10 Top Detoxifying Foods for Spring

Recently, I posted about the 5 Keys to a Great Spring Detox. If you can take a few days, a week, or even 3 weeks to do a gentle spring detox, I highly recommend it. Check out the post (5 Keys to a Great Spring Detox) for tips to get started on a detox that is a good fit for you.

If doing a detox isn’t your thing or you just can’t squeeze it in this spring, incorporating more detoxifying foods into your daily diet is a great strategy to lighten up and prep your body for the hot summer ahead. There are so many detoxifying foods and superfoods out there, but I’ve narrowed it down to my top 10 favorites for springtime.

Here are 10 top detoxifying foods to eat more of this spring:

1. Blueberries– they act as potent antibiotics which help to prevent infections and contain a natural form of aspirin to help reduce inflammation in the body. Along with their great taste, fiber, and tons of vitamins and minerals, blueberries also have antiviral activity and contain detoxifying nutrients known as proanthocyanadins.

Check out: Berry Frozen Yogurt

2. Beets– beets are red from betacyanin, a potent cancer fighter. Roasted beetsBeets are also loaded with betaine and folate which help lower homocysteine, an amino acid formed in the body that contributes to blood vessel damage. They also contain a blend of phytochemicals and minerals that help the body fight infection, purify the blood, and cleanse the liver. Beets are great in juice, smoothies, salads, or roasted.

Check out: Balsamic Roasted Beets and Carrot Beet Salad

3. Sesame seeds– these little seeds are potent detoxifiers thanks to high concentrations of the amino acids methionine and tryptophan which help the liver and kidneys convert toxic substances and alcohol to harmless compounds that can be easily eliminated. Ground sesame seeds are known as tahini paste.

Check out: Pumpkin Hummus and Creamy Avocado Kale Salad with Sesame

4. Lemons– these yellow detox fruits are loaded with vitamin C and Lemon Cucumber Spa Waterother antioxidants that help the liver convert toxic compounds to easily flush them out of the body. Lemons also help balance your body’s pH. Lemon juice is great in water and in salad dressings instead of vinegar.

Check out: Lemon Cucumber Spa Water and Tomato Cucumber Salad

5. Sprouts– alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, bean sprouts, radish sprouts. . . these sprouting plants are bursting with life and important phytochemicals that aid in liver detoxification better than their fully grown versions. Get them fresh or sprout your own then eat them on salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc.

Check out: Mason Jar Sprouting Lids- Sprout-Ease – Econo-Sprouter 3 Piece Toppers Set src=

6. Leafy greens–¬†collard greens, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, Washed kaledandelion greens, broccoli rabe, Swiss chard, watercress. . . get the point? All of these green leafies are loaded with fiber which helps clean out the colon. They are filled with sulfur, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C, and K which all help the liver detoxify harmful chemicals.

Check out: Quick and Easy Kale and Raspberry Spinach Quinoa Salad

7. Garlic– garlic is great. It contains allicin (just one of its many potent compounds) that helps to lower cholesterol, prevents blood clots, helps prevent weight gain, has anticancer properties, and oh yeah, helps increase the production of detoxification enzymes in the liver. Use garlic fresh or chopped to release its full potential. Raw is better than cooked when it comes to garlic, but either way, garlic is great.

Check out: Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Garlic

8. Legumes– beans and legumes are one of the best sources of fiber out there. The fiber in beans helps clean out the intestines, lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, protects the body against certain types of cancers, and regulates blood sugar levels.

Check out: Mexican Quinoa Salad with Avocado Dressing and Butternut Squash, Quinoa, and Kale Soup with White Beans

9. Cilantro– also known as fresh coriander, this herb is a potent heavy metal detoxifier. Chemical compounds in cilantro actually bind to heavy metals like mercury in the body and aid in proper elimination.

Check out: Cilantro Lime Sweet Potato Salad

10. Green tea– a potent source of antioxidants known as catechins, green tea helps to improve liver function to flush toxins out of the body. Drinking green tea, 1 to 3 cups a day in the springtime, will also increase hydration and make you feel lighter and more energetic.

Incorporating these foods will help you shed the excess of winter (think cookies, meat dishes, chocolate, etc.) and make you feel lighter and more vibrant for the spring and summer ahead. Go ahead, pick a few of these foods to add into your diet today.

Short on time or energy? Toss as many of these detoxifying foods as you’d like into a blender and make a delicious smoothie for breakfast, lunch, or a snack. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite detoxifying food that isn’t on my top 10 list? Leave a comment below!

Erin Harner

Erin Harner is an Integrative Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), author, and speaker based in Ithaca, NY. Erin melds functional medicine and culinary nutrition to help her clients uncover their unique diet and confidently cook healthy nourishing meals that meet the needs of their whole family. Learn about Erin's services and connect on Instagram.

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