(Translated from Sing Tao Weekly)
Nowadays, toxins are everywhere, so "detoxification" is a very important defense mechanism in terms of healthcare. The concept of detoxification is, however, not very common. Without a good understanding of the source of toxins and their harm to our body, it is not easy to employ the appropriate detoxification through diet or drugs. If used improperly, it may lead to addition burdens. A medical professional should be consulted prior to use of drugs or undertaking of dietary programs. The food magazine Vita invited Chinese medicine practitioners, nutritionists and other experts to select the top 10 detoxifying food suitable to Asians.
Many people would think "no sickness is good health". However, this is not an accurate concept of health. Bad diet habits and lifestyle can make your health deteriorate unconsciously. In reality, people nowadays under high pressures in balancing their life are easily attracted by to various types of unhealthy food that are high-fat, high cholesterol, high-sodium, low-fiber, low-carbohydrate, etc. Consequently, they will weaken the immune system opening the door for various chronic diseases.
With the advancement of medicine, many rely heavily on drugs and are less conscious about the fundamentals of diet. Detoxification is to make use of the healthy food to remove the toxins from the body. Pesticides on food are common and when they enter and aggregate in our body, it is not hard to image how harmful are they. To maintain a healthy body, we need to eliminate toxins from inside. Many kinds of food have detoxifying effects in general. There are many ways in detoxification. The high fiber, low fat, low sugar, low salt approach is most popular. Sweet potato, brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables are good candidates as they are effective in toxin removal, highly acceptable, safe, economical, and easy to find. The following are tthe top 10 food selected for detoxification purposes.1. Seaweed: - Seaweed is rich in polysaccharides and highly alkaline. It can neutralize gastric acid, promote detoxification, prevent fat accumulation and help metabolism. Kelp is rich in alginate, mannitol, protein, fat, carbohydrates, crude fiber, carotene, vitamins B1, B2, C, iodine, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, iron and other elements. Especially with iodine, it is very useful in treating goiter and other diseases caused by iodine deficiency. It contains protein and eight amino acids. Iodine when absorbed can accelerate detoxification. In addition, it can lower blood pressure and prevent arteriosclerosis.
2. Onion: - Onions can promote gastrointestinal movement and strengthen digestion. Its sulfur combined with protein benefits the liver most, thus contributing to detoxification. The "warm" property of onion enables easy sweating and rowing edema. Sulfur compounds can rid the pesticides and other undesirable substances. Recommendation: Add raw onions in a sandwich; add diced onions to soup with broccoli, carrots, celery and other high-fiber vegetables in order to break down toxins accumulated in the body and to help bowel movement.
3. Green bean: - Green bean is used in a variety of drugs by Chinese medicine professionals. Regular consumption of green bean can help getting rid of toxins from the body. It regulates metabolism. Green bean soup is best for detoxification and maintenance of healthy skin. With honey together, its detoxification effect is even better. Many people often eat bean sprouts (from green beans), because it is affordable. But very few know that green bean sprouts also has high medicinal value. Recommendation: barley and green bean soup, blend green beans with boiled soy milk (or milk).
4. Sweet potato: - Due to the recent trend with concerns in health, the demand for sweet potatoes is up year after year with supply of sweet potatoes in different color and flavor. Sweet potato contains digestible fiber which can facilitate bowel movement. In addition, it can also neutralize acid accumulated in the body. Furthermore, sweet potato's collagen and mucus polysaccharides can prevent arterial sclerosis. It also plays an important role in keeping vessels elastic and in excreting excess cholesterol.
Recommendation: baked sweet potato with skins. For health purposes, timing is important. The rule of thumb is to eat it early in the morning (e.g., 6:30 a.m.) before normal bowel movement time. This is to maximize intestinal absorption of sweet potatoes. This is particularly necessary for patients with serious illness wanting to use sweet potatoes for cure. Eating sweet potatoes after 12:00 is not desirable because the metabolism will slow down in the afternoon. On the contrary, sugar from sweet potatoes will remain unprocessed.
