This is a great time to give your body a healthy, fresh start! If you're thinking about lowering your weight, ‘eating clean’ is a great first step. Add these 10 foods to your grocery basket and you'll get three terrific benefits:
1. Lots of super-healthy liquids to flush out the body while pouring in nutrients.
2. Fiber to keep your GI tract fit.
3. Foods that energize cleansing enzymes in the liver, your body's built-in detox center.
The Top 10 (we always suggest buying organic)
Green Leafy Vegetables
Eat them raw, throw them into a broth, add them to juices. Their chlorophyll helps swab out environmental toxins (heavy metals, pesticides) and protects the liver.
You need to keep the fluids flowing to wash out the body and fresh lemonade is ideal. Its Vitamin C, considered the detox vitamin, helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that's easily flushed away.
Put a handful into salads, soups, and sandwiches. The peppery little green leaves have a diuretic effect that helps move things through your system. And cress is rich in minerals too.
Add it to everything -- salads, sauces, spreads. In addition to the bulb's cardio benefits, it activates liver enzymes that help filter out junk.
This antioxidant-rich brew is one of the healthiest ways to get more fluids into your system. Bonus: It contains catechins, which speed up liver activity.
Available at your health-food store, sprouts pack 20 to 50 times more cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating activity into each bite than the grown-up broccoli vegetable.
They're credited with protecting liver cells from the damaging effects of alcohol and other chemicals. For a concentrated form, try tahini, the sesame seed paste used in Asian cooking and hummus.
There are two main types of detoxifying enzymes in the liver; this potent veggie helps activate both of them. Coleslaw is a summer picnic staple.
A plant that's rich in soluble fiber, like oat bran, but more versatile. It mops up toxins (cholesterol too) and helps clear them out. Stir powdered psyllium into juice to help cleanse your colon, or have psyllium-fortified Bran Buds for breakfast.
They're full of almost all the good things above: Vitamin C, fiber, nutritious fluids, and all kinds of antioxidants. Besides, nothing tastes better than a ripe mango, fresh berries or a perfect pear.
Toss dark, leafy greens in hot, garlicky oil for a cleansing and delicious dish
Easy Wilted Garlic-Sesame Salad
4 servings, about 65 calories each
1 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. spinach, stemmed,
or 1 lb. Swiss chard, stems sliced, leaves torn
or 1 lb. mixture of spinach and watercress
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. sesame seeds for garnish
Warm oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir until lightly browned, about 45 seconds. Add greens (do in two batches, if necessary) and toss until just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, plate and enjoy.