Summer time, when there are so many luscious fruit and veg around, is a great time for a fruit and vegetable detox.
I’m sure you know that fruits and vegetables are essential for your good health. They contain the vitamins, minerals, fiber that our bodies need to function efficiently and help keep us free from disease.
Researchers have found that populations whose diets are concentrated around plant foods like fruit, vegetables and legumes live longer and have less disease than people who eat refined foods so common in our fast paced world today.
Fruit and veggies are great detoxifiers and cleansers. They contain nutrients needed for our detox system to function efficiently.
People who eat refined foods are often deficient in nutrients that are critical for the efficiency of the liver detox pathways so toxins are not expelled from the body as they should be. Then they accumulate and can cause damage to our cells and tissues leading to disease.
Phytonutrients help with detox
It’s only in recent years that scientists have discovered that plant food contains hundreds of compounds known as phytonutrients or phytochemicals. These are chemicals that ocurr naturally in plants and have special disease fighting powers.
Whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices contain phytonutrients but they are particularly concentrated in fruits and vegetables. Some of them are the pigments that give fruit and vegetables their bright colors although some are found in white veg too.
Some phytonutrients help with detox too. For example, beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains which induce the Phase II liver detox enzymes. This is the part of the 2 step detox system that makes a toxin easier for the body to eliminate.
Cruciferous veg such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage contain phytonutrients with potent anti-cancer effects because they contain isothiocyanates that can activate a wide variety of enzymes that are essential in Phase II detox.
Many are antioxidants and are essential for the detox system because detoxification creates free radicals and antioxidants help to neutralize them.
It’s a fact that 80% of Americans don’t eat enough colored fruit and veg. The majority of people in the Western world struggle to eat their 5 portions of fruit and veg a day although researchers now say we should be eating 7 – 9 portions a day. How many do you eat?
Below I have included a fantastic infographic that shows you exactly where you can get these phytonutrients from.
Courtesy of: Natural Healthy Concepts
How to do a fruit and vegetable detox
One simple way of doing a fruit and vegetable detox is to focus on including one color each day in one or more of your meals each day for 5 days. Blend them into smoothies, juice them, eat them raw or steamed. Don’t forget to include the skins where most of the phytonutrients are concentrated.
You can get a more detailed plan in this post: Summer Fruit & Vegetable Detox Diet
Fruit and veg image credit