This easy delicious chopped detox salad is loaded with ingredients to remove accumulated toxins and excess weight and helps to support the body’s detox pathways.
Have you been hibernating all winter eating comfort foods?
Just like you spring clean your house also need to spring clean your body by eating foods that are in season. Spring is my favourite season one that signals a season of new beginnings and renewal.
After sharing my story with the world last week about my journey to start my family, this Spring takes on a whole new meaning for me – one of rejuvenation, restoration and growth.
In Spring our bodies naturally sense an opportunity for a fresh, clean start. An opportunity to cleanse ourselves of any accumulated toxins and to to rejuvenate. As we awaken and re-emerge from a long winter slumber, [and this winter felt incredibly long], most people including myself experience a renewed sense of joy and energy. However for many people Spring also means allergies and the common cold as we switch between seasons.
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Eating in season foods will help your body to adjust to the changing climate and will help your body defend itself against illness that are typical at that time of year. When you eat in season you provide your body with more nutrients.
Spring is the season that you should add bitter and/or cholagogue [pronounced koh-luh-gog] foods to your diet. Cholagogues are foods or herbs that help your liver to release bile. Some examples include dandelion, mustard greens, Daikon radish, artichokes and lemons. Since bile is a fatty substance, cholagogues aid the cleansing process because they drain excess fats from the liver & blood and deposit them, in the form of bile, into the digestion tract
If you can’t find dandelion greens, which can be hard to find, the easiest way to get it is in a herbal tea form which you can find at your local health food store. You can check out this post where I talk more about the health benefits of dandelion which include a delicious recipe.
The arrival of the warmer weather often makes us crave lighter fare instead of heavy foods that are essential during the colder months. months. You might find your appetite decrease and actually craving healthier fresh foods like fruit, and salads. This is usually your body’s way of letting you know that it’s time for some spring-cleaning. In fact, spring is a perfect time of year for a cleanse.
So Why Detox?
Teas and juice cleanses are pretty trendy right now, but detoxification is really something that you should doing for your body on a daily basis. Tired of these ‘fix all’ teas and cleanses in a bottle I decided it was time to share the foods that will assist in cleansing your your body daily and help you to fight disease.
Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to resort to extreme measures to detox your body.
Your kidneys, liver and skin neutralize and eliminate toxins from your body on their own every day, however in order to keep your immune system strong and make it resistant to disease it’s important to give your organs a nudge as often as you can. Thankfully this is a lot easier than you think. With each bite of the right foods daily you are making your organs stronger, your hair shinier, and your skin more youthful.
Here are 3 Detox Foods to Eat in Season
I’ve actually never liked radishes. I always thought they were a bit of an acquired taste. Recently I discovered radishes and my taste buds must have changed because I actually enjoy eating them now. They’re a peppery vegetable that add a nice crunch to salads. If you want a punch to your salads, definitely add them in.
Radishes are rich in nutrients and fiber. They protect the liver making this an excellent detox food, and they also have anti-inflammatory properties that may even protect you from cancer.
Radishes are one pretty veg to look at. Their bright red hue comes from the red plant pigment, anthocyanin which is also found in red cabbage and blueberries. This pigment doesn’t just give these veggies a pretty face, but also act as a powerful antioxidant in the body that prevents cardiovascular disease by protecting our cells from damage.
Radishes are part of the cruciferous family that provides a unique molecule called indol-3-carbinol (I3C). I3C, (indol-3-carbinol) also found in broccoli reduces inflammation in the body, detoxifies our body and promotes cellular repair.
Radishes are an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is a mineral which supports fluid balance in your body by acting as a diuretic which helps to beat bloating.
Radishes also help your body with phase 2 liver detoxification due to the special compound known as RsPHGPx. This helps to disarms harmful chemicals and other cancer-causing molecules.
Broccoli is one of the most powerful veggies for keeping your immune system strong and has a positive impact on your body’s detoxification system. The trio of nutrients glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin and glucobrassicin neutralize and eliminate unwanted toxins.
Toxins are detoxified in our body through a two-step process. The liver decides which things are beneficial to your body and which aren’t. This is where phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification come in. If it’s Spidy senses go off and it finds something toxic lurking around, first, in phase 1 detoxification it separates the bad items from your blood. Then in phase 2, it clears your body of the suspect compounds by hauling them away in bile (the fluid that is secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder which helps you to digest food).
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to eat a variety of whole foods that will help to keep this process humming along and that protect your liver from harmful toxins during this detoxification process.
Broccoli is a power food that supports both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification. The glucosinolates in broccoli assist the first step in detoxification (called Phase I) and its sulforaphane content supports the second step (called Phase II).
If you’re trying to release that winter weight you definitely want to add broccoli into the mix. To reduce weight we need to eat foods that offer us the biggest vitamin and mineral bang for our buck. Broccoli is also high in fiber which increases that feeling of fullness and soaks up the toxin dumped into your intestines by your liver.
Broccoli contains a ample amounts of protein and is one of the richest vegetable sources of calcium, iron and magnesium. Moreover, broccoli boasts substantial amounts of vitamin A and contains more vitamin C than an orange!
Vitamin C is excellent for your immune system and your skin. It can slow down accelerated aging on the skin. Vitamin C is also very important in the formation of collagen, a structural protein that helps to retain skins natural youthfulness and appearance.
3. Red cabbage
Cabbage has diuretic properties help rid your body of excess liquid, carrying toxins along with it. Cabbage has an abundance of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, B vitamins and folate. Like other cruciferous veggies, cabbage is also sulfur-rich, helping your liver break down toxins so they can be more easily expelled.
Cabbage in general is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect against cancer. If you suffer from inflammation, cabbage contains an abundance of anti-inflammatory nutrients to ward off inflammation in the body. One of them is anthocyanins that are also found in radishes mentioned earlier, which is a type of polyphenol especially rich in red cabbage. One of my fave recipes is this tangy coleslaw to go with these easy fish tacos.
Contain enzymes help to clear the digestive tract and cleanse the liver which is why I’ve included them in the salad dressing. Citrus fruits like lemon, limes and grapefruits have powerful detoxing capabilities but lemons and grapefruits especially trump all others. They have a high water content which makes them the perfect ally for flushing toxins and unwanted substances from your body.
They also fill your body with Vitamin C, a key detoxing and immune boosting vitamin, while nourishing your body with other vital vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, fiber and potassium. Lemon specifically helps to support the liver in detoxification.
An easy easy way to sneak in more lemons is in this fat burning drink.
Rainbow Detox Salad
FOR THE SALAD
- 2 cups broccoli
- 1 cup red cabbage roughly chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 cup carrots diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro [optional]
- ½ cup pepitas or nuts of choice
- 1/3 cup dried fruit of choice [cranberries apricots]
FOR THE DRESSING
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar [optional]
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder [or 1 garlic clove minced]
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
FOR THE SALAD
- Chop all the ingredients and add to a large bowl. I threw some of the broccoli and cauliflower into my food processor to break them down a bit.
FOR THE DRESSING
- Add all the ingredients to a mason jar and shake or add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until combined. To increase the flavour you can refrigerate the dressing for up to an hour but you can also eat it immediately.
- Toss the salad with the dressing.