Up the Ante-Oxidants and Eat the Rainbow
A Full-Spectrum Approach To Detoxification
Detoxification Should Be About Food
When you hear the word “detox” what comes to mind? Perhaps you picture a juice cleanse or water fast leaving you depleted, when in fact, detoxification relies heavily on nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals. With this in mind, we can shift our thinking from strict restrictions to upping our intake of various fruits, vegetables, and proteins. This approach is a much more sustainable and, albeit, delicious way to support our body’s ability to detox.
What Do Antioxidants Have to Do With Detox?
The purpose of detoxification is to remove toxicants from the body, such as medications, pesticides, food additives, and air pollutants. Antioxidants like vitamin C are part of our body’s natural defense, protecting our cells and DNA from damage to toxin exposure.
In addition, antioxidants are involved in one of the many detoxification pathways. When the liver processes toxins to be removed from the body, antioxidants ensure these toxins are not causing any damage.
The Full Spectrum Impact
If you are feeling overwhelmed with what to eat to support detoxification and your antioxidant supply, don’t be. The answer is quite simple – eat the rainbow.
In her book, “The Whole Detox,” Dr. Deanna Minich explains why eating a wide range of colorful plants supports detox while also connecting each plant’s color to its supporting body system.
- Red plants for immune health
- Orange plants for reproductive health
- Yellow plants for digestive health
- Green plants for cardiovascular health
- Blue-purple plants for brain health
- White plants for detoxification
So why not simply focus on white plants every day? By getting the full spectrum of plant colors, we provide nutrition support for the whole body and ensure proper function.
For example, we need proper gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health to remove toxins and a balanced immune system to avoid a negative reaction. When you can’t always control your environment, you can arm yourself with a diet full of colorful plant foods.
Food Tips For Detox
– Detoxification superstars. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are the powerhouse of nutrients supporting detoxification. Try to incorporate these foods into your diet weekly; you can add them into stir-fries or even add frozen cauliflower rice in your next smoothie!
– Alliums are awesome. Garlic and onions are also heavy hitters when it comes to detoxification. Garlic contains sulfur and selenium, and onions are rich in antioxidants. Keep it simple and sautee or blend alliums into sauces and dressings.
– Lean into spice. You have probably heard how the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest. It is no surprise that this region loves to incorporate various herbs and spices into its diet daily. According to Dr. Deanna Minich, there are three, antioxidant-rich spices that should be a staple in every kitchen: cinnamon, rosemary, and turmeric.
– Don’t skimp on protein. Quality protein sources are key to our detoxification process. If you are plant-based, make sure you are consuming plant sources that also meet your protein needs. High protein plant sources include tempeh, tofu, black beans, edamame, garbanzo beans, and lentils.
Supporting detoxification does not have to be extreme or complicated. Take stock of the different plants in your diet and see what colors you are currently lacking. Keep it simple and have fun eating the rainbow.
For inspiration on how to incorporate all the colors into your diet, try our antioxidant-rich rainbow bowl.
Our Employee Wellness Program
If you enjoy this type of information and would like to learn more about Valley Schools’ exclusive wellness program, WellStyles, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!