Organic Spring Detox
Spring has sprung, and if you’re already into spring-cleaning your home, take it one step further, with a spring detox to clean up the waste and toxins building up in your body.
As organic food advocate, Dr. Mark Hyman says, “A detox diet is a way to clean house inside and out.” Spring is when nature renews itself and creates life, regenerates, and refreshes, so why not follow her lead and use this time to remove waste that may have built up from winter indulgences.
Cleansing the body looks different for everyone. The use of insecticides, fungicides, fertilizers, and weedkillers is strictly monitored in organic food production, so you can decide simply to choose organic to eliminate the foods and products that contain the more than 700 chemicals used in conventional agriculture. In other words, if you choose certified organic foods, you’re already naturally detoxing.
If you’re ready to take your spring detox to the next level, below we’ve highlighted the best organic foods for detox, plus simple ways to incorporate cleansing into every meal.
Studies link eating organic to a variety of beneficial health effects, which is especially important during a pandemic. Switching to an organic diet decreased levels of cancer-causing glyphosate – the main ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s pesticide Roundup – by 70 percent in participants’ bodies in just one week, according to a study Friends of the Earth study.
Chemicals used in conventional food production have been linked to health-related problems and diseases by several studies. For example, one study found that exposure to fungicide, herbicide and insecticide cocktails can lead to DNA damage and elevated death of blood cells. Pesticide exposure has also been associated with depression and Parkinson’s disease.
Eating organic is better for your health, according to other studies, and certain organic foods, like onions, have been found to be more nutritionally dense, compared to their conventional counterparts. A comprehensive review of the literature found much higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides in organic fruits, vegetables, and grains, compared to conventionally grown produce.
Highlights from the study include:
- Eating organic fruits and vegetables could increase your antioxidant intake by 20% to 40%.
- Organic strawberries have more nutrients and antioxidants than their conventional counterparts.
- Organic tomatoes are 50% higher in vitamin C content than conventional tomatoes.
You can find out more about the study here.
Some benefits of cleansing include weight loss and a boost in energy levels – some whole organic foods actually cause the body to burn twice as many calories as processed foods. Since essential nutrients are required to keep the metabolism functioning optimally, it’s best to focus not on how many calories you give your body but rather on the quality of the foods and the nutrients they offer. We suggest you count the chemicals you’re skipping rather than the calories you’re consuming when choosing organic food.
You can reduce your toxin load just by eating organic, but you can take it one step further and eat fresh organic produce to accelerate the detoxing benefits. That’s why we launched our fresh organic food challenge, which asks participants simply to add one piece of fresh organic produce to every meal. Bonus points if you buy the produce locally, from an organic farmer, but if that isn’t an option, look for a delivery service that offers affordable organic produce delivery. One of these companies can help:
Finally, consider retraining your tastebuds so you enjoy eating your fresh fruit and vegetables uncooked. The live enzymes we get in food die when it is cooked or processed, so conventional processed foods are often depleted of valuable nutrients (and packed instead with full of chemicals and sugar), so experts suggest making any meal on your spring detox at least 51% raw veggies.
When you choose fresh organic produce, look for the fruits and veggies that stimulate the cleansing process. We recommend incorporating these top 5 detoxing organic foods into your spring detox:
- Lemon peel contains an antioxidant called d-limonene, which has been shown to activate liver enzymes. These processes take toxic compounds present in the liver and convert them to less harmful or harmless versions. Warm lemon water in the morning helps your body detox and keeps your bowels regular.
- Dandelions are in bloom, and they happen to be excellent for detoxing. Use them in your smoothie or juice them. You can usually find dandelion root tea at your local grocery store. Just make sure to choose certified organic tea. (Find out here why organic tea is a must.)
- Cilantro is an excellent part of a spring detox. Cilantro leaves have potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, antimicrobial, and significant chelating properties, removing harmful heavy metals from the body. You can boost cilantro’s effects by incorporating chlorella, a type of single-celled green algae available as a supplement, in your smoothie. Doing this “can naturally remove an average of 87% of lead, 91% of mercury, and 74% of aluminum from the body within 45 days,” according to several studies.
- Leafy greens. A diet rich in leafy greens can offer numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and mental decline. They also provide a lot of fiber, which keeps your body naturally detoxing regularly. Learn to grow your own greens indoors using this guide.
- Celery. Celery is great as a snack or juice. Celery juice is low in sugar, packed with potassium and vitamins A, C, and K – it reduces inflammation, boosts hydration, and helps your body detox naturally.
As with all recommendations from Only Organic, we strongly suggest running any dietary changes by your certified nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner, or dietician.