The beginning of the spring is one of the most popular times of year to start a whole foods cleanse. The winter – which tends to bring with it a decrease in activity along with heavier, richer foods and holiday overindulgence – is drawing to a close. People are beginning to think about shaking off the winter blahs and getting back into shape once again.
One great way to do that is with a whole foods cleanse, where fresh, natural foods are used to nourish the body, detoxify, and help boost energy levels and get rid of excess weight. Below are some of the best foods to use for a whole foods detox.
Lemon Water with Apple Cider Vinegar
To get the morning started right, add 2 tablespoons of organic, raw apple cider vinegar and the juice squeezed from one lemon to a cup of cold water and drink before breakfast. This will help to detoxify the body of unwanted or harmful substances and stimulate the liver to increase bile production, which improves digestion and the body’s ability to absorb vital nutrients. (1)
Fermented or Probiotic Foods
Foods that have been fermented or contain probiotics are also great for cleansing. This is because they contain the kind of healthful bacteria that is needed by the gastrointestinal tract to help efficiently break down food. They also help the immune system by fighting off harmful bacteria as well as fungi like Candida, which is responsible for vaginal yeast infections. Good foods in this category include plain yogurt, kefir and kombucha. (2)
Leafy Green Vegetables
These should be a part of a healthy diet no matter what! However, they are particularly good for a cleanse since they are packed with chlorophyll, a substance which can help to detoxify the body and which also has an alkalizing effect on the body’s overall acid-base balance. A body that is slightly alkaline is much more hostile to the development of cancer cells. (3)
Sea vegetables like seaweed or spirulina are also great for a detoxification program. They, too, are loaded with chlorophyll to help alkalize the body and remove unwanted substances. And being from the sea, they are incredibly mineral rich and can provide the body with some of the extra nutrients it might be missing out on, especially if eating habits over the winter were less than ideal! (4)
Last but not least, a vital step for any cleansing process is to drink plenty of water! This will help to revitalize the body and to flush away all of the toxins that have built up during the long winter months of inactivity and heavy eating. Strive for at least 8-10 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but increase this amount after or during heavy exercise or a session in the sauna. (5)
Adding the foods and water above to a whole foods cleanse will help to remove toxins from the body as well as increasing energy levels and trimming down some of that excess weight. It is a great way to welcome in the spring!
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