Two Important Food Blends in Detoxification
Written by Temitope Alao-Sanni, RD and Omolade Abu
I also used to think that detox magic smoothies would “cleanse” the body after indulging in certain foods but apparently, there are many myths surrounding detoxification (see the detox truth here).
In this article, I will share two important food sources that can promote the optimal functioning of our detoxification organs.
Although you cannot detox yourself, your body wants you to eat healthy foods that support the detoxification process. Let us explore two of them
Gut Health and Detoxification
Some people call the gut our “second brain. It is where we digest, absorb, and process everything in what we eat or drink. Additionally, communication between the immune system and the brain happens in the gut.
Meanwhile, the extent to which toxins like carcinogens or environmental pollutants are neutralized in the body may be largely dependent on gut health according to this study. Therefore eating foods that support gut health is a priority if we want to get the best detox.
Foods That Support Gut Health
Probiotics, found in fermented foods are great for gut health. Some African fermented foods include;
- Cereals (ogi, agidi, tuwo, oka baba, pito, burukutu, kunu, fura)
- Roots and tubers (garri, lafun, elubo, fufu/akpu, abacha)
- Legumes (daddwa/iru/ogiri/sumbala/kpaye/okpeye, ukpaka, afiyo, dangwua)
- Milk or local yoghurt (maishanu, nono, wara)
- Beverages (palm wine; the fresh sap with much lower alcohol)
Also, some other probiotics food include; sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, miso, tempeh, and yoghurt.
Equally, prebiotics are important for gut health. They are substances that feed probiotics. Some foods that contain prebiotics are onions, beans and legumes, garlic, banana, watermelon, pear, and other fibre rich.
Free Radicals and Detoxification
On the other hand, free radicals are produced naturally in everyone’s body. They react quickly with other molecules and can cause large chain chemical reactions called oxidation.
However, when the body’s free radicals are out of balance, oxidative stress occurs. Consequently, high levels of oxidative stress can impair the organs of detoxification and their ability to work optimally. That is where antioxidants come in; the compounds that prevent oxidative stress and cell damage.
Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds produced in your body and they are also found in foods. Some food sources of antioxidants include;
- Brightly coloured (especially red) fruits and vegetables
- Cocoa (Dark chocolate)
- Leafy green vegetables
- Beans and legumes
- Purple cabbage
Finally, eating a blend of gut-friendly foods and foods high in antioxidants can support the body’s detoxification process.
Here are some recipes that are worth checking out.