By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC
It’s that time of year when you are probably consuming more sugar and alcohol than usual. Detox the toxins as much as possible through the holiday season so that you don’t have so much work to do come the New Year.
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Here are the ABCs of a few of my favorite cleansing foods:
High in fiber, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamin E, almonds help to purify the blood and work well in cleansing the intestines of impurities.
Before hitting up your next holiday party, grab a handful of raw almonds. They’ll fill you up so you’re less likely to indulge in the heavy finger foods and alluring sweets.
Apples have an abundance of powerful nutrients. They contain phenomenal fiber, many vitamins and minerals, and helpful flavonoids, such as phlorizin, which increases bile production, helping to detox the liver. Apples also contain pectin, a fiber, which helps to detox metals and food additives from your body through your intestines.
Slice up some apples for a fulfilling snack. Dip them in almond butter if you need a more satiating snack.
Avocados lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels, helping to block toxicity from your blood. They contain a nutrient called glutathione, which blocks at least 30 different carcinogens, while helping the liver to detoxify dozens of synthetic chemicals.
Make guacamole for a holiday party; try sliced avocado on whole grain toast for breakfast!
Beets contain a unique mixture of phytochemicals and minerals that make them superheroes when it comes to detoxification; these compounds purify the blood and help assist the liver in ridding toxins. They actually help improve the functionality of the liver, which is awesome news for those who have liver disease or who have spent many decades over-consuming alcohol.
Try my delicious Borscht recipe, a fitting color for Christmas.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 medium size carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 small parsnip, cut into thin 2-inch strips
- 3 medium size beets, cut into thin 2-inch strips
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 small cabbage, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 3 medium size potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- Herbamare and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Balsamic or red wine vinegar
- In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onion, carrots, parsnip and beets until onion is translucent.
- Stir in the garlic and bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds. Add broth, cabbage, potatoes, Herbamare and pepper.
- Simmer, covered until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.
Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, and cabbage are all part of the cruciferous vegetable family. These vegetables contain sulfur and other phytonutrients that do a phenomenal job at clearing toxins out of every pathway in your body. These amazing veggies help to jumpstart the liver’s production of cleansing enzymes as well.
Be sure to include cauliflower and broccoli on your holiday veggie tray. Consider hummus or a yogurt dip, which are both healthier than most commercial dips.