The Skinny on Detoxing Foods

There are so many things that are being claimed as "detoxing foods" - foods that will help to get rid of the myriad toxins and chemicals floating around in your body. You'll find that many people buy foods just because they think that it will help them to "detox", and there are lots of cleanses, juice fasts, and spa treatments to help flush all the "harmful substances" out of the body.

But how legit are these "detoxing foods"?

What are the Best Detoxing Foods?

If you're really trying to be effective at getting rid of all of the toxins in your body, there are really only a few foods that will work. You can say goodbye to all of those "detoxing shakes", the juices that are supposed to help flush out your body, and any specialty foods. They're all kind of just an extra, but they don't really do the trick. You're spending your money needlessly.

When it comes to detoxing, the best foods to help you are the ones that are green and crunchy: cruciferous vegetables. You've got options like cabbage, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, all of which have a satisfying crunch to them when you bite down. Not only are these foods loaded in fiber - a nutrient which absorbs toxins and chemicals in your intestines in order to eliminate them - but they are also rich in antioxidants that will help to get rid of the various toxins in your body.

The Real Detoxifying Agents

In the cruciferous veggies mentioned above, there are two compounds that will be truly effective at detoxing your body.

The first one is called Calcium D-glucarate, also known as glucaric acid. Your liver acts as the filter to remove toxins from your body, and it measures the various chemicals in your body to detect if the levels of certain elements are too high. Anything that is seen as toxic is "flagged" for removal by being bound to glucoronic acid. Your body also produces beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme that eliminates the glucoronic acid from the toxin that is going to be removed by your body. Calcium D-glucarate essentially stops the enzyme from removing the glucoronic acid, ensuring that your body actually excretes the toxins your liver decides to eliminate.

The second one is called Indole-3-carbinol. This compound is able to modulate CYPs - a group of enzymes called cytochrome P-450s, which are responsible for detoxifying your body. CYPs eliminate chemicals, steroids, alcohol, estrogens, and other toxins from your body, and they are activated by the indole-3-carbinol in order to start the process of getting rid of these toxins.

These are the two compounds most effective at detoxifying the body, and they are the ones to add to your diet.

Water Detox: Hoax or Real?

Many people go on juice fasts or water detox diets to help flush out their bodies, but do they really work?

To answer succinctly, no they don’t. Water does help to flush out the body, which is why these fasts cause you to spend hours perched on a toilet. However, water won't detoxify your body - just provide the vehicle that your body can use to eliminate the waste.

Keep in mind that proper hydration is the key to healthy elimination and detoxification, but drinking more water won't help to detox your body any faster.

Bonus: Lose Weight for Detox

Toxins are stored in fat cells, which is then turned into solid fatty tissue. Getting rid of the fatty tissue can be the key to getting rid of lots of inert toxins stored by your body, so it's time to dust off those gym shorts and get back to regular workouts if you want to flush all of the junk out of your system!

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