1. Super-size salads
Start with antioxidant-rich leafy greens to combat free radicals and support detox. Add onions and cruciferous vegetables like shredded Brussels sprouts, arugula and kale: they're rich in compounds that promote the formation of glutathione, the body’s master detoxifier. Include artichokes and bitter greens: both support the body's natural detox efforts and help protect the liver against damage from toxins. Dress your salad with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil whisked with garlic and minced cilantro and garlic; it removes heavy metals from the body.
Try: Spectrum Naturals Olive Oil, $17.99
2. Rethink your morning drink
Coffee is hard on the liver, hampers detox efforts and stimulates the release of stress hormones. Switch to green tea for gentle doses of caffeine, with polyphenols that protect the liver and L-theanine, used to produce glutathione. Or try mushroom "coffee," a blend of chaga and other healing mushrooms. Even better, start your day with a superfood smoothie: blend spinach, avocado, blueberries, coconut milk and a scoop of collagen powder—it's high in glycine, which helps escort toxins from the body.
Try: Om Chaga, $24.99
3. Eat less meat
Diets high in animal products are hard on the colon and promote inflammation. But you do need protein: the liver uses taurine, glutathione and other amino acids to detox. Focus on plant-based proteins like nuts, seeds and especially beans: they're high in clean protein and rich in fiber, to encourage regular bowel movements and prompt the elimination of toxins from the body. Start with dried beans; canned versions usually contain BPA, an endocrine disruptor. Or try lentils—they're super-easy and cook in just 15 minutes.
4. Tone your organs
Protect the body's detox organs, with herbs and supplements that stimulate optimal function, remove toxins and help repair damage. Some of the best: artichoke leaf, milk thistle, dandelion root, glutathione, burdock root, glutathione, chanca piedra, triphala and uva ursi. Add probiotics, to help detox the colon and protect against the overgrowth of pathogens.
Clean, filtered water is essential for transporting waste from the body. Hydrate all day: keep a stainless-steel bottle of filtered water on your desk or in your car and drink a glass after every bathroom break. Add grapefruit wedges, sprigs of rosemary, slices of cucumber, chunks of ginger or a handful of raspberries to add interest. And incorporate more high-water foods into your diet: celery, cucumber, watermelon, zucchini and tomatoes are all more than 90 percent water.
6. Deep-clean your mouth
Bacteria can get trapped in crowns, fillings and other types of dental work, allowing toxins to seep into the body. Oil pulling, a traditional Ayurvedic technique, helps deep-clean teeth and gums, reducing toxins and plaque. Start with a spoonful of virgin coconut oil—it has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties; let it warm in your mouth till it melts, then swish for 10 to 20 minutes. Spit, rinse with warm water, and brush with a natural, toxin-free toothpaste.
Try: Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, $12.79
You can find these products in The Vitamin Shoppe Stores or on vitaminshoppe.com