29 Best Detoxifying Vegetables

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Detox (detoxification) is a naturally occurring and ongoing process that happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And with exposures from many types of toxins and stress in the modern world, the body has a lot of work to do.

The problem of toxicity is very real and shouldn’t be underestimated. Toxins, in large quantities due to long-term exposure, sluggish detox, stress or poor nutrition, can adversely affect the liver, brain, lungs, and kidneys.

Some toxins are believed can even promote heart disease that might due to increased free radical levels, hence, increased superoxide levels.

Efficient detox helps your body to process and use nutrients effectively which results in proper physiological functioning leading to healthier, longer, and happier life.

Liver

The liver is the most important organ that runs the detoxifying processes and removes toxins. In addition, the lungs, intestines, kidney and skin play a big part in detox as well.

Vegetable nutrients and phytonutrient contents which impart antioxidant properties are vital in neutralizing free radicals produced in phase 1 detox in the liver. They also supply insoluble fiber (resistant fiber) and dietary fiber that promote better digestion, thus help elimination.

Their antioxidant properties are attributed to carotenoids, polyphenols, along with vitamin C (found in many vegetables) are also vital in helping detox.

Note: Polyphenols are bioflavonoids. Although bioflavonoids are the largest family of polyphenolic compounds, they are not necessarily polyphenols.

Their minerals contents, including magnesium, zinc, and selenium along with vitamin Bs and C play essential roles in detox as well.

The following are vegetables said to be beneficial for detox purposes.

Artichoke

Silymarin, a bioflavonoid found in artichoke acts as an antioxidant as well as helps protect the liver against free radical attacks. It also contains cyarin that helps stimulate the production of bile.

Arugula

Arugula (known as rocket vegetable in Asia), a cruciferous vegetable, provides antioxidants as well as a broad spectrum of minerals and vitamins, all of which are vital for detox.

Asparagus

Asparagus makes a great detox vegetable because the chromium it contains serve to help balance blood sugar levels while you’re on a detox.

Beets

Beets are a rich source of betalains, bioflavonoids that make beets appear red, a powerful antioxidant that helps the liver in removing impurities from your blood.

Bell Peppers

If you don’t have a sensitivity to nightshade vegetables, you can always include bell peppers in your detox. Besides containing antioxidants, they contain a good number of different vitamins and a god source of fiber as well.

Bok Choy

Bok Choy, a cruciferous vegetable family, offers important vitamins that act as antioxidants in the body. Its high fiber content helps out your elimination system by getting the toxins out of your body efficiently.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the best cruciferous vegetables that can help your body ridding of toxins.  The combination of fiber, glucosinolates, carotenoids, bioflavonoids, vitamins, minerals and protein found in broccoli are thought to help many bodily functions that include detoxifications and elimination, among others.

Other cruciferous vegetables that can be used along with broccoli or as a stand-alone to help detox, including Brussels sprouts, cabbage (red/purple, green, and white), cauliflower, collard, watercress, kohlrabi, and kale.

Celery

Celery is an urination-inducing vegetable that can also help reduce inflammation, promote better digestion and elimination. When you choose to take it as juice or smoothies, be sure to include the leaves to get extra nutrients.

Cucumber

Cucumber is made up mostly of water. It can support your digestive system and promote better urination, both of which are essential in helping the body to remove toxins. At the same time, it provides you carotenoids, polyphenols, and bioflavonoids with antioxidant properties for detox and reduces inflammation.

Eggplant

Adding eggplant to your shopping cart while getting your detox foods worth your while. It’s a great source of antioxidant anthocyanins that are thought to help your liver and gallbladder perform better. Besides that, it contains antioxidant chlorogenic acid which is the most abundant phenolic acid in the flesh of eggplant. Both types of antioxidants are crucial in helping detox.

Fennel

Fennel promotes better digestion as well as urination which make it a good addition to your detox plan as it will help with the removal of toxins. A study shows that it has high chlorogenic levels and antioxidant activities. To potentiate antioxidant activities of your smoothie, combine it with red/purple cabbage and broccoli.

Green Beans

Carotenoids and flavonoids content of one of the tastier, green beans, make them a good detox vegetable that will help ease you through any detox symptoms such as inflammation. They really stand out in their antioxidant value as they possess a wide variety of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein, neoxanthin, and violaxanthin as well as flavonoids, including quercetin, catechins, kaemferol, epicatechins, and procyanidins.

