3 Superfoods To Help With a Natural Detox

The nourishment we choose to fuel our bodies with has a profound impact on how we function and feel. When we indulge in foods that may not best align with us, we might find ourselves feeling less vibrant, bloated or off balance. Yet, there's an empowering remedy at our fingertips - a natural detox.

In mindfully choosing foods that support our body's innate detoxification process, we can gently guide ourselves back to a state of wellness. The transformation begins on your plate, with each wholesome choice echoing throughout your body. Embrace the power of nature's pantry and how it can uplift and rejuvenate you from the inside out.

What Is a Natural Detox?

A natural detox is as unique as we are, often defined as the act of consciously embracing positive lifestyle habits to counterbalance past choices that might not have been in our best health interests.

We've all had moments where we've indulged a bit too much, be it an extra slice of cake or one more celebratory toast. While these moments can leave us feeling lethargic and subpar, they also present an opportunity to recalibrate through a natural detox - a commitment to prioritise our health and consciously avoid what doesn't serve our wellness needs or goals.

Nourishing our bodies with what they truly need is a form of self-care and a way to cleanse our digestive system and facilitate healing. Striving to meet our unique vitamin and mineral needs supports our body's ability to rejuvenate, cleanse, and function optimally. It's about fostering a harmonious relationship with food and celebrating its power to nourish and heal.

How Does the Body Detoxify Itself?

The body’s natural detox process starts in the liver. Our livers metabolise everything we consume, from foods to medications. The liver breaks things down into forms that make them bioavailable, which means that the body can fully utilise them. 

The liver converts things like vitamins and minerals into the foods that we eat and sends them through our bloodstream, where they can be delivered to our organs. It uses a similar process for things like medications, supplements and alcohol. 

This process creates byproducts that may be harmful to the body. The liver works to filter them out and eliminate them as waste products. It creates an antioxidant compound called glutathione that works to protect the whole body from the damaging effects of exposure to toxins, pollutants and volatile metabolic byproducts.

How Can I Tell If I Need a Detox?

When our bodies start to feel off balance, that might be a sign telling us that it’s time for a detox and a return to healthier habits. It’s easy to tell when we aren’t feeling our best, and when we consider the circumstances, it’s often easy to determine why.

You’ve Fallen Out of Healthy Habits

Striving for perfection in our daily choices can be an overwhelming pursuit. Balancing a healthy lifestyle while still savouring life's sweet moments – like enjoying a cupcake or a slice of pizza – doesn't have to be a tug-of-war. These are all very necessary parts of enjoying life! 

However, when indulgence becomes the norm rather than the exception, we might notice a shift in how we feel. This is our body's gentle nudge, a reminder that we might be overlooking its needs. It's a signal to reassess and realign our choices with our wellness goals.

Remember, it's about cultivating a nourishing balance that serves both our health and our happiness. It's not about perfection, but about nurturing a harmonious relationship with our bodies and honouring our needs.

You Feel Bloated or Gassy

Digestive upset can be a sign that our gut bacteria is out of balance. This usually happens when we aren’t eating enough foods with beneficial bacteria and fibre. Probiotics make it easier for our bodies to digest food, and fibre helps to move waste through the gut.

Processed foods are often very low in beneficial bacteria and fibre, and a diet high in processed foods is unlikely to contain most of what the body needs to maintain its health. Gas and bloating are signs that the digestive system needs more support.

Constipation is a symptom that may occur in conjunction with low energy levels. A healthy adult should have a minimum of three bowel movements a week. Sudden changes in bowel movements can indicate issues with digestive health.

You Catch Colds More Easily

The immune system is closely tied to the gut. If the gut isn’t functioning the way it should, it’s likely that the immune system will work extra hard to compensate. Supporting the health of your gut can also help to boost your immune system. In addition to supporting the gut, our bodies also need immune-supporting vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium. 

Your Energy Levels Are Low 

Low energy levels can contribute to unwanted weight gain, obesity, lack of mental focus, reduced stamina and even poor work performance. The foods we eat are supposed to provide our bodies with energy. After a meal, we should have the energy to move on to the next portion of our day. 

We should never feel tired after a meal. If the body is struggling to efficiently metabolise the vitamins and healthy fats that give us energy, this could be a sign of a sluggish digestive system struggling to contend with the build up of waste and gas. 

What Is a Detox Diet?

