Give your liver and kidneys a helping hand with these naturally cleansing foods.
“High in potassium, beetroot supports the natural elimination of waste through your kidneys and bladder,” nutritionist Liesl Dohring, from Melbourne’s Natro health clinic, says. Beetroot is also high in antioxidants, which help offset free radical damage.
Due to its alginic acid content, seaweed binds to toxins in the body, which helps them to be excreted. “It comes in different forms, such as nori, dulse or kelp flakes, which are great on salads,” nutritionist Stephanie Malouf says.
According to the University of Maryland in the US, these tasty berries prevent bacteria from attaching to the walls of your urinary tract, helping prevent urinary and kidney infections. They’re also full of antioxidants to counteract free radical damage, and fibre to aid digestion.
This crunchy veg is high in potassium and water – two substances that support kidney function and waste elimination. A study from the University of Colorado in the US also found it can reduce inflammation and protect against fatty liver disease.
Steamed, baked or grilled artichokes are chock-full of the prebiotic fibre inulin, which binds to waste products and helps flush them from the bowels, Dohring says.
As well as keeping your digestive system in good nick, artichokes can also support liver function and the production of bile, which helps eliminate waste from the digestive tract.
The citric acid in lemon increases the production of salivary amylase in your mouth. Amylase helps your body break down starchy carbs, which means it’s essential for healthy digestion.
Not keen on lemon water? Squeeze some juice over your lunchtime salad instead.
Watercress and rocket salad
Watercress is high in antioxidants that help neutralise free radicals before they damage cells, while bitter green rocket stimulates the formation of bile in the liver and assists in the removal of toxins.
This summer fruit is loaded with manganese, a trace mineral that combats free radical damage and plays a key role in the production of detoxifying enzymes.
“Pineapple is also rich in bromelain, an important enzyme that breaks down protein, supports digestion and aids the absorption of nutrients,” Malouf says.
It might divide opinion with its polarising taste, but coriander is a detoxifying superhero.
Filled with antioxidant-rich flavonoids and polyphenols, it offers anti-inflammatory benefits and can also help remove toxins from your system.
“Asparagus is an excellent source of inulin, which helps feed the good bacteria living in your digestive tract,” Dohring says. It’s also full of folate, vitamin C and carotenoids, to support liver detoxification and assist the kidneys, bowel and skin when it comes to removing toxins.
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