Beets are among the few edible plants that contain betalains, plant pigments that give some beets their deep red color and have powerful anti-inflammatory and fungicidal properties. Betalains promote cell structure, repair and regeneration, especially in the liver—the body's primary detox center.
Artichokes contain antioxidant plant compounds called caffeoylquinic acids, which are used to treat hepatic (liver) disorders because they stimulate bile flow. Bile helps the body to digest fats, and efficient bile flow clears the system of potentially inflammatory substances contained in fatty foods.
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As a nutritionist, I always suggest that my clients get a jump-start on weight loss and a new way of eating with a short "cleanse," to help eliminate cravings, wake up the digestive system, and prepare the body for a new healthier way of eating.
Figuring out which foods are best for a "cleanse" can be tricky. So many foods feel refreshing and rejuvenating—hot tea, raw vegetables, and fresh fruit come to mind. And with good reason: foods with insoluble fiber (like raw veggies) or a diuretic effect (like green tea), promote speedy digestion and "flush" the GI tract. These foods can be considered the best "cleanse" choices. Here are some of my faves and why they just might work! --Keri Glassman, M.S., R.D.
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