Detox is a word we hear often in the news, sometimes associated with famous names who have gotten themselves into a little trouble and who need to sort their lives out and take a short spell in ‘Rehab’. However for the rest of us, detox just means removing toxins that have built up in our bodies through normal daily living. This can be through long-term stresses of modern life or through a diet with too many refined sugars and carbohydrates. It could be due to a non-organic diet and the build-up of pesticides in our systems over time. Or it could just be that with an increasing number of birthdays, our bodies are just not working as well as they used to and the internal organs responsible for detoxifying our systems need a little help.
So, do we all have to go into ‘rehab’ in order to cleanse our bodies? The answer is an emphatic, “No”! For many of us, perhaps with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart and circulatory problems, thyroid disease or problems with the functions of our liver or kidney, following a strict detoxification regime might be harmful and should never be undertaken without medical advice and approval. Pregnant women or those breastfeeding their babies should not embark on such a regime either. If you’re wondering whether a cleanse is right for you, talk to your physician.
However, there is a lot we can do to cleanse our bodies by more gentle means and I would like to introduce you to the great benefits that can be obtained from drinking home-made detox smoothies. These are very simple to make at home if you have a smoothie maker or blender and the raw ingredients in them will provide many health benefits – especially as, making them at home would allow you to be able to drink them almost immediately after they are prepared. You will thus benefit from all all the nutritional value without the need for any added preservatives as is the case with smoothies bought ready-made from the store.
Detox Smoothie Ingredients
Ideally, organic ingredients should be sourced as you want to use the whole fruit or vegetable, without peeling. If you are unable to get organic, either because of the associated cost, or you simply can’t find any, it is a good idea to wash everything thoroughly, and leave to drain in a colander. Ingredients with firm skins can be scrubbed to further remove any possible pesticide residues. If you can only ever afford or source one organic ingredient, try to make it grapes as research has shown that this fruit has more pesticide residue than almost any other.
Try to source fruits and vegetables in season. These are better for you as they will have been grown by more natural means and more likely out of doors where they grow and ripen naturally. A good tip is that if you have the storage space in your freezer, you can take advantage of an abundance of in-season fruits and vegetables and store them ready for use. Very little nutritional value will be lost and most smoothie makers can cope with blending frozen ingredients provided they are in reasonable sized chunks. This also saves preparation time if you are in a hurry!
Many people are put off by the idea of green smoothies or green detox drink period – not least, because of the color! However, I can promise you that if you give a few recipes a try, you will very soon wonder why you ever rejected them as they are, quite simply, delicious! They are marvelous for body detoxification. Chlorophyll, the ingredient in plants that give them their green color is excellent for purifying the blood. You could try baby spinach, young Kale and even lettuce. However if you are looking for a big hitter as far as purifying your blood is concerned, you can use dandelion greens in your smoothie. For a newcomer to the benefits of green smoothies, these can seem rather bitter, so a good tip is to just add a few leaves to other smoothies or combine them in a smoothie with fresh fruits.
Vegetable smoothies have many other benefits for your hair, skin and nails too and are much less expensive than many of the expensive supplements and topical products designed to improve these aspects! You can add almost any raw vegetable when making your green smoothies. Add apples for their malic acid content which is known to be a chelator of heavy metal toxins. Add avocados for their antioxidant properties and get extra vitamin C by including citrus fruits.
Liquids to get the smoothie to the desired consistency can be probiotic yogurt, dairy alternative milks such as almond or soy, green tea (for its antioxidant properties) or just plain water. Fruit juice is always good to add a little sweetness but avoid too much citrus when you are using dairy ingredients because of curdling. Seeds such as flax, sesame or pumpkin can be added for fiber and oats, being a natural source of both soluble and insoluble fiber are valuable additions.
I hope that the suggestions provided in this article have gotten you fired up with some ideas about making some detox smoothies of your own. Remember to start slowly though – no matter how delicious the smoothies are, they are not what your system is accustomed to digesting and you will need to introduce small amounts over several days because of all the raw food goodness and the large quantity of fiber in every glassful!