Detoxification is a hot topic in the world of natural medicine, but what exactly does it mean? In the body, detoxification is the process of removing toxic substances. It is a constant occurrence through various organs of elimination such as the lungs, skin, liver, kidneys and large intestine.
Detoxification is an important concept when it comes to staying healthy and balanced. This is because a build up of harmful substances impairs the body’s ability to function optimally and is linked to the development of disease.
Most people think of detoxification as a temporary avoidance of exposure to harmful chemicals and removal from the diet of harmful foods such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, gluten and dairy.
However, it is ideal to support detoxification on a daily basis and this does not always have to involve the restriction of foods.
Adding functional foods to your diet that support the organs of elimination is great way to support your body’s innate ability to detoxify. Supporting the delicate balance between intake of beneficial nutrients and elimination of harmful is essential for good health.
Juicing is a simple and delicious way to support your body’s natural methods of detoxification.
Benefits of juicing
1. Nutrients are more efficiently digested and absorbed
2. Increased amount and variety of fruit and vegetables can be eaten
3. Increased energy, detoxification and immune support
There are many juicing machines available which range from beginner to super deluxe models. It is recommended that you start with a beginner model before investing in a higher level one to first master the basics of juicing combinations and see how juicing can be incorporated into your healthy lifestyle routine.
Choose organic fruits and vegetables and wash them thoroughly.
Apple, pear, watermelon and carrot juices are great for sweetening bitter vegetable juices and not too overpowering in flavour compared to other fruits.
Drink juice immediately or store in the refrigerator and drink within one day since the juice is not pasteurized.
A note of caution: Juicing is not a meal replacement, but a pleasant addition to a meal! Pure fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals but deficient in fibre, protein and healthy fats which are required for an optimally nutritious meal.
Common vegetables to juice:
Carrot, cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, beet, cabbage, broccoli, parsnip, Swiss chard
Common fruits to juice:
Apple, pear, orange, pineapple, watermelon, mango, kiwi, berries, grapefruit
5 ingredients to supercharge your juice and support detoxification
1. Dandelion greens: contain phytochemicals that improve digestion and support the liver and kidneys. Dandelions are also high in vitamins A and C which are essential for the immune system.
2. Parsley: high in anti-oxidants which protect cells from damage to harmful chemicals. Contains phytochemicals that support detoxification pathways in the liver and kidney.
3. Cilantro: phytochemicals found in cilantro bind to heavy metals, specifically mercury, and remove them from tissues so they can be eliminated.
4. Broccoli: high in a phytochemical called indole-3-carbinol which helps the liver detoxify and balance hormone levels.
5. Red cabbage: contains a high amount of L-glutamine, an amino acid which heals and supports digestive tract function.
Kidney cocktail juice recipe
(Source: Fresh at Home: Everyday Vegetarian Cooking by Ruth Tal Brown and Jennifer Houston)
4 medium carrots
1 handful spinach
1 handful dandelion greens
½ lemon, peeled
1. Juice all the ingredients together.
2. Pour into a glass. Serves 1-2 people.