Detox diets are important, but they don’t have to be complicated!  However, it is true that detox diets are necessary for most people at numerous points in their life. And there are numerous reasons why someone would want or need to go on a detox diet. For example, if you’ve recently had a cold, gained a few pounds or have felt especially fatigued, you might need a healthy and natural detox to get you back on track. While many people buy into the special detox creams or teas on the market, there are other, more simple ways to give your body a boost. Nature has provided us with plenty of naturally detoxing foods that can help our bodies fight bloating, constipation and fatigue. And it’s actually quite simple to include many of them in your daily diet.

Here are five detox foods that naturally cleanse your body:

1. Beets

“The word on the street is beet!” Beets have the ability to cleanse the blood, restore energy to the body, and naturally detox your blood and liver. They’re especially beneficial for detoxing during the winter months, when your body might feel weighed down. Beets can provide you with the immune boost you need, thanks to the many minerals they contain. By adding beets to your diet, you’ll be getting potassium, fiber, manganese, and folate. These nutrients will help improve blood flow, protect the blood vessels from damage, and prevent you from feeling fatigued.

Beets also contain compounds known as betalains, which help to neutralize toxins and heavy metals in the body. Additionally, beets contain a compound known as betaine, a triple methyl donor that helps the liver to chelate or “claw” (detoxify) nearly every problematic compound including heavy metals, plastics and synthetic chemicals. And this delicious detox root vegetable also contains colorful betalains (similar to dopamine), which help to protect the brain from Parkinsons.

You can use beets in juicing recipes. Alternatively, you can eat them cooked. Try eating them with apple cider vinegar for even more health benefits! And, don’t forget, you can eat beets greens! Just be sure to buy organic beets to give your body the best detox experience as possible.

2. Leafy Green Veggies

“When you’re green on the inside, you’re clean on the inside.”  Chlorophyll–the amazing compound that gives plants their green color–does in our bodies what it does for the Earth:  it cleans and deodorizes.  Detoxifying is about cleaning up the messy build-up from eating conventionally grown foods, drinking treated water, or even driving in traffic every day.  Chlorella is the highest plant source of chlorophyll, but adding some spinach, kale, or romain lettuce to your diet is a start.  Try fresh juices, too.  You’ll see the bright green color in the juice from the foods you put through the machine.  That means the chlorophyll is in the juice, ready to restore your blood and clean out toxins.

3. Berries

Berries are loaded with antioxidants. You can eat them as a snack, sprinkle them on top of your oatmeal, or add them to a homemade smoothie. They have strong anti-inflammatory benefits that help strengthen your body’s immune system. Goji berries have traditionally been used to improve the digestive system, aid in weight loss, and support longevity. They contain powerful antioxidants. Acai berries are known to fight harmful organisms in the body, give the immune system a natural boost, and promote skin health. Acai and goji are superfood berries that are a great addition to your daily diet. The combination of berry fiber, anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants make berries an excellent detoxification food group that can replace heavier, more-caloric foods while providing benefits.  Try this easy acai berry recipe, Acai Bowl, which includes chia seeds, too. It makes for a fantastic detox breakfast!

4. Fennel

Fennel is known for its ability to soothe an irritated digestive system. This sweet and crunchy food provides the body with a healthy dose of fiber and Vitamin C to boost the immune system. Fennel also has natural antibacterial properties that work to rid the body of disease and infection. It can be eaten raw, cooked, or steeped into hot tea. You may also try sprinkling fennel on your salads. Fennel can also be consumed through fennel essential oil, which contains an even stronger dose of ingredients. Fennel and its essential oils contain antioxidants and powerful anti-inflammatories, including quercetin and limonene. Furthermore, fennel is one of the best natural foods to fight chronic headaches.

Fennel is often an ingredient in homemade sausage recipes, so you may recognize the taste. You can also compare its taste to that of licorice, though it’s not as strong of a flavor. Fennel tastes somewhat sweeter than licorice or anise.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are extremely high in fiber. Known as a demulcent, they contain about 5-6 grams of fiber per tablespoon. In fact, snacking on a couple of spoonfuls of chia seeds can provide you with half of your daily fiber needs. Thanks to their fiber content, chia seeds help to promote bowel regularity. They also slow down the digestion of sugar, regulate your cholesterol levels, and help you feel full longer. Chia seeds don’t have much of a taste, but you can add them to a smoothie for an extra boost. You can also whip up homemade recipes, including chia seed pancakes and Coconut Chia Seed Pudding for breakfast! Additionally, you can soak chia seeds in a nut milk to make chia pudding. The seeds soak up liquid and leave behind a gelatinous, pudding-like substance.

However, when you consume chia seeds, be sure to drink plenty of water, too! While chia seeds are incredibly healthy, they can make your stomach upset if you don’t drink enough water when eating them. This, however, is a good opportunity to drink more water! Doing so is also a great way to help your body detox.

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