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7 Spring-Cleansing Foods

Spring Clean Your Body!

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After a long winter of indulging in comfort foods, you may feel like you need to press a reset button on your body for spring. The good news is it’s possible to rid your body of toxins and restore alkalinity simply by eating right. Here are seven of my favorite foods to help detoxify, hydrate, and refresh your body all naturally, just in time for spring and summer!

Berry Green Smoothies

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Start your day on a healthy note by blending together a cup of greens like spinach, kale, and celery with a handful of berries to make a delicious smoothie. These leafy greens contain chlorophyll, a molecule that helps eliminate harmful environmental toxins that can contribute to illness and liver damage. The berries’ bounty of antioxidants and enzymes help fight free-radical damage that may lead to disease, and their sweetness takes over the more bitter taste of the greens—you won’t even notice they’re in there!

RELATED: 6 Satisfying Vegan Smoothies

Photo credit: Laura Chung

Green Tea

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Polyphenols, antioxidant-rich phytochemicals found in green tea leaves, help to detoxify the body by eliminating harmful free radicals. Studies have also shown that increased consumption of green tea may reduce your risk of several cancers. And that's not all: Research has linked drinking green tea to improving memory and reducing belly fat when combined with exercise, thanks to the catechin EGCG, a powerful antioxidant. Win-win!

Want to detox sans the caffeine? Herbal "detox" teas—Yogi Detox is one of my favorite brands—contain a blend of caffeine-free herbs with special cleansing properties.

Photo credit: Laura Chung

Curry Powder

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The main spice in curry powder, turmeric gets it beautiful yellow color from a compound called curcumin. In holistic medicine, curcumin is used to help aid with digestive disorders and liver issues. Curry powder is also an anti-inflammatory and contributes to the production of glutathione, a powerful liver-protecting antioxidant. Next time you’re in the kitchen, reap the benefits by sprinkling some curry powder on eggs, roasted veggies, lentils, or chicken masala.

Cabbage

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Cabbage, made up of approximately 92 percent water, is a natural diuretic that can help expel excess fluids from the body, so you can’t go wrong by filling up on this water-based food. It’s packed with glucosinolates, organic compounds that contain nitrogen and sulfur which help flush out unwanted toxins. Plus, cabbage delivers a good dose of many essential vitamins, including C, K, E, and A, minerals, dietary fiber, and folic acid. Click here for a yummy salad recipe with cabbage and other cleansing ingredients galore!

Water

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The best things in life are free—including tap water. Start off your morning with a glass of water, and stay hydrated all day by carrying a reusable water bottle (I bring a Klean Kanteen with me everywhere!). Drinking water before a meal can help take the edge off hunger, and of course it's important to drink up before and after a workout. Aim for nine cups a day, as recommended by Mayo Clinic, to help flush out toxins through your liver and kidneys.

Pineapple

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Fresh pineapple is not only sweet and delicious, but it also aids in detoxing your body, thanks to the presence of bromelian, a powerful digestive enzyme. This enzyme has been proven to aid in digesting protein, breaking down fats, and reducing inflammation. Pineapple is also packed with manganese, which has been recommended by nutritionists as a way to boost your mood if you’re experiencing symptoms of PMS—how’s that for an added bonus?

Photo credit: Laura Chung

Lemon

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Drinking a glass of water infused with lemon (or adding lemon to a mug of hot water) is a proven strategy to help cleanse your body. Lemons contain antibacterial properties that help purify the blood and balance the pH level of your colon. The citrus fruit's vitamin C will also help boost your immunity. Lemon juice is so versatile in cooking—you can add it to salad dressings, marinades, smoothies, and juices, or finish off a pasta, fish, or chicken dish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.