The Spring season brings many light, refreshing, and cleansing foods. This makes Spring the perfect time to clean up your diet and reset after a long Winter. Many of you have joined us in the Real Food Challenge this week and have committed to say no to packaged foods and eat a diet full of real food. Taking a pledge to give up processed foods is a great way to force yourself into a cleansing reset diet. Eliminating these items cleans up your diet without having to analyze each meal. To take this a step further, be mindful of adding this list of 7 cleansing foods into your Spring menu. A lot of these items are already in many Spring recipes like salads, light soups, and vegetable juices so it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to incorporate them into your day.
Cleansing foods help to lightly detox your body without doing a drastic liquid diet or fast. They are also a refreshing change from the seasonally available foods of Winter. You may even find yourself craving some of these foods at this time of the year. That is a sign that your body might need a gentle detox.
Lemon might be one of the most famous of the cleansing foods due to the popularity of The Master Cleanse diet. Lemons contain vitamins A, B, C and citric acid. The citric acid and vitamins can help flush toxins out of your digestive system, detoxing your liver and cleansing your colon. Incorporating lemon into a clean real food diet is a great way to get some of its benefits. Lemon works well in salad dressing, guacamole, hummus, and vegetable juices.
Garlic is important herb for the immune system and it is also a cleansing food. It has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties, which help to remove toxins from the digestive tract, particularly from the colon of the large intestine. Removing these toxins improves overall digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body. Garlic works well in salad dressing, dips, and sauces.
Drinking Dandelion Root tea is an effective way to cleanse the liver. Compounds in the root cause an increase in bile production. This helps to improve digestion and also helps the liver to digest foods and remove toxins quickly and efficiently. Dandelion root tea can be purchased as a loose tea, in tea bags, or is also included in some “detox” blend teas. Mountain Rose Herbs is a good source.
I can’t make this list and not include Kale. Kale has been named The Most Nutritious Vegetable and is widely known for it’s nutrient dense qualities. Kale is rich in fiber, vitamin K, anti-oxidants, and contains anti-inflammatory properties. All of this is great for cleansing and just overall health. The combination of fiber and the sulfur content in kale make it especially beneficial for cleansing. Kale is great in vegetable juicing, lightly steamed with a tahini dressing, or sauteed with carmelized onions.
Vegetable broth is a good addition to a cleansing diet because the nutrients are so easily digestible. Drinking a warm nutrient rich broth like fresh homemade vegetable broth is very soothing to the digestive tract. A healthy digestive system is essential to regularly cleanse the body. Read this post on how to easily make your own homeade vegetable broth. Vegetable broth is great alone or as a base for a light vegetable soup with spring greens.
Cilantro is commonly used in many heavy metal detoxification programs. It has been found that cilantro is effective in removing heavy metals from the body. It is even more effective when combined with a colon cleansing food such as lemon. Heavy metals are found in many places we may not even realize and can be very damaging to our health, especially in children. Cilantro is great in Mexican dishes, dips, and vegetable juicing.
Parsley is often used to cleanse the kidneys and the liver. It is known as a natural diuretic and the increased flow of fluids through the kidneys may have a cleansing effect as bacteria and germs are flushed out. Parsley can be easily added to your diet by adding it to salad dressings, in soups, and in vegetable juicing.
Adding a few of these 7 cleansing spring foods into your diet will help to lightly cleanse your body without having to go through a drastic liquid cleanse diet. Cleansing foods often make you feel lighter and increase your energy level. They are also a delicious and refreshing change to your diet this time of year.