Foods help the body detoxify
The new year has begun, and many of us are considering the state of our health. Some may be thinking about a weight loss plan, while others just want to feel better.
Holiday celebrations, festivities, and travel can sometimes create a body burden of toxins, like refined sugars and oils, BPA, trans fats, and mercury, to name a few, that need to be dealt with, and the new year may be a great opportunity to begin that detoxification process.
Food can help the body detoxify.
This simple pesto recipe can be paired with grass-fed meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables and contains several ingredients that can assist the body in detoxifying – easily and deliciously!
Health benefits from this sauce
Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a low-calorie, nutritious herb containing micronutrients like vitamins K, A, C, as well as potassium, and contains many antioxidants that help to protect our cells from damage (1) (2). Cilantro leaf has been found to reduce the uptake of heavy metals, like mercury, during exposure and when taken in advance of exposure may protect the liver from the toxins (2). In animal studies, cilantro leaf was found to decrease the absorption of lead into bone (3).
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a nutritious, low-calorie herb with a mild flavor that, like cilantro, contains important micronutrients like vitamins K, C, and A, and is a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B9, iron, and calcium. Parsley contains apigenin, a dietary flavonoid, that acts as an antioxidant that reduces inflammation, and chlorophyll which has been found to bind with and eliminate toxins, like aflatoxin, from the body (4) (5).
Chlorella is a form of freshwater algae that has an impressive nutrient profile, including chlorophyll, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, polysaccharides, and vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, and B complex vitamins as well as iron, zinc, and magnesium (6) (7). Chlorella is an effective chelator for heavy metals like lead, able to bind and remove lead from the blood (8). Animal studies show that chlorella can reduce mercury levels in kidney and brain tissue after about 20 days (9).
Cilantro & parsley pesto recipe
1 cup cilantro (leaves/stems) firmly packed
1 cup parsley (leaves/stems) firmly packed
½ cup walnuts
½ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. chlorella
1 tbsp. lemon juice
clean water (to desired consistency)
2-3 cloves of garlic
sea salt, and black pepper to taste
cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes add a bit of heat (optional)
Using a blender or food processor, process the walnuts and pumpkin seeds into a powder. Add the remaining ingredients and blend/process until the mixture is smooth. Simple, delicious, and detoxifying - enjoy!
Note: If you experience stomach upset with this sauce, you may be experiencing a detox reaction.
Here’s another pesto recipe.