The role of fruit and vegetables in our diet has never been more important. Our bodies have to continually detox a wide range of pollutants in our food, water and environment. A high fruit and vegetable diet helps support and rev up the detox system so helping to detox your body.
More and more research is showing that a high fruit and vegetable diet contains the nutrients that ward off all manner of ill-health and diseases from cancer, to premature aging.
It’s generally agreed by Functional Medicine and Naturopathic Doctors that the underlying causes of most disease are toxicity and deficiency. We need to feed our cells with proper nutrition if they are to function and detox themselves properly.
Fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes that nourish the body, support the detox pathways and encourage the release of toxins.
Related reading: Easy Fruit and Vegetable Detox
Fruits and vegetables that activate the Phase I liver detox pathway are:
- Cruciferous vegetables – Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, bok choy, cress, mustard, horseradish, turnips, rutabagas (swede), kohlrabi, watercress, arugula (rocket)
- Vitamin C rich foods – peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, citrus fruit (not grapefruit which inhibits Phase 1)
- Oranges & tangerines, lemons (but not grapefruit)
Fruits and vegetables that activate the Phase II pathway are:
An abundance of fruit and vegetables will ensure adequate glutathione, a primary substance needed for detox. Specific foods that stimulate this pathway are:
- cruciferous vegetables, avocados, walnuts, asparagus, watermelon, orange peel oil, dill seeds & caraway seeds.
- Garlic & Onions
- Red peppers
Organic Fruit & Vegetables
The vitamins and mineral contained in the fruit and vegetables come from the soil so it’s important to buy produce that that is grown in soil that has not been over farmed or depleted of its precious nutrients.
Organic produce is better than conventionally grown because organic growers take care of the soil and you are not putting more toxins into your body from the pesticide residues on the food.
Sweep out toxins
Fruit and vegetables contain bulk and fiber which acts like a broom to sweep the intestines clean. Fiber helps to regulate the blood sugar keeping us balanced both physically and emotionally.
Talking of blood sugar, according to a new study eating mangoes regularly can help prevent diabetes and insulin resistance. Certain substances in mangoes act in a similar manner to diabetes and cholesterol drugs.
Apples and oranges contain pectin which helps to absorb fats and toxins from the digestive system.
Cleansers and Regenerators
Basically fruit are cleansers and vegetables are regenerators and builders. Researchers have shown that cells can regenerate themselves either by replacement with a weaker cell or by replacement with a stronger cell. A high fresh fruit & vegetable diet promotes healthy cell regeneration.
The best fruits for cleansing are:
apples, pears, oranges, watermelon, grapes and lemon.
The most valuable vegetable cleansers are:
beets (beetroot), carrots, celery, cucumber, spinach, chard, and watercress.
Green vegetable juices are rich in chlorophyll which helps with bowel cleansing.
Some good cleansing combination juices are:
Watercress and spinach
Apple, carrot and celery
Beets ( beetroot) and cucumber
Acid Alkaline Balance
The majority of people eat too much protein, fatty and processed foods which are highly acid forming. An acidic body has been linked to fatigue, a weakened immune system, arthritis and other degenerative diseases and even cancer.
A high fruit and vegetable diet helps to supply the minerals which have an alkalizing effect on your body and creates an environment that enables your cells to detox.
Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables for optimum health
Eating a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables supplies your body with a range of natural plant chemicals known as phytochemicals that have a host of health boosting qualities.
These phytochemicals are what give the fruit and vegetables their amazing colors. Different phytochemicals have different effects in our bodies so it’s important to eat as many different colored fruit and vegetables as you can.
Many phytochemicals are anti-oxidants which are needed in the detox process and to combat the free radicals created in the body during normal metabolism.
You can read more about the Rainbow Diet here:
Detox Diet: Eat A Rainbow For Optimum Health
Raw fruit and vegetables contain an energy and vitality that is destroyed by cooking. When you eat them the energy is transferred to your cells which helps them push out the waste products which if left to accumulate will interfere with its function.
Some health practitioners feel that a raw food diet is the only natural human diet and that cooked food is a major cause of disease and suffering. Yet research has discovered that some nutrients are better absorbed from vegetables when it is lightly cooked.
The best option then seems to have a diet that is high in both raw fruit and cooked vegetables.There is no doubt that whether you opt for cooked or raw a diet high fresh fruit and vegetable diet will help you detox your body.
When it comes to detoxing, does drinking alkaline water help or accelerate the process? If you are consuming copious amounts of fruits and vegetables are there any supplements that would help or accelerate the detoxing process?
Hi Dr Mac, it’s claimed that drinking alkaline water can help the cells detoxify altnough I do not know of any published scientific study that proves this. Nutritional supplements that contain the nutrients known to help support the Phase 1 & Phase II detox pathways will help the detox process if those nutrients are lacking in the person taking them.