we encounter on a day-to-day basis that build up in our bodies.
Dr. Mininch writes that “toxins exist in every aspect of our lives, from the air we breathe to the food we eat, even to the thoughts we think. It has been estimated that there are currently over 80,000 chemicals currently used in the United States, and we are exposed to many of them on a daily basis.”
Some of the toxins or pollutants you might face on a daily basis include heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). “Animal and human studies have linked exposure to toxins to inflammation, oxidative damage, neurodegenerative issues, immune system dysfunction, and skeletal degeneration, to name just a few.”
Yikes! These are all things we could do without! And like most other dis-eases, the solution is more plant foods!
Daily Detox With a Plant-Based Diet
She recommends eating the rainbow of plant foods for optimal health. The powerful compounds in plants known as phytonutrients (most of which are not fully understood because of their complexity) all help our bodies in various ways. “On a broad scale, simply eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables of different colors ensures that you’ll be reaping the benefits of a host of phytonutrients,” Dr. Minich explains.
One of my favorite sources for learning more about exactly WHAT is in your plant foods and HOW they work is World’s Healthiest Foods. Simply search an ingredient, then dig into the research about macronutrients (like protein, fiber, and fats) and then do a deep dive into the trace minerals, phytonutrients and true power plant foods have to offer.
Important Foods for Daily Detox
Dr. Minich shares five compounds in plant foods that she deems most important to daily detox. We’ve outlined them here, but be sure to click over to the full article to read more.
The superpowers of flavonoids include binding to and removing heavy metals from the body and fighting inflammation. Found in raw fruits and raw or lightly steamed veggies (make sure they keep their color).
2. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)
This is the super powerful phytonutrient found in green tea. EGCG can help clear toxins from the body, improve inflammatory response, and help remove POPs.
A funky sounding phytonutrient found in the edible skins and outer layers of citrus, fruits, herbs, nuts and dark berries. Quercetin is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound; it’s also an antioxidant that helps remove heavy metals from the body.
The hidden magic of turmeric, a relative of ginger. It’s a renowned healing food in Chinese, Hawaiian, and Ayurvedic medicine. Also helps with detox and inflammation.
5. Organosulfur compounds
These compounds smell characteristically funky and a bit farty. Foods from the Brassica family (kale, collards, cauliflower, cabbage), along with onions and garlic, are rich sources of these stinky compounds with big benefits. These also work to reduce inflammation, aid in detox of heavy metals and help defend the body against cancer-causing agents.
Images via Shutterstock.