As soon as spring hits I often find myself seeking out more light and refreshing flavours. But not surprisingly, many of the things my mouth is craving are also ingredients my body is physiologically yearning for. After the slow pace of winter, it’s very common for our bodies to awaken with a sense of excitement and energy. During this process, our bodies are also naturally ramping up their detoxification channels to shed the accumulated gunk of the winter, and prime themselves for springtime vitality. While our bodies have a number of mechanisms in place to “clean house” on their own, it’s always nice to give them a little boost.
In the post How to Detoxify the Safe Way for a More Energized Body, Mind, and Soul, I mention a number of simple methods to aid in gentle detoxification, which I highly encourage you to experiment with not only during the spring, but all year round.
In the meantime, try incorporating this fresh and flavourful smoothie into your routine. Its packed with a number of ingredients bursting with detoxifying nutrients!
Green tea: The detoxifying effects of EGCG and other polyphenols in green (and white) tea arise from their role in helping to rid your body of free radicals, which can damage cells
Cilantro: Cilantro has been shown to bind toxic heavy metals together, loosening them from tissue, and facilitating their elimination from the body. Cilantro’s strong antioxidant properties, in part due to the flavonoid quercetin, helps to protect against the damage caused by free radicals in the body.
Mint: Mint leaves support liver function by improving the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder. By increasing the amount of bile flow, mint leaves positively support digestion (an important pathway for detoxification) by helping to break down fats. This also lessens the burden carried by the liver, allowing it to focus more of its energy on daily processing of toxins in the body.
Kale: Kale contains phytonutrients including glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiin, and glucobrassicin, compounds that support liver function and aid detoxification directly. Kale is also high in fibre, which ensures a healthy digestive system so that detoxification is more effective.
Cucumber: Not only does cucumber help maintain hydration in the body (necessary to flush toxins out of our system), but it also contains antioxidants that battle free radicals, known to accumulate as a result of a build up of toxins in the body.
Pineapple: The bromelain content of the pineapple core and stem helps the body break down protein particles during digestion, encouraging overall digestive health (an important detoxification “pathway”). Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and natural detox properties.
Lemon: Lemon contains concentrated levels of antioxidants, which help flush out toxins and free radicals from the body.Lemons are also a natural diuretic, which leads to a cleaner (and more functional) urinary tract. This has a cumulative detoxing effect (the body disposes waste materials through urine). Flushing out liquid waste at a much faster rate reduces the risk of accumulating bacteria in the body.Lemons also increase bile production, which is necessary for digestion and liver health.
Ginger: Ginger cleanses the body by stimulating digestion, circulation, and sweating.Specifically, its digestive actions may serve to cleanse the build-up of waste and toxins in the colon, liver and other organs.
- 1 cup green tea, chilled
- ½ cup loosely packed cilantro
- ½ cup loosely packed mint
- 1 cup loosely packed organic baby kale (or another baby green)
- 1 cup cucumber
- 1 cup pineapple
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- ½ avocado
- Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and enjoy!