Cayenne Peppers

Crank up the heat on your detox with a cayenne pepper. Improved circulation throughout the body is said to be an important factor in a detox and for your overall health. Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin offer antioxidant activities in addition to getting your detox into a higher gear. Cayenne also contains other antioxidants, including carotenoids and vitamin C.

Kale

Kale carotenoids, glucosinolates, polyphenols, vitamins C, and fiber contents would help your detox considerably.

Kimchi

Probiotic effects imparted by kimchi and other fermented vegetables like sauerkraut can prove beneficial for detox as they help your body to remove pesticides and heavy metals that have been taken in from a tainted food supply

Fermented vegetables are also revered for their improved bioavailability and activity of chemical constituents eg. amino acids, nutrients, and antioxidant phytonutrients that include polyphenols, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids.

Leeks

It’s an interesting thing to know about leeks as they share the same compound, allicin, contains in garlic which imparts powerful antioxidant effects. Leeks are also good sources of polyphenols, bioflavonoids, and carotenoids.

Mushrooms

Polysaccharides are the main supply of antioxidant phytochemicals in mushrooms. They support detox by scavenging free radicals produced in the liver after you consume foods or medicines (including herbal medicine).

Mustard Greens

Besides carotenoids and bioflavonoids, mustard greens also contain glucosinolates which, in the body, are converted to antioxidant isothiocyanates.

Onions

Many people imagine onion antioxidant properties are only attributed to allicin. However, it also contains bioflavonoids and polyphenols. The total polyphenol content of onion is not only higher compared to it cousin allium vegetables, garlic, and leeks, but also higher than carrots, tomatoes, and red bell pepper.

Peas

Despite their small sizes, peas are packed with nutrients and can be an addition to any serious detox program. Besides fiber and protein, they also contain antioxidant carotenoids and bioflavonoids. The protein not only helps you feel satiated between meals but supplies many essential amino acids required for efficient detox.

Radishes

Radishes have the affinity to your digestive system. It is also said to help clear out toxins and move them out of the body. Colored-skin varieties are believed to contain antioxidant bioflavonoids.

Seaweed

Large amounts of chlorophyll, iodine, carotenoids, polysaccharides, and minerals make seaweed so invaluable as a detox food. Iodine promotes better thyroid functions which is essential during detox. Nori and kelp supply natural iodine which is preferable over synthetics. Carrageenans are polysaccharide that aid digestion, absorb toxins and act as antioxidants.

Spinach

Spinach is revered for its mineral and beta-carotene contents. Besides that, it also contains other carotenoids that include lutein, zeaxanthin, neoxanthin, and violaxanthin, all of which exert powerful antioxidant activities. It also contains bioflavonoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Squash

Adding any types of squash to your diet will help you detox with added carotenoids, bioflavonoids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are nourishing foods that are filling. Its beta carotene, bioflavonoids, and fiber contents support your body for improved detox. Better still, choose purple varieties for their anthocyanins contents, powerful antioxidant bioflavonoids.

Tomatoes

Lycopene in tomatoes along with bioflavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C. help to protect the liver from damage (hepatoprotective) so it can do its job of filtering out toxins smoothly. Cherry tomatoes offer more lycopene. Reap benefits of cooked tomatoes as they increase the bioavailability of many vital nutrients including lycopene.

Turnips

Preferably, turnips should be included in a detox diet due to their fiber content. They’ll help you prevent digestive system sluggishness and release toxins need to make it all the way out.

Wheatgrass

Magnesium, a mineral vital for detox, chelates to chlorophyll like iron does to hemoglobin. High chlorophyll content of wheatgrass makes it the perfect choice for helping your body to detox. You can get its full benefits by juicing it or taking it in powder form (with water).

Zucchini

This vegetable provides vitamin C plus carotenoids and bioflavonoids to get your detox in the liver runs efficiently. Besides playing a part along with other nutrient-dense foods on the list to supply the body the nutrients it needs, Zucchini is said to be able to help reduce “healing crisis” suffered by some people during detox.

mindboggler
Mindboggler is an alternative medicine educator/practitioner who advocates preventive medicines and holistic healings. He loves sharing his knowledge and experience in helping the public to nurture mind, body, and spirit - to help achieve optimal health