We asked Valerie Orsoni, creator of LeBootCamp®, to share some healthy eating tips for the New Year. In this first installment, she names some of the best detoxifying foods you can put in your body – check back later this week for more super-foods that we should all incorporate into our diets.
Members of my LeBootCamp weight loss program are encouraged to begin their wellness journey with detoxification: A detoxified body has more energy, perspires less, and has glowing skin. Technically our body is equipped with its own garbage disposal, the liver, but sometimes it can use a little help due to prevalent factors such as toxin-producing stress, environmental pollution, and the ingestion of alcohol and foods containing harmful preservatives, colorings and flavors. There’s no need to go for supposed “cleanse cures” (which can end up being harmful to the body) to help liver function: Instead we can incorporate some basic foods into our daily diet to help our liver fulfill its detoxifying functions by increasing its excreting power.
Aim to consume at least two of the detox foods listed below per day. For an even more effective boost, go for a consistent “detox day” and enjoy meals comprised of 75 percent detox foods once a week.
The active constituents in garlic are alliin and allicin. When garlic is chopped, a chemical reaction occurs, converting alliin to the more pungent, allicin. It is the allicin, a sulfur-containing compound that has strong antibacterial, antifungal, anti-clotting, and lipid-lowering effects. Sulfur helps the body remain alkaline (and not acidic), which helps combat nicotine cravings during the quitting-smoking phase. In addition, this component, similar to sulfur, eliminates toxins (mercury, colorants) and helps the intestines excrete them.
Yes, the avocado is rich in fat, but rich in good fat, so a half-avocado won’t hurt once in a while. Try fresh avocado garnished with a few shrimps and a little soy-based mayonnaise for a delicious snack.
The avocado is rich in the important antioxidant glutathione, which zaps free radicals in the body. Free radicals promote aging and chronic diseases such as cancer. Glutathione specifically blocks intestinal absorption of certain fats that create free radicals.
It was also discovered that elderly people who consumed a lot of avocado showed a lower tendency to suffer from arthritis. Needless to say, I’d rather tackle the issue before it becomes a problem in my old age!
One of the best and cheapest of our Top Detox Foods, the apple proves how accommodating nature can be! Opt for organic apples; this will reduce your risk of ingesting harmful pesticides and those other chemical additives we are so desperately trying to eliminate!
Apples contain Vitamin C and pectin. Apple pectin is an indigestible, soluble fiber; it is a general intestinal regulator. Pectin helps the body excrete heavy metals (pollution, mercury, lead), preservatives and other food additives, including tartrazine, which is linked to hyperactivity, migraines and asthma in children.
The champion is… Grapefruit! The grapefruit provides vitamin C in abundance. Powerfully oxidizing, this vitamin is able to capture free radicals and toxins and eliminate them from the body, and it is for this reason that I classify grapefruit among the top detox foods.
It contains carotenoids which are powerful oxidants just like vitamin C, as well as soluble fibers which help in the reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) and regulation of intestinal transit.
It also contains flavonoids which help prevent digestive tract cancer: More numerous in the white membrane than the pulp, the flavonoids also decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL), and strengthening the blood vessels.
Grapefruit contains limonoids – phytochemicals responsible for the bitterness and tartness of the fruit, which have antioxidant properties that destroy cancerous cells in the body. Grapefruit also contains antiproliferative agents: studies have highlighted a clear reduction in cancer in relation to the amount of grapefruit consumed by patients.
Auraptene, also found in other citrus fruits, decrease the production of cancerous cells and growth of tumors.
With a low glycemic index of 3 per 100g, grapefruit plays a role in the prevention of hyperglycemia.
Nutritionally, in addition to being a good source of vitamin C, grapefruit contains a significant quantity of copper which helps in the formation of hemoglobin, as well as Vitamin A, which protects the body from infection and the skin from UV exposure, and Vitamin B5, which assists in the production of neurotransmitters.
At 50 calories per 100g, grapefruit is an ideal food for weight loss, and therefore, I call it the champion of them all!
Valeire is an entrepreneur, wellbeing expert, celebrity coach, author, contributing editor, mom and survivor. She is also the worldwide image of the Nintendo Wii My Body Coach, which launches in the US in spring 2010. She lives with her husband of 20 years and her teenager in the Silicon Valley.