Refuel your body with healthy nutrients with these natural detox foods. Toxins can end up in our body depending on one’s diet, bacterias already existing in one’s body and one’s environment. By consuming these foods you can reduce the workload of organs like the liver and kidneys and stimulate them to a jump in performance which can lead to improved blood circulation and boost toxin elimination. These six exotically local foods can help your body naturally detox and give you a healthy reset your body needs.
Roucou or Annatto seeds of the achiote tree native to tropical regions are used in many cultures as a food colouring additive imparting a bright red colour and sometimes also for its flavour and aroma. Today they are ground into a powder and used as food colouring, although in Trinidad and Tobago it’s usually seen as an orange-red liquid in a forever unlabelled bottle. Roucou is used to add colour to lentils, stews and even pelau, and boasts many healing properties as well! It has antioxidant properties that reduce the risk of cellular damage by harmful molecules called free radicals. It destroys intestinal worms and harmful bacteria in the gut and even helps clear sputum from your airways.
Sea Moss is a special type of algae found growing on rocky coasts and can now be conveniently purchased at your supermarket. Sea moss can be bought as a light-coloured jelly and is famous for its use in milkshakes. Metals like mercury, aluminium and lead enter our bodies from the cookware we use, and some naturally occur in fish like salmon. Sea moss contains natural detoxifying compounds that help remove metals from the body. It even stimulates your thyroid to increase metabolism.
People have been going crazy over coconut water because of its claims to aid to regulate the body’s pH is good for proper immune function and reduction of lingering stress hormones. You’ll be happy to know that coconut water is naturally alkaline. It’s also a good source of antioxidants that reduce toxins in the liver and helps expel microbes and toxins in the bladder for urinary health.
Spanish thyme, locally known as "podina" is a healthy herb with leaves that are velvety to the touch and smell like a cross between mint and citrus. Podina can prevent or treat gas and bloating as well as reduces intestinal absorption of potentially harmful substances from food. It’s a common ingredient in locally blended green seasoning for meat and fish, however, it can even be brewed as a tea which activates its natural menthol properties that help in treating coughs.
A big ripe Avocado (Zaboca) should be on your detox menu as well. Zabocas are high in fatty acids that reduce inflammation and help protect against powerful toxins in the liver. While you detox its also important to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need. Many nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K as well as some antioxidants are fat-soluble, meaning they are used best by the body when there is a healthy amount of fats present. Zabocas help you fully utilize these nutrients and keep you feeling great.
Noni, sometimes called the cheese fruit because when ripe it smells like pungent fermentation and has a sharp taste to boot but don’t let that scare you away from this superfruit. Noni’s possess natural compounds called anthraquinones that reduce the formation of cancer cells. It also stimulates serotonin to improve mood and sleep. On top of that Noni offers more anti-oxidants than pomegranates and acai, although it’s not as appetizing. Only those with stomachs of steel can eat the noni fruit as is. Luckily you can get Noni juice blended with other fruit juices that mask its taste.
Written by Noor-ud-din Mohammed
Noor-ud-din Mohammed is a linguistics and communications student at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. Motivated by his passion for healthy living, Noor shares delicious recipes and articles focused on Trinidad and Tobago’s diverse culture and cuisine.