We’ve all heard of the importance of spring cleaning for our homes, but how many consider it good for the mind and body? According to Ayurveda, spring is the ideal time for a gentle detox. It’s when our bodies are ready to release toxins stored in the fatty tissues that kept us nourished during the winter months.
We’ve chosen some powerful herbs, algaes and weight loss detox drinks to support your detox so you can enjoy a renewed sense of energy and vigour for the coming months!
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae boasting an impressive nutrient profile. It’s commonly incorporated into healthy weight-loss diets for its detoxifying properties.
Spirulina has the potential to speed up metabolism, lower appetite and reduce hunger cravings; ideal for anyone looking to shed a couple of extra pounds before the summer months.
On top of that, spirulina has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that benefit your overall health. The downside of this supplement is its unfavourable taste and can even alter the taste of smoothies. A more attractive solution is to use pre-mixed spirulina drinks like the ones made by Ful company. These healthy electrolyte drinks are made with natural ingredients, providing all of the health benefits of spirulina but with a great taste too.
Asparagus is a popular vegetable many look forward to eating in the spring. Not only is it tasty (especially when grilled in butter), but asparagus is an excellent vegetable for detoxification. This diuretic is thought to help flush out excess waste from the kidneys thanks to a chemical called asparagine. This chemical helps cleanse the kidney and bladder and assists in maintaining healthy pH levels in the body.
Asparagus is also a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. In particular, asparagus is one of the richest sources of the antioxidant glutathione, which promotes detoxification and is believed to slow the ageing process. It is also a good source of fibre, folate, iron, and vitamins A, C, E and K and is potentially beneficial to those with high blood pressure.
Globalisation means asparagus can be found in supermarkets all year round. However, it’s best eaten when in season, when it’s freshest and healthiest.
Red clover is a liver-stimulating herb used to help cleanse toxins from the bloodstream and eliminate waste through diuretic action. It also supports the liver – the main detoxification organ – by encouraging bile production.
Nourishing and gentle, red clover is a wild plant within the pea family that crops up on lawns and fields in early spring. Studies have revealed that red clover is a rich source of isoflavones, plant chemicals similar to estrogen, that can be beneficial in regulating hormones.
This action, combined with the ability to support the liver, makes red clover an excellent choice for a gentle spring detox.
Red clover is often infused in hot water to make tea or taken as a tincture.
Another wildflower with beneficial properties is the dandelion. Despite its reputation as a weed, this bitter plant has many beneficial properties like gently stimulating the liver and supporting the gut.
The tender bitter leaves stimulate the liver, which improves the body’s natural detoxification pathways and aids healthy digestion by stimulating bile and saliva. This helps break down fats during digestion and improves elimination, making it one of the most valuable detoxification tonics. It’s not just the leaves that are nutritious. Virtually all parts of the dandelion plant, from the flowers to the roots, have beneficial properties. All are edible and can provide vitamins A, B, C, D and K, plus minerals, such as potassium, zinc and iron.
Dandelion tea can be brewed by steeping the roots in hot water. The leaves can be used in salads or sautéed alongside dandelion flowers as a side dish. Make sure you wash the dandelions thoroughly before use.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made similarly to cider but left longer during fermentation. The acetic acid in ACV gives it potent anti-microbial properties that promote a healthy gut microbiome and may reduce bloating.
Acetic acid can also regulate appetite, potentially curbing cravings and decreasing abdominal fat. as an appetite suppressant with the potential to boost metabolism. It has the potential to curb cravings during detox diets.
A delicious way to use ACV is to make it into a salad dressing by making a simple vinaigrette. But when it comes to weight loss drinks, you can just add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to your beverage.
Modern life means our bodies are exposed to heavy metals every day, from the food we eat to the air we breathe. When left to accumulate in the body, they can reach toxic levels leading to illness and chronic conditions. Fortunately, nature provides plants like coriander that contain chemical compounds that can bind to and help remove heavy metals.
On top of that, coriander has been reported to improve digestion, keep blood sugar levels in check and is a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium sodium.
Known for adding freshness and flavour to Mexican, Indian and Thai food, it can easily be added to most recipes if you’re a fan of coriander. Some even enjoy adding it to smoothies and salads for an extra nutritional punch.
This golden wonder spice has been widely used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to promote digestive health and overall vitality. Curcumin, the essential bioactive compound in turmeric, stimulates bile production, which helps eliminate toxins in the liver. It also has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects and has shown promise in preventing chronic and neurodegenerative conditions.
Turmeric is known as an essential spice in Indian cooking, but taking a daily supplement may be the way to get the most significant health benefits. Despite that, using this root to spice food is a delicious way to enhance curries, soups, vegetables and grains. Note that for curcumin to be active in the body, it should be combined with pepper or fats to increase its bioavailability.
Following the seasons’ rhythms is arguably the easiest and most gentle way to detoxify the body. The liver and kidneys are our main detoxifying organs. Liver- and kidney-supporting herbs and vegetables grow during spring to help our bodies cleanse toxins stored in fatty tissues. Incorporating these herbal tonics alongside whole foods can help us enjoy renewed vitality, a clear mind and overall vibrant health for the coming months.