5. Cauliflower Cauliflowers (white) and broccolis (green) are cruciferous. Their antioxidant properties could have been proven with medical evidence that they can help to fight cancer. They also helps to prevent edema, increase the discharge of urine and to enhance the immune system. Cauliflower and broccolis are rich in β-carotene, vitamins B1 and C. They are also rich in calcium, potassium and small amounts of selenium (Se), a substance effective with anticancer, anti-heart disease and arthritis and other symptoms. Additionally, there is a substance called lndol-3 carbonal, which can increase the secretion of female hormone estrogen to prevent breast cancer. Recommendation: cook with seafood or cook in boiling water with a sprinkle of salt. They are nutritious, healthy and delicious.
6. Pumpkin: - Chinese medicine considers the pumpkin an excellent food for the heart, the spleen, the lungs as well as inner energy (qi). Pumpkin is indeed a very nutritious healthy food to be highly valued. It is rich in vitamins A and E to benefit human immunity especially during autumn. Pectin contained in pumpkin can "absorb" bacteria and toxic substances, including heavy metals such as lead. Besides the detoxification effect, pectin can also protect the stomach and reduce the chance for ulcer. Recommendation: pumpkin porridge, pumpkin soup.
7. Mushrooms Mushrooms are rich in mucopolysaccharide, protein, fiber, minerals, etc. Not only nutritious, they are effective in anti-cancer and detoxification. Their high-fiber, low calorie properties make them ideal for weight watchers because mushrooms can fill you up without gaining weight. Mushrooms have many other health benefits because they contain nucleotides. They are delicious and so convenient to cook. Recommendation: mushroom chicken soup, mushrooms over rice, boiled mushrooms with other vegetables.
8. Sprouts: - With protein than higher meat bean sprouts are highly nutritious. Protein in 1 gram of bean sprouts is equivalent to about 4 grams of meat. Sprouts contain ammonium acid, vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron and other minerals. The properties of high vitamin C and low fat, low starch and low sugar can produce good results for the prevention of constipation, weight loss, etc. Eating bean sprouts can help bowel movement. It is the ideal natural health food with good detoxification effects. Recommendation: a mix of a variety of bean sprouts (e.g., alfalfa sprouts) topped with sugar-free yogurt and organic plum sauce or honey, add sprouts in salad, or eat sprout with an empty stomach for weight loss and detoxification.
9. Coriander: - Nutrient-rich coriander (or parsley) contains vitamin C, β-carotene, vitamins B1 and B2, etc., and rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium. It also contains essential oil, and apple potassium. Vitamin C in coriander is much higher than ordinary vegetables. For most people, 7-10 grams of coriander will meet the demand of daily vitamin C. Its carotene content is 10 times higher than that in cucumber, tomato and soy bean.
Recommendation: three meals a day with plenty of coriander (or parsley).
Breakfast: coriander with apples, raisins, and nuts blended into juice;
Lunch: eat with other food;
Dinner: coriander with scrambled eggs , with pumpkin, or just bibimbap (mix with rice) for dinner.
10. Apple: - Apple is rich in vitamins B1, C, B5, β-carotene, fats, carbohydrates, protein, pectin, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, fiber, malic acid and tannin. Zinc is the essential element in nucleic acid and protein which is closely related to memory functioning. Deficiency in zinc affects memory. Apple has been regarded to as the food for intelligence. New research shows that apple peels are rich in phytonutrients that have potent anti-cancer properties against breast, colon and liver cancer cells. The apple peel is also known to have a substance (¤Ñ¨®µâ¯À) that can stop vomiting. Unfortunately, many apple peels come with paraffin wax and pesticide residues that are not suitable for eating.
Recommendation: eat apple daily to clear up the stool. In meals toward the weekend, eat apple with yogurt and sweet potato to prepare for a thorough clean-up when it's most convenient.