Thanksgiving is almost upon us, which means Christmas and the New Year are right around the corner. While the holidays are a great time to splurge, have fun, and be merry, this excess of life may lead to an overtaxed, inflamed, and body that just feels icky.
We’ve all been there and it’s never fun.
So, how about this year we take an extra minute to focus on supporting the systems that help detox our body from all that sugar, stress, and toxins! What are we talking about? The human body is naturally equipped with numerous ways to cleanse the body on a regular basis including the liver, kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system, and digestive system. All of these work together to help empty the body of toxins from the environment, food, alcohol, and even medications.
As the holidays approach, develop a detoxifying plant-based menu that incorporates foods that support these integral systems such as cruciferous veggies, leafy greens, lemon, avocado, green tea, garlic, and turmeric, to name just a few wonderful plant-based options!
Source: Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza
Take your cauliflower to the next step with this Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza recipe by Harriet Porterfield. The pizza is based around spelt flour, “which is easier to digest and has more flavor than regular white flour.” Top it off with charred cauliflower drenched in buffalo sauce and you’ll want to make this all holiday season long!
Looking to splurge, yet keep those detoxifying systems happy? Kale may seem like a strange choice, but let’s step out of the box this holiday season! Leafy greens are one of the best sources of plant-based nutrients that specifically boost the health of your detoxifying systems. This Thai Kale Salad With Peanut Sauce recipe by Natalie Martin MS, RD and Lexie Staten MS, RD does the trick with four cups of detoxifying kale, yet topped off with a rich peanut sauce based around peanut butter, tamari, hot sauce, and ginger.
Source: No-Bake Coconut Lemon Tart
Lemon is one of those spectacular plant-based foods that are super healthy and just so happens to be super sweet, tangy, and delicious. What does this mean? They are the perfect ingredient to go for that splurge while enhancing your body’s ability to detox. Like this No-Bake Coconut Lemon Tart recipe by Lenny Wu, which has all the goodies including the juice and zest of one lemon, healthy fat from coconut milk and nut butter, anti-inflammatory powers from raw cocoa powder, and even fiber to boot in the form of tasty oats!
Source: Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream
Another detoxifying, nutrient-dense, splurge-worthy plant-based food is avocado! This creamy fruit is a powerhouse for the body and also happens to be a wonderful ingredient to make desserts and smoothies creamier. How are you going to use avocado to support detoxification and splurge? How about this super simple Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream recipe by Lenia Patsi which uses only four ingredients – avocado, chocolate of your choice (go for the raw cacao for a healthy boost), hazelnut, and coconut oil.
Source: Antioxidant Green Tea Porridge
The holidays are a great time to enjoy the sweet delights that you may not usually allow yourself, but these chilly months are also perfect for delving into your warm comfort foods such as porridge. While porridge is already nutrient-rich, try infusing it with some detoxifying properties such as this Antioxidant Green Tea Porridge recipe by Taryn Fitz-Gerald. Not only is this recipe infused with detoxifying green tea, but it will also boost overall health with a load of antioxidants from goji berries and cacao nibs.
Source: Apple Tart
Rich in a special fiber called pectin, apples are not only a staple during the holidays, but they also help your digestive system detoxify by getting this moving. In 2006, the Phytotherapy Research journal published a study that discovered pectin aids “in the excretion of toxins, such as mercury and lead.” Go super traditional and enjoy your splurge with this Apple Tart recipe by Amarilis Moldes.
Source: Raw Garlic Butter
Let’s face it, garlic truly a wonderful superfood. It’s an amazing aromatic — enhancing any neutral dish with flavor — and also has so many health benefits it’s hard to account for them all. One such benefit is its ability to support natural detoxification. Even though there are literally hundreds of recipes and ways to use garlic, this holiday season, let’s go simple and powerful with this garlic-rich Raw Garlic Butter recipe by Nikki Stokes.
Source: Turmeric Chickpea Soup
Maybe even more powerful than garlic, turmeric should take one of the mainstages in your detoxifying holiday menu prep. Why is this? In the 2011 edition of Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects it was found that this ancient spice had “antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, antiseptic, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, radioprotective, and digestive” properties. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what a couple of those words are, but I am sure that turmeric is the bomb! If you’re new to the turmeric scene, try infusing this herb in a subtle way, such as in this easy, healthy, and filling Turmeric Chickpea Soup recipe by Melissa Tedesco.
