Detoxification is associated with your spirit and the color white. Your liver is your primary organ responsible for detoxification. Your body’s detoxification system removes waste and toxic substances from your body. It involves metabolic processes through which toxins are converted into compounds that are ultimately less toxic and more easily excreted. Detoxification can be nutritional, and it also refers to the metabolism of drugs, waste products from your normal metabolism and from gut bacteria, and pollutants. It can even include emotionally toxic experiences, relationships, and thoughts.
If your detoxification system is not functioning optimally, you can experience a build-up of toxins. This can include a variety of substances like toxic metals, pesticides, unsafe additives from food products, and more. A toxin is any substance that can adversely affect the function or structure of cells in your body, and this can contribute to a variety of symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, dyslipidemia, skin problems, headaches, frequent allergies, and depression, among others.
Cruciferous vegetables, garlic and onions, and foods containing fiber can support your liver and detoxification.
Did you know?
- Cruciferous vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, and allium species of plant foods like garlic and onions may help protect you from liver cancer.
- Sulforaphane is a phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables, and it may help prevent cancer by contributing to the detoxification of chemical compounds and by improving antioxidant activity in your body.
- Garlic and onions contain organosulfur compounds, which are important for the activity of enzymes that help remove toxins from your body.
- Dietary fiber intake may help prevent liver disease.
- Antioxidants play an important role in liver health.
White foods that support your spirit and detoxification include:
- Cauliflower is a rich source of glucosinolates, sulfur-containing phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anticancer activity.
- Glucosinolates can upregulate the activity of phase II detoxification enzymes.
- Sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate compound found in cauliflower, and isothiocyanates are formed from glucosinolates.
- Select cauliflower that is clean with a creamy white color. It should have a compact-looking curd without separated buds. Heads of cauliflower that are surrounded by thick green leaves will be fresher, and while the cauliflower florets are the part of the plant we are most familiar with eating, the stems and leaves are edible too.
- Garlic has antioxidant properties that can benefit liver and kidney function.
- Garlic is a rich source of organosulfur compounds. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chelation, and liver-protecting effects.
- Organosulfur compounds can upregulate genes and enzymes needed for detoxification.
- The active component in garlic that provides a great deal of its health-promoting properties is allicin.
- Fresh garlic is more flavorful and will provide maximum nutritional benefits. Select garlic that is plump with unbroken skin; it should feel firm and not be damp. Avoid purchasing garlic that is soft, moldy, or sprouting.
Examples of other white foods that support detoxification include coconut oil, onions, turnips, and parsnips.
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