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Archive for March, 2015

lemon detoxEast Asian medicine says one should eat according to their constitution and nature of foods. Our top 10 foods for detoxification are balanced between those that warm and cool. When eaten together they will benefit most body types. I love adding these to a cleansing diet simply based on their wonderful flavors. Not surprisingly, scientific evidence is mounting to support their benefit as well.

In East Asian medicine there is a strong tradition of eating a wide variety of colorful foods that are right for one’s own constitution. Everyone’s body is different and this should be taken into account when choosing the types of foods that are right for you. For instance if you are a cool type  you might prefer warm drinks, need lots of sleep, and put on weight easily. Your body will respond well to warming and damp transforming foods to stimulate your body to function better. Note- In the winter season foods are best taken lightly cooked to avoid injury to the digestion for all constitutions.  Confused about which foods are right for your constitution? Ask your acupuncturist!

Foods for detox-What’s cool

1.) Beets Long known to support the liver in purifying blood, beets are a powerhouse for detoxification. A great source of folate and betaine, beets lower overall inflammation in the body. They are also great for regulating menstruation and menopause. Beets are cool and sweet in nature and nourish the blood.

2.) Artichokes These yummy guys are high in fiber and contain cynarin and silymarin which promote liver and gall bladder function. They are also high in the antioxidant vitamin c and folic acid. Folic acid is especially important in women who are trying to conceive as it reduces neural tube defects in babies. They nourish the yin and cool to offset warming herbs and hot constitutions.

3.) Carrots A simple shredded carrot salad with olive oil and a touch of salt is a mini liver detox when eaten daily. Carrots are high in fiber which binds toxins to help them be eliminated. Their nature is cooling. They clear heat, detoxify, strengthen all

organs, nourish the eyes, and moisten the intestines.

4.) Blueberries  A power packed fruit with a low glycemic index that won’t spike your blood sugar. These little guys give you a dose of anthocyanins which are antioxidants to help your body eliminate toxins. They are a great source of vitamins C and E as well as manganese and fiber.  Blueberries are cool in nature and nourish the yin energy. As always be careful in eating too many raw fruits and veggies as they can be damaging to the digestion.

5.) Broccoli Cools and clears heat, aids resolving water retention. From a Western perspective it is high in Calcium and also vitamin C which aids in Calcium absorption. It is high in vitamins A, K, E and folate. It is a good source of trace minerals like manganese, phosphorus, B 6. Broccolli can aid the liver in Phase I and II liver detoxification. It is high in di-indolylmethane (DIM) which stimulates your body to metabolize estradiol more efficiently.

6.) Seaweed This cold in nature sea vegetable is a powerhouse. Seaweed is useful in promoting thyroid function and is loaded with nutrients. It’s high mineral content and plenty of chlorophyll make it a super detoxifier which supports the liver. Because of its cold nature it is great paired with something warming like ginger or garlic. This will balance its effects.

7.)Lemon Cooling and nourishing to the digestion. Adding lemon juice with a little salt and olive oil can brighten up many simple dished like cooked greens or steamed beets. Beneficial bioflavonoids, citric acid and a bright delicious flavor explain why lemons top our list. Lemon has also antibacterial effects and aids in production of bile for fat digestion. High in antioxidants like vitamin C, it is effective in treating inflammatory conditions.

The hot list-warm and hot foods for detox

You’ll notice this list is a little shorter. In our Western culture most of us have an excess of heat. Most cleaning diets aid in clearing heat. These warming foods are used as a balance to the cooling foods. These foods will heat up any cleansing diet!

7.)Garlic (hot) and Onion (Warm) Garlic and onions have similar health and anti-inflammatory properties. They act on the heart and liver assisting phase two liver detoxification. Their active ingredients are gluthathione, quercetin and allicin. They are also high in vitamin C. They are anti-viral and anti-fungal. The heating nature of garlic and can offset some of the cooling properties of other foods used in detoxification like dark greens and seaweed. Don’t overdo it especially is you are a person with a hot constitution (red face, likes cold weather and cold drinks, possible night sweats.)

9.) Fresh Ginger Fresh ginger is hot in nature.  In Chinese medicine it is thought to aid the immune system, warm and regulate the digestion and reduce the toxicity of other herbs. Fresh ginger aids in your detox by stimulating digestion, circulation and sweating. A natural anti-inflammatory, studies have shown ginger to be more effective than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

10.) Parsley This bright herb is slightly warming. It promotes digestion, regulates and moves the body’s Qi or vital energy. It’s high in vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene and folate.  It balances blood sugar and boosts glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant. a great addition to salads and soups.

“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” –Hippocrates

2eli3.13.15Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist and Seattle Pediatric Acupuncture. She is passionate about healthy, happy living, food and is a regular blogger.  For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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