In addition to avoidance, there are some nutrients, foods, and natural options for supporting your detoxification processes and helping your body defend against the negative effects of toxins. Let's take a look at 10 of the most important natural detox foods, herbs, and nutrients for protecting your body against toxins:
The healthy bacteria that line the gut have a powerful influence on how toxins are broken down in the GI tract and the liver. Unhealthy bacteria in the gut lessen or alter the ability to detoxify and eliminate certain toxins. Probiotics, especially different strains of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, can help replace unhealthy bacteria with healthy bacteria.
Prebiotics are perhaps just as important as probiotics. They act as fertilizer to help the healthy bacteria grow better. Good prebiotic supplements include inulin, arabinogalactan, and fructo-oligosaccharides while good prebiotic foods include Jerusalem artichokes, onions, jicama root, leeks, and asparagus.
Fiber, like flaxseed meal and chia seed meal, helps bind toxins and move them out of the body through the digestive tract. The lignans in these two fiber sources can help block the effects of endocrine-disrupting toxins.
4. Brassica vegetables.
Broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cabbage, Brussels' sprouts and cauliflower contain phytochemicals known as glucosinolates which get converted into isothiocyanates when chewed. Isothiocyanates stimulate the body to be more resistant to toxins.
5. Ellagic acid.
Pomegranate juice, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, goji berries, purple grapes, strawberries, pecans, and walnuts all contain high levels of ellagic acid. This phytochemical is a powerful antioxidant that increases the liver's detoxification enzymes.
Turmeric is the major spice in curry. This yellow pigment contains curcumin, a powerful phytochemical that enhances the liver's detoxification enzymes, decreases inflammation, and protects the liver.
This food is also a detoxifying medicinal herb that contains sulfur compounds known to decrease inflammation and increase antioxidant activity in cells.
8. B vitamins.
Choline, folic acid, and vitamin B12 are B vitamins needed to assist in a detoxification process known as "methylation." Good sources of choline include eggs, wheat germ, cauliflower, legumes, and spinach. Good folate sources include green leafy vegetables, legumes, beets, asparagus, and fortified cereals/breads. Excellent vitamin B12 sources are fish and seafood, poultry, grass-fed beef or lamb, and organic dairy.
Artichoke is a mild flavored vegetable that protects the liver and enhances detoxification, particularly by increasing glutathione and stimulating bile flow. Glutathione is the body's major detoxification antioxidant.
10. Sea vegetables.
Sea vegetables, like nori used in sushi roles, and certain types of algae, like Chlorella, contain compounds known as polysaccharides that bind to both heavy metals and organic toxins in the gut, increasing their elimination