This week has a bit of a detox theme. On Monday, we were eliminating cancer cells through guided meditation. On Tuesday, I was discussing how I’ve started to work on “detoxing” old ways of thinking and feeling that have been dictating my life for far too long. Tomorrow, my post will include more about how a body detoxes and why it’s so important, but today I’m getting right into a great way to aid detoxification with a delicious green juice that helps to calm the digestive system and promote your liver’s detoxing abilities.
The Ingredients and Their Detoxing Power
Leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals that aid in detoxification such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and B, K, C, and E vitamins. Leafy greens also have many phytonutrients in them including chlorophyll, which is excellent for aiding in the detoxification of heavy metals from your body (1).
There is a lot more to the simple cucumber than meets the eye! Cucumbers contain a compound called cucurbitacins that support the liver and digestive tract (2), two of the hardest working detoxers in your body. Many toxins are also carried out in your urine. Cucumbers are a natural diuretic, meaning that they help your body to produce more urine and, therefore, carry more toxins out of your body through that pathway (2). This also means they help with water retention and bloating as a bonus!
Heavy metals are some of the most harmful toxins that build up in our systems, and they are so problematic because they are pervasive. Everyone has some level of heavy metal buildup in their body. We are exposed to them in fillings, body care products like antiperspirant and makeup, household cleaners, fish and shellfish, and even in our drinking water. Herbs like fresh parsley and cilantro are excellent chelators, meaning they help to draw out heavy metals from your tissues so that they can be eliminated via your detoxification pathways such as your liver, bowels, and through urine (3). (Just a note here that while your body is detoxing heavy metals, you might feel worse for a little while because these toxins are being pulled out into your body before they are eliminated, but it’s worth it to get rid of them!).
There has been a lot of buzz recently about celery juice and its benefits for health. While some of them may be overstated in certain circles, celery definitely has it’s healthy advantages. Research suggests that celery improves liver health by acting as an antioxidant and exhibiting protective effects on the liver (4). In this way, celery boosts your body’s own natural ability to detox. It can also help you to rebuild hydrochloric acid in your gut, which is crucial for digesting your food properly and therefore enabling your body to extract and absorb as many nutrients as possible from what you eat (5).
Green (Granny Smith) Apples
Apples in general, but particularly Granny Smith apples, are rich in something called pectin, a soluble fibre that helps to eliminate toxins and cholesterol from the blood (6). Granny Smith apples are particularly rich in malic acid and other phytonutrients as well, which have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties (7).
Lemons have a loving relationship with your liver. They provide many antioxidants and they support the production of liver enzymes, aiding in digestion and supporting your body’s natural detoxification (8). Research has also shown that citric acid protects cognitive function by decreasing damage to the lipids in your brain by free radicals, and it also decreases liver damage, inflammation, and DNA damage (9). Just like cucumbers, lemons are also a natural diuretic, helping to support the urine detoxification pathway (8).
Ginger is one of the most well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative plants around. Ginger also helps to promote digestion, sweating, and circulation, which are three of your body’s main detoxifying pathways (10). In this way, ginger helps to boost your natural detoxifying power! A recent study of traditional Chinese medicine also found that ginger (called Ganjiang in the study) was very effective at detoxifying. They did urine metabolite testing and found that ginger helped to modulate the toxicity biomarkers they were looking at in the study toward the normal range (11).
If you’re ready to boost your detoxification and support your whole-body health, try out my recipe below and enjoy the wonderful effects of this detoxifying green juice. And make sure to use organic produce if possible to avoid adding more toxins to your body!
🌿🥬 Detoxifying Green Juice 🍏🥒🍋
- 1-2 cups of whatever greens you prefer (popular choices are spinach, kale, or chard)
- 3-4 inch piece of cucumber
- ⅓ of one bunch of parsley
- 2-3 stalks of celery
- ½ of a green apple
- ¼ of a lemon
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger (can omit if you find the taste too strong)
- Wash all of your produce
- Get your juicer ready
- Slowly feed each ingredient into the juicer
- If you really want to squeeze every last bit of goodness out, remove the pulp from the machine and feed it back through a second time
- Enjoy immediately 😊
*Note: This recipe results in a concentrated juice that it strongly flavoured. If the taste is too strong for you, put less lemon and ginger and a little more cucumber and apple. Alternatively, you can add 1/2-1 cup of water to it before you drink it, a few ice cubes to water it down, or even a dash of coconut sugar or a bit of honey.