Do you feel like you could use a quick-fix to detox in the summer?
When the temperatures go up and we get perhaps “too lucky” with the sunshine, our fingers can become swollen, legs heavy and our energy drops. At those moments you may wish you were feeling lighter, cooler and not as sleepy come the mid-afternoon.
The truth is that, now and then, we all need a clean up in the body department. Once we do, we recharge our batteries, reset our gut and see the world around us in brighter colours.
Are you curious about what those summer detox champions are? Let’s pay a visit to your favourite shop and see what we can find …
Melons are such breezy fruits to eat. Sweet, colourful, dripping with goodness.
Whether you choose watermelon or cantaloupe, you can’t go wrong. They contain more than 80% water which will hydrate your body so you can flush the toxins out. And as simple as it sounds, my detox-lover, water is a shortcut to keeping your skin clear, bright and tight!
Cantaloupe, the orange hero, is rich in vitamin C, Beta-carotene, vitamin B6, folate and potassium. Vitamin C is important for creating collagen in your skin, which improves its elasticity.
It’s also a powerful antioxidant that inhibits tumour cells growth and destroys the free radicals made by sunshine. In addition, vitamin C regenerates vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant at your disposal. Then in tandem, both of these nutrients keep wiping the free radicals out before they do you any harm.
If you’d like more tips on how to improve the condition of your skin, why not check out one of my previous posts here.
Remedy for water retention
Potassium in cantaloupe is a great helper if you feel your skin is puffy and fingers and ankles are swollen. If this is you, you might be retaining too much water.
Wondering how that could happen?
When you have lot of sodium in your diet, you tend to store more water in your cells. Potassium helps balance the sodium in your body. Result? You get rid of the excess water and start looking as if you dropped a size or two. How perfect for summer!
As it happens, sodium is in all the treats which are so easy to come by. It’s in ice-cream, cheese, processed foods, cured meats but also cured plant alternatives like soy sausages or burgers, mayo-based salads and chips.
Before you make a sad face, I have a solution for you. Without sacrificing flavour you can support your body detox system by enjoying:
- blueberry-cantaloupe ice-cream (simply add some soy yogurt to the fruit, blend and freeze)
- pieces of cantaloupe with lime juice and some mint leaves
- cantaloupe pureed with some sparkling water as a refreshing summer drink
A super-food that’s like miniature nuts. You can sprout seeds, beans, lentils, nuts, you name it. As angelic as sprouts look with their little curls, they’re real giants in their power. After all the little seed eventually turns into a large, fully-grown plant!
Sprouts are packed with Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C and also with multiple phytochemicals. As the ultimate source of living energy, sprouts help you recharge your batteries almost instantly after you eat them.
Which ones are best? Those you really eat ?
But to help you detox, broccoli sprouts take the lead.
Broccoli naturally contains many different phytochemicals vital in fighting cancer. One of them called sulforaphane, as shown in this study and this study here, is particularly helpful in neutralising air pollutants from cars. And since very few of us are so lucky to breath fresh mountain air every day, we can do with a dose of sprouts, right!
You’ll find them in a supermarket in the fresh veg section, in a health food store or you can sprout them yourself. Add sprouts to your salads, fill up wraps or sandwiches or simply enjoy as a snack on their own.
Celery is another gentle giant among detox foods.
High in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and K it is perfect for helping you get rid of extra water you may be retaining in your body. Celery also contains special antioxidant compounds coumarins which support your immunity. Coumarins put your white blood cells on higher alert helping them to destroy any harmful cells including cancer cells.
One pointer here! Do buy an organic version as celery is one of the top foods that store high amounts of pesticides. This vegetable also contains oxalates, naturally occurring compounds, which some people may be sensitive to.
How to use celery?
While it’s a nice flavour enhancer in soups and broths, if you want to get the best out of the green stalks, eat them raw.
Enjoy them as a snack on their own or dip the stalks into a nut butter or your favourite spread.
My favourite way is to add them to smoothies. They go beautifully with some well ripened pineapple, fresh spinach and mint leaves. That’s what I call the perfect detox drink helping you fight inflammation, cool your body down, all while pampering your taste buds!
There is great detox power inside a tender leaf of spinach.
Not only is it packed with Magnesium, vitamin K, C, folate, Iron and potassium, it’s also high in carotenoids – especially lutein and zeaxanthin. These have been found to be extra protective for your eye health. Spinach is also highly anti-inflammatory and helps you build new healthy cells.
Again, it’s wise to buy organic spinach as the tender leaf easily absorbs chemicals from the pesticides.
If you’re using it in cooking, add spinach at the end and cook only for a couple of minutes until it’s wilted, not overcooked.
When eating raw, opt for baby spinach and make it part of salads, add to smoothies (swap kale for spinach in the Green Bliss Smoothie) or use in a pesto. Why not tick off a few boxes at once and try a spinach variation of my favourite Rocket Pesto. You’ll combine some healthy fats from seeds and some extra power of plant protein to support your liver during the detox.
While eating spinach, don’t forget to add or snack on a couple of nuts to help with the absorption of carotenoids. That way you’ll absorb every last drop of spinach power.
Are you hungry for more detox tips?
If so, you can also check out my previous post Quick, easy, fun – Detox time.
So here you go. A few magic foods to help you with your detox not only in the summer but all year round! You can pick one or all of them to join their forces and support your liver so it has all the nutrients it needs to keep your body clean and fresh as a Lilly.
Now I’d like to hear from you. Meet me in the comments below and tell me:
What is your favourite detox food and in what way do you like eating it?
As always thank you so much for sharing.
Happy sunny, detox days.