Another reason why spring is a great time for detoxing is that, during this season, nature provides us with tools that support detoxification naturally. When we look at what is sprouting and ready for harvest in the spring, we see that nature supplies herbs and produce that are rich in nutrients necessary for detoxification.
Key nutrients essential for detoxification include:
- Antioxidants are nutrients which inhibit harmful oxidized cells and help to remove damaging agents from the body. Examples of antioxidants are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium and phytonutrients like Quercetin.
- Glutathione, a powerhouse antioxidant, protects cells from toxin damage and supports the liver’s detoxification pathways.
- Sulfur compounds are essential components of antioxidants which are required for detoxification.
- Selenium is needed by liver enzymes to perform detoxification and is a potent antioxidant.
- B Vitamins and Folate are necessary for liver enzymes and toxin breakdown.
- Fiber ensures toxins are eliminated efficiently via the bowels.
Herbal actions/properties that support detoxification consist of:
- Bitter herbs and foods stimulate digestive and liver function. This stimulation encourages digestive enzymes and bile release to improve nutrient assimilation, reduce constipation, and eliminate toxins.
- Alterative herbs are also known as ‘’blood purifiers’’. They encourage the breakdown and elimination of waste through the lymphatic system, liver detoxification, kidney function and skin.
- Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory herbs help to neutralize and remove toxic and damaged cells.
- Diuretic herbs support kidney function and encourage toxic release through urine.
- Hepatic herbs stimulate liver function and protect liver tissue from toxic damage.
Foods available in Spring for detoxing:
- Asparagus – the detox powerhouse! - Loaded with glutathione, Selenium, Vitamin C, B Vitamins, antioxidants and fiber
- Artichoke – High in fiber, stimulates bile production, high in antioxidants and vitamin C
- Arugula (aka Rocket) - Bitter flavor supports digestion, contains B Vitamins, vitamin C and sulfur compounds
- Cruciferous Vegetables (arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) - Rich in sulfur compounds, glutathione, antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and B Vitamins.
- Dandelion leaves - Bitter flavor supports digestion, contains B Vitamins, Vitamin C and sulfur compounds
- Eggs – High in B Vitamins, Selenium, and Sulfur compounds.
- Fava Beans – Loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and B Vitamins
- Garlic – potent antioxidant phytonutrients and sulfur compounds.
- Grass Fed Lamb – Contains Selenium, omega 3 fatty acids and B Vitamins.
- Green Peas – Loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and B Vitamins
- Leafy Greens (mustard greens, lettuces, spinach, and kale) – high in fiber, B Vitamins, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
- Radishes - Bitter flavor supports digestion, contains B Vitamins and sulfur compounds.
Top herbs for detoxing:
- Burdock (alterative, diuretic and bitter) – Supports digestion, liver and kidney functions, support the lymphatic system, contains antioxidants.
- Cleavers (alterative, diuretic, anti-inflammatory) – supports immune system, lymphatic system, and kidneys.
- Dandelion root and leaves (bitter, hepatic, and diuretic) – supports liver function and bile production, aids kidney function, improves digestion and bowel movements.
- Milk Thistle (hepatic and anti-inflammatory) – helps to repair and protect the liver from damage, supports liver function, contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients.
- Nettle (diuretic and anti-inflammatory) - high in antihistamine and antioxidant nutrients, loaded with vitamins and minerals, supports kidney function.
By enjoying these foods and herbal teas, you can support your body’s natural detoxification pathways to function more efficiently and effectively.
What are your favorite detox teas or foods? What are you finding in your local farmers market or garden that you feel helps with your spring detox? Leave comments below.
Stay tuned for tips on how to detox your home this spring in my next blog post.
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