One of the most important things we can do for our health is to consciously cleanse the body on an ongoing basis. We are regularly exposed to innumerable toxins, whether we live a kale eating, yoga moving lifestyle or not. From the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to the food we eat, and the products we use, chemicals, heavy metals, allergens, and bacteria are everywhere. Many of which we are unable to avoid.
These exposures have an impact on the body. They damage our cells, cause inflammation, break our cell’s DNA, inhibit normal organ and gland functioning, cause hormone imbalance and premature aging to name a few. And thus, lead to an array of conditions ranging from chronic disease to cancer. In the short term, the accumulation of these toxins can be an underlying root cause of any number of ailments including fatigue, hair loss, hypothyroidism, infertility, brain fog, and constipation.
But what about our detox organs? The main detox organs – the liver, colon and kidneys – are in charge of clearing these toxins. The problem is that their ability to do their job is reliant on many factors. Do we have sufficient levels of the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and antioxidants that are needed for them to function properly? Are we constantly stressed and low on sleep? Do we smoke, drink, use recreational or pharmaceutical drugs? Do we drink and shower in filtered water, and use an air purifier? Do we eat organic food and avoid GMOs, pesticides, processed foods, trans fatty acids and high fructose corn syrup? Do we eat high-mercury fish like tuna often? Do we use conventional (chemical-laden) personal care products? Do we fly on airplanes regularly? The list goes on and on…
The bottom line is that no matter how you cut it, our daily exposure to toxins overwhelms the detox organ’s ability to function properly and efficiently. It is simply the nature of the world that we live in. And therefore, taking measures to support the detox organs and provide the body with nutrition to encourage the excretion and elimination of these toxins is imperative.
And now for the fun part! All this doomsday talk can be remedied by drinking one of my ultimate cleansing green smoothies daily. If you haven’t jumped on the smoothie band wagon as of yet, here is your chance! It is a low-calorie, low-sugar green smoothie, so it can easily fit into anyone’s diet or lifestyle without harm. It runs about 210 calories total. All you need is a high speed blender and the low-sugar green smoothie ingredients listed below. Feel free to add a protein powder or extra avocado to make it more filling.
Cleansing Green Smoothie
- 1 cup coconut water (I love raw coconut water by Harmless Harvest)
- 1 oz. aloe vera juice (I use whole leaf aloe by Lakewood Organic – free of preservatives, artificial flavors or chemicals)
- 1 tbs. lemon juice
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1/4 c parsley, fresh, lightly chopped
- 1/2 c cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 c cauliflower, raw and roughly chopped
- 1/3 of an avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1/2 pear, frozen with skin
- 1/8 tsp chlorella (I use Health Force Naturals – broken cell wall) or 1 opened capsule
- optional: 1 opened capsule of calcium bentonite clay, smectite form (I use Medi-Clay FX by Premier Research Labs)
- Mulberries (I use Navitas Naturals)
- Freshly chopped cucumber
- Coconut flakes (I use Let’s Do Organic)
Add ingredients to a high speed blender (I use a 5200 series Vitamix) and blend on high. Pour into a glass to drink as a smoothie, or place in a bowl to eat as a smoothie bowl. Feel free to add toppings (this makes it more filling).
The Run Down: How the green smoothie ingredients cleanse
Coconut water is one of the most hydrating drinks you can consume. It is highly concentrated with five electrolytes that are known to support rapid hydration: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Each serving contains more potassium than a banana, plus many other essential minerals and vitamins such as iron and manganese. Coconut water contains a variety of trace elements such as zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, manganese, boron, molybdenum that act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants protect the body from damage by toxins, keeping you young and vibrant. To learn more, check out 55 reasons to keep drinking this low sugar, cleansing water.
Aloe Vera is a succulent that contains many healing properties that help soothe the skin and the digestive track. Aloe promotes the healing of the GI tract, and supports normal bowel movements. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. Aloe Vera is rich in vitamins A, B12, and E, as well we the minerals calcium and magnesium. It is also a source of essential fatty acids and enzymes. Aloe is ideal for any intestinal disorder (chrons, IBS, acid reflux) due to its ability to heal the intestinal lining. It helps to ensure that all toxins released by the body are adequately cleared through the bowels.
