5 Detox Foods Already In Your Fridge and Pantry (Plus Recipes!)

No need to get frustrated with complicated and expensive cleanses! Here are five common detox foods and recipes that will make detoxing easier

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Simple Detox Recipes

Think you need a juice delivery service or a month-long stay at a celebrity diet centre? Detoxes and cleanses have a rap for being expensive and restrictive, and many think that permissible foods are exotic and hard to find. But, with some insight from Jamie Graber, owner of Gingersnaps Organic café in NYC and author of Juice It, Blend It, Live It: Over 50 Easy Recipes to Energize, Detox, and Nourish Your Mind and Body, we found five detox foods you already have in your fridge and pantry.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Why you have it: It's a common ingredient for salad dressing and marinades and can be used as natural disinfectant for house cleaning.

Why you SHOULD have it: It's often used in cleanse recipes and is said by some in the natural health community to aid with detoxifying the body. (There is not enough research for this to be accepted by western medicine.) Graber says: "It's often said to aid with digestion and help with bowel movements."

Science says:
A study from Diabetes Care found that ingesting two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime can improving glucose blood levels in the morning.

What you can do with it: Add a splash or two to your lemon water and rehydrate with it during your workout.

Apple Cider Vinegar Tea

Ingredients
1 ½ cup hot water, or more as desired
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg

Directions
Combine hot water with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, and cinnamon (or nutmeg) together in a mug.

Makes 1 serving.

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Cilantro

Why you have it: It's a staple herb in Mexican fare, as well as in Indian dishes. Many like the light flavour paired with spicy dishes.

Why you SHOULD have it: Graber says to add this to your detox foods list because of its healthy profile. As you'd expect, cilantro is low in calories and is loaded with antioxidants. If you eat enough of it, it can also be a source of fibre.

Science says: There is some research on cilantro and its effect within the body, including an animal study that found that it suppressed the accumulation of lead in the body.

What you can do with it: Suffering from salad boredom? Garnish your greens with more greens, like a few sprigs of cilantro.

Carrot Chile and Cilantro Soup

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp chile powder
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
5 cups vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Heat garlic, cilantro and chili powder. Sauté onion until tender. Stir in carrots and potato; cook 5 minutes and then pour in vegetable broth.

Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are soft. With a hand blender, blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 5 servings.

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Beets

Why you have it: Beets have been very trendy lately for salads, but they're also great in roasted dishes. But pickled beets are a favourite bread-and-butter appetizer for many families.

Why you SHOULD have it: Graber included beets in her list because they are - in her words - "amazing in juices!" She says you can use them raw or cooked for your juicing recipes.

Science says: The juice from beets have a good reputation with athletes and fitness devotees for improving blood flow to muscles. But research says it's also good for your heart, and the rest of your circulatory system. A 2013 study in Hypertension found that those with high blood pressure who had about 8 ounces of beetroot juice a day were able to decrease their blood pressure significantly. Beets, along with leafy grains, contain nitrate can help boost cardiovascular health, say the researchers.

What you can do with it: If you're making your own hummus, toss in a few beets to make your spread or dip a beautiful wine colour.

Beets me

Ingredients
3 beets
3 carrots
4 stalks celery
1 thumb ginger

Directions
Put all ingredients through a juicer.

Makes 1 serving.
* from Graber's book Juice it, Blend It, Live It.

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Ginger

Why you have it: Imagine gingerbread cookies without ginger? You can't! And it's also a must-have ingredient for meat sauces and noodle stir-fry recipes.

Why you SHOULD have it: Ginger is a natural digestive aid that is known to help with nausea and vomiting and is safe for pregnant women to consume. It's why your momma always gave you gingerale when you were sick.

Science says: This food (often used for flavour in recipes) can also help with inflammation in the body. And a study from The Journal of Pain found that ginger can reduce the amount of pain you feel from exercise by 25 percent. 

What you can do with it: "There are so many ways to enjoy it," says Graber, adding that you can slicing the root thinly and add it to hot water with lemon to start your day every morning way.

Master Cleanse Tea*

Ingredients
8 oz hot water
4 thin slices of ginger
1/2 lemon with peel, sliced
1 pinch cayenne

Directions
Place all ingredients in a mug and enjoy. This is a great tea for starting or ending your day. It helps with digestion.

Makes 1 serving.
* from Graber's book Juice it, Blend It, Live It.

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Lemon

Why you have it: No cocktail bar should be without lemon. Plus it makes water much more flavourful, and a squeeze does the same for your favourite fish, too. Graber says to add it to hot water for a morning drink. And it's also one of the best citrus fruits for baking. Lemon meringue pie, anyone?

Why you SHOULD have it: Although lemon is thought to taste acidic, fans of alkaline diets know that it improves pH balance in the body, which is said to lower the acidity in the blood to promote health.

Science says: Could lemons help with weight maintenance? Maybe, according to this animal study from the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. The lemon polyphenols (science speak for antioxidants) helped with preventing weight gain and increased body fat.

What you can do with it: You can actually add lemon to pretty much anything. Veggie side dishes, meat brines, beverages, baking, smoothies, pasta sauces, dips, and the list goes on and on.

Lemon Lime Detox*

Ingredients
2 oz lime juice
2 oz lemon juice
6 oz water
2 oz apple cider vinegar
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions
Mix ingredients together.
* from Graber's book Juice it, Blend It, Live It.

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Water

We know we promised five detox foods you already have in your fridge or pantry, but we couldn't help but add water. Not only is it hydrating, Graber says it helps to flush your system. Drink up!

 

Related:
The One-Day Detox Diet
5 Detox Diets That Are Worth Doing
The Health Benefits of Lemongrass Tea