How to Detox with Fresh Local Fruits and Veggies


When I was young, my Nana had the most amazing garden full of potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, peas, carrots, radishes, strawberries, raspberries... she even had a few stalks of corn! I ate peas from the pod, and young carrots I'd pulled from the ground and washed in the rain barrel. When we wanted potatoes for dinner we went out to the garden and dug a few up. To put it mildly, I was spoiled.

I think it was this yearly cycle of planting and growing and eating that turns me into Pavlov's dog every spring at the mere suggestion of locally grown fresh fruits and veggiesnot that I consider my quirky relationship to produce a bad thing. When you consider how much abuse our bodies take from the chemicals in the air and the products we use on a daily basis, the detoxing benefits of fresh, organic fruits and veggies is surely needed.

Since Nana doesn't have her garden anymore and I don't have the space for one, in the spring, summer and autumn, I rely on local farmers markets and nearby farms for organic fruits and veggies. Here are my five favorite detoxifying foods to get fresh from the farm.

Read more about why eating seasonally is better for you and the planet

Cruciferous Plants

Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, radishes, watercress, mustard plants are all members of this oh-so-good-for-you plant family. Compounds in these plants help the liver create enzymes that break down and eliminate toxins. There are tons of ways to eat these veggies. Add cabbage, watercress, radishes and mustard greens to salads or pile them on sandwiches. Munch on raw broccoli and cauliflower for a snack, or toss them in a stir-fry for dinner.

Beets

Sweet but low in calories, beets are great for detoxing your body. Packed with vitamin C and folate, this red veggie staves off free radicals and promotes healthy cell growth. Think pickled beets and Borscht (beet soup) are the only ways to eat this veg? Raw beets actually pack the biggest punch, so grate some on salads or add thin slices to a veggie sandwich or wrap. If you're already a fan of beets, top a bed of baby spinach with ribbons of raw beets for a tasty and beautiful salad.

Berries

Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, brambleberries... they're all so very yummy. And while the berry season is fleeting, the health benefits are lasting. Researchers at Tufts University tested 60 fruits and veggies for antioxidants and blueberries topped the list. Blueberries neutralize free radicals, improve the structure of veins and generally strengthen the cardiovascular system, protect against cancer development, and have been linked to healthy eyesight. Raspberries are another great antioxidant, but they also have important antimicrobial properties, which can prevent overgrowth bacteria and fungi, as well as a yeast linked to vaginal yeast infections and irritable bowel syndrome.

Tomatoes

There is nothing quite like a ripe, juicy tomato fresh from the field or a garden. Warm, juicy and sweet, you can almost taste the sunshine. But the health benefits are even better than the taste. The red skins of tomatoes are full of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals in the body. Not only can it detox your system immediately, lycopene may help prevent cancers. Just be sure to get your hands on organic tomatoes - they contain more lycopene (even organic ketchup has three times the lycopene than a non-organic product).

Carrots

Sure you can get them year-round, but fresh carrots are a totally different experience than carrots from storage. Since most of the good stuff is in the skin or just under it, don't peel your carrots if you can help it—if they're fresh, a good wash it all it will take. This root veggie is packed with carotene (which is converted to vitamin A by the body), vitamins B, C, D and E - all of which are antioxidants that protect the body from harmful free radicals. They're also a mild diuretic, so they'll help flush out your kidneys. The alkaline elements in carrots also help detox your blood, and maintain a neutral pH level.

Read more about the health benefits of carrots

So this spring, summer and autumn, eat to your heart's content! Just don't neglect legumes, grains and water: protein produces enzymes the liver requires to break down toxins, fiber helps remove waste from the body, and water keeps everything working properly.

Image: Melinda Shelton


By Cara Smusiak| August 18, 2014
Categories:  Eat
Keywords:  Live Locally

About the Author

Cara Smusiak

Cara Smusiak

Cara believes using natural products and eliminating harsh or synthetic chemicals leads to a healthier, happier lifestyle. She grew up in a family that recycled just about everything, avoided harsh cleaners and heavily-scented products, and often turned to holistic medicine. Cara has degrees in art history and journalism, and has taken classes in environmental toxicology and environmental geology. She is passionate about healthy and natural living, environmental awareness and policy, and holistic health care.

Add A Comment

Comment

Allowed HTML: <b>, <i>, <u>

Comments


What's Fresh

FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestYoutubeRss




 

RSS

In the Spotlight

  • Made Good

    MadeGood Granola Snacks come in 5 delicious flavors. They are free from nuts and 8 common allergens, are organic, non-GMO, and have a hidden serving of vegetables.


  • Herb-Pharm

    Herb Pharm makes high-quality liquid herbal products for the whole family. Founded in 1979, their products are made of plants & ethical choices, so they’re kind to both the body & the Earth.


  • Bigelow Tea

    For over 70 years, Bigelow Tea has perfected each recipe, then carefully put each teabag in a protective pouch - quality you can taste & smell.





Copyright © Agility Inc. 2018
    
Popup Image