9. Pink Latte
Source: Pink Latte
Beets make the list with a resounding thank you! This plant-based staple is a wonderful, naturally sweet, and colorful filler for a vegan plate. Plus, it’s a great asset to your detoxifying systems. Rich in antioxidants, a 2015 study found that “beet juice can amplify specific enzymes that support the liver and aid in detoxification.” So, how do you go about splurging with beets? Lots and lots and lots of ways! Beets are naturally sweet and therefore are great for baking. They also happen to be naturally meaty, which means they’re a great addition to those meatless meatloaves and burgers. Yet, let’s get creative! Try integrating beets into your daily regimen with this delightful Pink Latte recipe by Katrine van Wyk. This recipe includes detoxifying beet powder, as well as detox agent ginger and anti-inflammatory cinnamon!
Source: Blueberry Crisp
Talk about splurging and detoxifying at the same time! Blueberries are not only a delicious sweet treat, but they are loaded with numerous health benefits. Not only are they “nutrient-dense and are an abundant source of antioxidants,” but blueberries have been shown to enhance “the activity of the body’s natural killer cells, which fight against cancer cells.” This holiday season, get your blueberry backing on with this delightfully sinful, yet super healthy Blueberry Crisp recipe by Harriet Porterfield. Super simple with only eight ingredients and loaded with nutrients including three cups of blueberries, fiber-rich rolled oats, healthy fat-filled pecans, and coconut oil, this is the perfect go-to dessert dish for the holidays!
Detoxification isn’t just about the bulkier foods that make up a plate, but it can also be influenced by delicate aromatic herbs. This is the case with cilantro. This powerful herb is oftentimes loved or hated, yet one thing holds true, it’s an excellent plant-based food to help your body detox. In fact, this herb has been scientifically tested and in a 2013 study in Scientific World Journal cilantro was found to “enhance mercury excretion and decrease lead absorption.” Yes, please, and thank you! Cilantro is a powerful flavor, so, to accommodate all cilantro palates, try making a creation that you can add to other flavorful foods like this Mint and Cilantro Chutney With Ginger recipe by Rinku Bhattacharya. Plus, you get the detoxifying powers of ginger and mint! A three for one!
Instead of highlighting popular spinach or arugula, I’m bringing poor forgotten swiss chard into the light. Due to its high bitter flavor, many people shy away from this gorgeous leafy green. Of course, the fiercer the bitter profile, the better it is for you (in theory!). Plus, super dark, leafy, and bitter greens are wonderous partners to your detox organs and systems. Take a new approach to swiss chard by making it one of many ingredients to dull the bitter, yet reap the benefits such as in this Swiss Chard and Almond Ricotta Spelt Galettes recipe by Rebekah Waters.
Source: Ginger Walnut Slice
Ginger is one of those aromatic flavors that is oftentimes overlooked when it comes to sweet dishes. Curry? Yes, please. Noodles? More, please. Stir-fry? Load me up! This holiday season how about taking ginger for a spin in the kitchen to make a sweet delight. Not only do you support your body’s detoxification, but you also get to splurge without fear. Start out with something simple, like this Ginger Walnut Slice recipe by Sara Kidd with Bake Vegan Stuff. Looking to infuse this with even more health? Swap out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free variety, swap out the brown sugar for coconut sugar, and nix the margarine for your fav vegan butter!
Source: Pesto Pasta Salad
This stubby, hardy, green veggies really is good for your entire body. In regards to aiding your detoxing organs and systems, broccoli has been “linked to protection against air pollution.” Plus, broccoli sprouts “also contain enzymes that protect against cancer-causing chemicals.” Think you can’t splurge with broccoli? Think again with this Pesto Pasta Salad recipe by Natalie Martin MS, RD and Lexie Staten MS, RD. This flavor-infused and vibrantly colored pasta dish is decadent with a basil-walnut pesto and satiating topped off with whole-grain pasta, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, onion, and sweet pepper!
Source: Dandelion Green Smoothie
When it comes to supporting the health of your detoxifying systems, get yourself some leafy greens. Yet, don’t just grab a bundle of arugula or kale — even these are wonderful plant-based foods — go for the best you can this holiday season, dandelion greens. Dandelion greens are an “excellent source of chlorophyll, which is considered the top detoxifying plant pigment.” Make it easy on yourself with this Dandelion Green Smoothie recipe by Sara Smith which is rich in dandelion and naturally sweetened with nectarine, banana, and strawberries. Perfect detox on the go!
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