Cleanse, detox – you’ve heard it all, right? Green juice this, and blend or pulverize that. We know it gets old after awhile. You can only hear about so many cleanse and detox diets before getting a little bored. Truthfully, whole foods have the ability to cleanse your body the same way many detox diets do, but without all the negative side effects many of them can bring. You know – headaches, hunger pains, and irritability. Your body doesn’t have to take in food 24/7, but it does need some wholesome foods to work properly. That being said, if you’re still feeling sluggish and need a healthy reboot, you’ll want to to focus on foods that contain no added sugars, no oils, no dairy, are free from added sodium, and that are 100 percent whole-food based as much as possible.
Try these incredible whole foods that will cleanse your body the way nature intended:
1. Root Vegetables
Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets (especially beets!), onions, and turnips are all excellent digestion boosters, and are exremely detoxifying and nourishing. Carrots and sweet potatoes are full of Vitamin C, a natural body cleanser, beets build the blood and cleanse the liver and digestive tract, and onions (and even garlic) provide highly cleansing and immune-building benefits. Turnips even contain a large amount of Vitamin C and can help pull excess mucous from the body. Root vegetables are also easier to digest compared to many grains, beans, and legumes that you might be avoiding if you’re feeling sluggish. Root vegetables can easily be roasted or steamed and make excellent pairings to any meal. Have them at night (or even at lunch) to ensure regular digestion around the clock. Try our favorite Easy Roasted Root Veggies and learn How to Pan Roast Vegetables for quick meals in minutes.
Don’t turn your nose at leeks if you haven’t had them just yet. We’ll admit they’re not the most attractive veggies, or the easiest to figure out what to do with. But they’re fantastic for you and actually very simple to use in your meals as well. Leeks are in the same family as onions, so they come with big cleansing and nourishing benefits. Leeks banish water weight, they flush out the system, and also provide key vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes the body needs to stay well-nourished. Similar in taste to onions and scallions, leeks can easily be broken apart, cut, sliced, or stripped to use in soups, stews, or vegetable broths of any kind. We enjoy them in Sweet Potato, Carrot and Leek Soup and they are easy to add to homemade vegan veggie stock.
While not as popular as blueberries, when in season, whole or frozen cranberries are excellent body detoxifiers. They cleanse the blood, liver, prevent bacterial infections in the stomach, and also cleanse the kidneys. All major organs should be cared for as much as possible, so when one food can help you do that, why not take advantage of it? Though not very sweet, cranberries add a sweet-like, tart and refreshing flavor wherever you find use for them. Try adding them either in fresh or frozen form to oatmeal, smoothies, or even soups and stews if you’re feeling creative. They also make great snacks, and for times when you can’t find them fresh, buy dried unsweetened cranberries to add to morning porridge, homemade trail mix, or to bake and cook with.
A forgotten veggie after summer, asparagus is a triumphant veggie for cleansing and healing the body. It’s a powerful source of the B vitamin folate, along with a powerhouse of protein for such a small, dainty veggie. Asparagus is an excellent veggie to eat if you’re bloated and suffering irregularity. It flushes water wastes from the body, contains a good amount of potassium to prevent dehydration, and is filled with easy to digest fiber to keep you going strong! Asparagus also has a nice sweet flavor, which makes it a delicious vegetable to enjoy for health benefits. Try grilling it, steaming it, roasting it, or just toss some frozen asparagus pieces into your next batch of soup. Try Vegan Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto, Raw Asparagus Soup (if you really want to take things up a notch), or Skillet Asparagus and Tomato Medley.
5. Dandelion Greens
Hear us out, we’re not talking the weeds you see in your backyard, but fresh dandelion greens from your produce market. Use these in place of kale, collards, or spinach in any of your dishes or even in a smoothie. If you blend them in a smoothie, add some berries and pineapple for more cleansing benefits and a tasty flavor. Dandelion greens have a pleasantly smooth, almost sweet earthy flavor that make the delicious to enjoy during a time you’re healing your body. Dandelion greens cleanse the liver and build the blood, lower inflammation, and contain a nice dose of magnesium. They also flush out the digestive system in a gentle way, are a powerhouse of Vitamin C, help prevent high blood pressure, and they even lower blood sugar. Try them in a cleansing salad, or even a salad dressing. See more liver cleansing foods to pair with dandelion greens for even more benefits.
If you’re looking for more cleansing tips and recipes, see all of our smoothie recipes and our raw vegan meals and snack ideas for whole food, cleansing nutrition. Also see our top 15 Cleansing Vegan Recipes to Detox Your System.
Lead Image Source: A Dandy Dandelion Green Detox Smoothie and a Plethora of Nutrients