The Taste of Glasgow team would like to wish you a Happy New Year and what better article to kick us off for 2011 than to talk about detoxing in the first of our two part article!
If you are like me and have eaten and drank a little too much over the festive period you will no doubt be thinking that you need to give your body a bit of a service to get rid of all those Christmas toxins. Now I am not going to be telling you that you have to live on cabbage soup for the next few weeks (although it does get a mention) or to undergo several sessions of colonic irrigation but there are some tasty food that you can incorporate into your cooking that will help your body flush out those toxins. If that doesn’t work just put them all in the blender for the ultimate detox smoothie!!!
Watercress is packed full of toxin-fighting vitamin C, which makes it a this peppery leaf is a detox dream. This peppery leaf packs a double-detox punch by not only stimulating cleansing enzymes in the liver, its diuretic properties help the body flush out festive detritus.
Try making some watercress soup for lunch by simply adding onion, garlic and stock. An even simpler way is to just add a small handful to a sandwich or salad which should be enough for it to do its thing.
Lemons feature frequently in detox plans and for good reason. They work by breaking down stored toxins in the liver and gallbladder and aren’t just a powerful cleanser, their hefty vitamin C content boosts the immune system and supports the body’s ability to purge accumulated toxins.
Simply add a slice of lemon to some hot water first thing in the morning to help flush out toxins at a time when the body is most receptive to a good cleanse. Lemon also makes a great salt substitute when squeezed on curries and salads.
We covered off garlic a few weeks ago as one of our superfood articles and with good reason! Not only is it good at fending off vampires but it works magic on toxins as the it increases phagocytosis, a process in the body that destroys foreign cells. Similarly, that distinct garlic smell is actually sulphur compounds which stimulates the production of white blood cells which, wipe out any unwanted foreign bodies in the blood stream.
Garlic will add flavour to most dishes. We suggest you roast it whole with your favourite vegetables or cut it up finely and add it to a tomato sauce for a delicious pasta dish
Tumeric is a member of the ginger family and is hugely popular in Asian dishes, where its healing properties have long been known.
This mild but mighty spice is a powerful antioxidant that also increases anti-inflammatory enzymes in the liver – excellent if this vital organ has been subjected to a bit of a festive booze beating.
Use turmeric by adding a teaspoon to curries or to rice to add flavour and colour.
Not only can ginger heal a body battered by drink, mince pies and turkey it can build up resistance for future binges – good news if you don’t have the will power to stick to those healthy new year resolutions!
Ginger helps build up powerful antioxidants in the blood and liver to fight future invasions of foreign bodies, while also destroying any free radicals that are already lurking in the body.
Use ginger by adding a few slices to hot water make a delicious, therapeutic tea or add some grated or chopped ginger to give Thai and Indian curries some zest.