Lemons are one of the most cleansing and alkalizing fruits. Promoting an alkaline state in the body is key for health, because it helps to lower inflammation, and prevents harmful pathogens like viruses, bacterias and parasites from taking host in the body. It also increases tissue oxygen, which is essential for healthy blood, organ function, cellular health and the clearance of toxic substances. Lemon also contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. Finally, lemon juice can help to eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones. Lemon juice is a significant source of citric acid, which has been shown to make urine less favorable for the formation of kidney stones.
Ginger is a root that possesses numerous therapeutic properties. It has antioxidant effects, inhibiting the formation of inflammatory compounds, and preventing damage to tissues from toxins. Ginger is best known for its ability to soothe the GI tract, acting as an excellent carminative (promoting the elimination of intestinal gas) and as an intestinal spasmolytic (relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract). Ginger also contains compounds called gingerols, which have shown in studies to reduce pain and swelling and to improve mobility in joints. It does this by suppressing pro-inflammatory compounds while protecting cells against pro-oxidant damage. Ginger may also protect against colon and ovarian cancer.
Parsley, one of the world’s most common herbs gains its therapeutic benefits from its volatile oils and flavonoids. Its volatile oils help to neutralize carcinogens (cancer-causing agents most often coming from toxins) and inhibit tumor formation. These oils also activate the enzyme glutathione s-transferase, which is essential to proper liver detoxification. As for its flavonoids, they act as antioxidants preventing damage from ingested toxins. This inhibits damage to the cell’s DNA. Parsley also contains high levels of Vitamin C, beta carotene and B vitamins protecting against cardiovascular disease and arthritis, and reduces the incidence of asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and colon cancer.
Cucumbers are an extremely hydrating food, promoting normal bowel movements and the clearance of toxins via the kidneys. They are a rich source of phytonutrients known to have antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients protect the body from toxic damage, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as several cancer types, including breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that has unique cleansing and detoxification capabilities. It contains a compound called DIM, diindolylmethane, which has the ability to clear harmful estrogens from the body system. It can also prevent conversion of testosterone into estrogen, making it a powerful anti-cancer agent, especially for breast, colon and uterine cancer. It helps to balance hormones in many cases such as PCOS, endometriosis, after birth control, PMS, gynecomastia (male breast tissue growth), and menopause. It is also used to prevent an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, BPH).
Avocados are one of the healthiest sources of good fats called monounsaturated fats. These fats protect against heart disease, skin cancers, are used to build our cell membranes, and inhibit premature aging. They are also rich in fiber (supporting a healthy colon and bowel movements – good bye toxins!), vitamin K (protecting against osteoporosis), and vitamin E (a potent antioxidant that protects our cells from damage). They also help control blood sugar, insulin levels and lower inflammation, reducing stress on our organ and gland systems.
Eat your pear skins! Pear skins contain three to four times the antioxidant phytonutrients than its flesh. Pears protect the body against toxins, act as anti-inflammatory agents, and are anti-cancer agents as well. The skin of the pear has also been show to contain about half of the pear’s total dietary fiber, which is key for moving released toxins out of the body through the bowels. They decrease the risk for heart disease and diabetes, lower blood sugar, and prevent certain cancers such as colon, stomach and esophageal. They are also low in sugar too.
Chlorella is a single celled green algae that is a powerhouse of nutrition. Extremely high in chlorophyll and magnesium, chlorella is the best detoxifier, getting rid of toxins from the skin, liver, brain and other organs. It has been shown to be particularly effective in clearing heavy metals. Chlorella is also a complete protein source. It can aid in clear skin, blood sugar balance, mental clarity, balanced digestion, a strengthened immune system and mood stability.
Calcium Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay, specifically calcium bentonite, has been studied and proven to bind to bacterial toxins, chemotherapy metabolites, aflatoxins (in nuts, grains and corn), antigens, glyphosates (from GMOs), radiolytic and pro-inflammatory compounds. It works through both adsorptive and absorptive detoxification processes for a deep cleansing of internal waste. It does this by safely carrying the toxins out of the body via the bowel, not stressing other systems. Calcium bentonite (the smectite form) is the preferred form because it does not bind to beneficial nutrients in the body like vitamins and minerals. If you want to learn more, go here.
Can’t wait for you all to try my low-sugar, cleansing green smoothie! Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below.