[Guest Post by Joana from TheJuiceChief.com]
Have you ever considered how much toxic food we put into our bodies, day in and day out?
If you think about it very carefully, you’d be surprised—and probably scared out of your wits. That’s because we actually take in so much toxic stuff you wonder how you’re able to get through it all.
The fact is that you don’t go through that daily ordeal unscathed. It takes a toll on your body. It stresses your digestive tract and overworks your immune system.
That’s why the idea of a vegetable detox makes so much sense. We take breaks from work, with short rest periods during the workday and an entire day or two to relax during the weekend.
That’s also what we need to do with our bodies. We need time to let our system get rid of the toxins, just as we get rid of the stress and tension during vacations. Vegetables are cleansing foods that can help our body’s detox.
Best Vegetables for a Vegetable Detox
Vegetables can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Here is a great guide for choosing the right organic fruit and vegetables for doing a juice detox.
Below I’ve also compiled a list of vegetables that help your vegetable detox.
Beets taste surprisingly sweet, and that’s not an adjective you usually apply to a vegetable.
They are also very healthy (it’s a vegetable, after all). Beets are loaded with antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein, which the American Optometric Association recommends because they lower your chance of getting chronic eye disease like cataracts.
You should also include the leaves when you’re blending it with other veggies since this part contains calcium and iron (good for the bones), as well as the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene.
Cabbage has a high water content that makes it inherently good for flushing toxins out of the body. This inexpensive vegetable also contains lots of folate and vitamin C to support your nerve and immune function.
Kale may be a bit intense, but it’s very healthy for you, and it provides plenty of folate and iron. It also provides vitamin C, K, and other B vitamins, as well as pro-vitamin A.
If kale’s a bit too much, spinach may be a better substitute. It’s very healthy (see the Popeye cartoons for proof). It also works better as a juice ingredient than kale because it tastes sweeter and blends more smoothly.
Celery is another popular detoxing vegetable, due to its high water content. It’s also a diuretic, containing plenty of potassium as well.
Many people already know that this veggie offers a plethora of health benefits, as it’s chock-full of antioxidants and vitamins. Broccoli is a superfood and stands out above many of the other common vegetables.
If you are thinking of detoxing your body, broccoli should be at the top of your grocery list. Perfect for soups and as a cooked side dish, broccoli is an ideal part of the 0,1,2,3 Diet Plan.
Ever since it was touted as a superfood back in the 1930s, people have been debating the degree of health benefit obtained from consuming wheatgrass. What’s not up for debate is that it is healthy. It’s even been shown to help with GI issues, so it’s great for detoxing.
However, unlike many other vegetables on this list, the best way to ingest it is by juicing it. The trick with wheatgrass is juicing it correctly, as most juicers are not very suitable. So to get the best results it’s recommended that you look at getting a specialized wheatgrass juicer.
Overall wheatgrass (just like broccoli above) is considered one of the most vital detoxing vegetables you will find. It truly makes for a great detox juice because it counters many of the toxins in your system and it will also help purify your liver exceptionally well.
There’s some discussion about whether ginger is a vegetable or fruit. If it’s a fruit, it shouldn’t be on this list, right? Well, technically, it’s a vegetable, so it counts.
It helps with arthritis, helps prevent cancer, and lowers cholesterol. It even helps with digestion. It also helps flavor food. Asian cuisine is renowned for its heavy use of ginger in stir-frys. If you aren’t using ginger in your meals, you should start to do so.
Carrots are healthy and can help fight cancer. They are also known as an excellent source of vitamin A. Other essential vitamins and minerals include: potassium, manganese, fiber, zinc, vitamin E and Vitamin K just to name a few.
Here’s a fun fact, did you know that people first grew carrots as medicine, not food? So yes, carrots are healthy and should be included in any detox you are thinking of doing.
This vegetable is nice to look at, which explains why so many just see it as a garnish. But it offers a lot more.
The many nutrients parsley offers include a massive dose of Vitamin K for bone strength and potential Alzheimer’s prevention, vitamin C (3 times the amount you get in oranges) and vitamin A (47% DV). So it’s not just pretty, it has plenty of health benefits too!
Well, it’s technically a fruit even though most people seem to regard it as a vegetable. But people aren’t wrong in believing that cucumber is healthy. Cucumbers contain plant chemicals called phytonutrients that protect your body and prevent diseases.
Also, they are naturally low in carbs, sodium, fat, cholesterol, and calories. Being that they are 95% water and contain compounds that help remove wastes from your system, cucumbers are a great detoxing vegetable.
12. Sweet Potatoes.
These are edible roots, and they offer lots of potassium as well as vitamins A and C. They are also a fat-free starch.
Sweet potatoes are so nutritious that some argue that it is the most nutritious vegetable.
Lettuce offers minerals such as calcium and potassium, anti-oxidants, and many other vitamins. The taste of lettuce is also quite mild, so it can easily be included in meals such as soups or as a mixed salad.
Also known as coriander, this vegetable offers plenty of potassium and calcium, along with vitamins A, C, and K. It fights off cancer as well as infections.
A bit like parsley it is sometimes considered the forgotten vegetable, as many consider it as nothing more than a garnish, but in reality this vegetable can and is used in plenty of cuisines, none more so that Asian.
You’re better off with the colored varieties than the white ones, which is less nutritious. But, they all have antioxidants that protect your cells from damage and help fight cancer. That’s always a good thing.
Always Buy Fresh Produce for Your Vegetable Detox
I think it’s important that this point is made very clear, as I see many people nowadays try and take shortcuts in this department when it comes to eating their vegetables. What do I mean by that?
I mean no canned vegetables!
Yes, it makes it easier to heat up and will last longer in your pantry, but you lose many of the fundamental benefits of fresh vitamins and minerals that only fresh produce can guarantee.
What you also have to understand is that many of the food items we buy nowadays are full of preservatives. These aren’t good for you, though they’re great for the profit margin of the food manufacturers.
That is why next time you go to the grocery store, make sure that you buy fresh fruit and vegetables, and ideally organic as this ensures you are getting the absolute best quality food for your body.
Summing Up Your Vegetable Detox
So there you have it, 15 of the best vegetables to use in your diet that truly help detox your body.
Experiment with mixing up these veggies in your recipes and if you are thinking of achieving lifelong benefits then try to include at least one or two of these vegetables in every meal you eat.
Joana is the editor in chief over at TheJuiceChief.com. She’s a prolific blogger with a bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition and is deeply passionate about organic food, nutrition, and fitness. She also loves helping others succeed with their health goals.
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.