Crazy big salads
A really big salad with the freshest power greens (think baby kale, spinach, watercress, beet greens, and arugula) is an unbeatable combination of detox foods for your body. Top it with spring radishes, shaved fennel, and crunchy hemp and chia seeds. Instead of goopy bottled dressing, keep things clean by gently tossing the salad with a tablespoon or two of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. “I think from salad standpoint, keeping things really fresh with lots of greens, combined with nuts and seeds tossed with a more sour, tahini-lemon dressing with garlic or just sprinkled with apple cider vinegar is a great detoxifier,” says Dr. Axe. You’ll also ensure you’re getting two to five servings of powerhouse vegetables a day, most of your fiber, and a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat from the oil; you’ll also fill fuller longer.
Dial back protein
“Of the four seasons, spring is the time when your body does well with a lower amount of protein,” says Dr. Axe. He advises cutting back on fatty cuts of meat and focusing instead on meals that are three-parts vegetables to one-part meat, poultry, or seafood. Go for traditional Chinese dishes like veggie-heavy stir-fries and Mediterranean grain and vegetable dishes—they’re good, lighter detox foods to aid in your spring cleanse, he says. Look out for the 8 most dangerous detoxes that could send you to the hospital.
Seaweed, the new kale
One of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat, seaweed is high in antioxidants and boasts an array of phytochemicals like polyphenols and fucoxanthin. Seaweeds like dulse, wakame, nori, and kombu are an ancient food source for sea-dwelling communities; they also happen to be popular in traditional Chinese medicine for treating everything from urinary tract infections to tumors. Recently, studies on Asian women found low breast cancer incidence in women who ate lots of seaweed. “When you look at Asia and Japan, they have the longest life expectancy in the world and they have a diet rich in seaweed,” says Dr. Axe. (He suggests you avoid hijiki, common in Japanese cuisine, as it can contain arsenic and higher levels of mercury depending on its source). Seaweed’s potent nutrients can help detox your blood and kidneys and have diuretic properties to help you shed excess water while boosting your immunity.