Detox diet programs often fall into the category of ‘fad diets’, offering short-term solutions that may not be sustainable or enjoyable. Not everyone craves a breakfast of celery juice and lemon water every day – and a juice cleanse might not offer the protein or carbohydrates our bodies need to thrive.

There will be days when our bodies yearn for fresh fruit, hearty oatmeal, or a slice of whole grain toast. These wholesome, nutritious foods should never be sacrificed in the name of detoxification.

Rather than tethering ourselves to a rigid "detox system," let's shift our focus towards embracing positive, sustainable lifestyle changes that put our wellness front and centre. By making our bodies' needs a priority, hydrating adequately, moderating alcohol consumption, and relishing the diversity of whole foods, we create a natural rhythm of health and vitality.

Rather than viewing a food-based detox as a restrictive diet, let's reframe it as a journey back to wellness. It's about cultivating a lifestyle that inherently supports our wellbeing, a daily ritual that celebrates balance and nourishment. It's not about short-term fixes, but about creating lasting habits that honour our body's needs and foster enduring wellness.

3 Superfoods To Help with a Natural Detox

Prioritising whole foods in our diets will always have significant health benefits. The things we eat impact our overall health in many ways, and our bodies will feel the positive effects when we consistently choose foods that provide natural support. These versatile foods are very easy to incorporate into our daily routines, and they don’t require a lot of effort to prepare. 

1. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are very similar foods. They both belong to a group of plants called alliums, which also includes chives, leeks, and scallions. Often, you may see the two used together in dishes because their complementary flavours enhance each other. 

Alliums help to support liver function, and the liver is what acts as the hub of the body’s detoxification system. Onions and garlic produce high amounts of sulphur amino acids. The liver needs these amino acids to efficiently detoxify itself.

Garlic and onion are very versatile ingredients that work well in almost any type of cuisine. It’s easy to toss them into salad, stir fry, curry, pasta sauce and even a roast dinner. 

2. Green Tea (Including Matcha)

Green tea, matcha, and many other herbal teas are very high in antioxidant compounds. Antioxidant compounds work to protect our bodies from the dangers of free radicals and environmental toxins that can damage our healthy cells. 

Antioxidants sacrifice themselves when they come into contact with free radicals. Their sacrifice can work to protect the healthy cells of your body that may have otherwise taken the brunt of the damage. 

All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants in varying concentrations. Green tea is one of the most robust sources of antioxidants and plant based compounds that work to protect the body from oxidative stress. 

3. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are full of antioxidants and fibre. They also have a high water content, which contributes to our daily hydration goals. All leafy greens are suitable, but some are slightly better than others. Spinach and kale contain far more essential trace nutrients than lettuce, which makes them ultimately more beneficial for the body. 

A lot of wellness enthusiasts choose to get their daily greens in the form of green juice or a green smoothie. It’s a quick way to consume a large amount of greens and some people find it to be the most convenient option.

Some may not prefer the taste of green juice, and that’s perfectly okay! We all have our own unique preferences and palettes, and it is always possible to optimise your diet to align with foods that are best aligned with you. Adding a lot of fruit to green juice can disguise the veggie-heavy flavour and make the smoothie sweeter. 

Alternatively, there’s always the option of eating a green salad or a few extra servings of green vegetables. Incorporating more greens into our diets is the most important thing – and we can always be flexible in how we do this. 

What About Natural Detox Supplements?

Detox supplements can work in conjunction with a healthy diet and mindful lifestyle choices to support the body through the detox process, often containing a blend of digestive enzymes and herbs.

These enzymes assist in breaking down food, potentially reducing gas production and thus, bloating. Herbs like ginger, fennel or peppermint, traditionally used to soothe the digestive tract, can also be found in these formulas, contributing to relief from gas and bloating. Always check the ingredients of a detox supplement before you purchase, and verify that the ingredients are proven to work. 

In Conclusion: A Natural Detox Can be Easy

A natural detox involves giving the body what it needs to detoxify itself. Changing our diets to prioritise health and wellness is an important part of that process. Natural supplements can give the body a boost in the right direction during a natural detox, and they may work to address side effects like bloating. Listen to your body, prepare a healthy lunch and trust the journey!


22.5: The Liver as a Detox Facility | Chemistry for Changing Times

The Gut: Where Bacteria and Immune System Meet | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Protective role of Siberian onions against toxin-induced liver dysfunction: an insight into health-promoting effects | Food & Function (RSC Publishing)

Recent Advances in the Understanding of the Health Benefits and Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Green Tea Polyphenols