Expert nutritionist Mireia Cervera shows you how detox foods can change your relationship with eating
For the most part we associate the word detox with giving up alcohol or stopping smoking but peel back the concept and there is much, much more to learn.
A detox programme is primarily designed to eliminate toxins that have built up in our systems.
These toxins can be generated by our own bodies when we are fighting infections, coping with stress, and warding off other strains on the body. We also absorb toxins by drinking alcohol and smoking, by breathing in polluted air, taking medicines and eating vegetables containing pesticides, as well as by consuming processed foods.
Typically, our bodies aim to banish these toxins naturally, but when they can’t, we might suffer with headaches, tiredness, digestion issues and joint pain.
In addition, our defences are much lower, and we deem our appearance to be unhealthy.
This is where Mireia, Wellness Centre’s nutritionist and member of Teresa Carles’ nutritional team, can help. Their list of detox foods below has been designed specifically with the liver, intestines and kidneys in mind.
Benefits of a detox nutrition
When you can boost your liver and kidneys’ detoxifying activity – something specific food choices most certainly do – they function more efficiently and make it easier to lose weight in a healthy way.
Our intestines are also involved in the detoxifying process and selecting certain foods improves digestion and speeds up your bowels.
The days of rushing your food prep and eating time will become a thing of the past and you’ll start to feel much healthier – in body and mind – as a result.
“By taking control of those decisions and moving towards healthier choices, you will lead a happier, more fulfilled life,” Mireia concludes.
Mireia Cervera and David Vives, PGA Catalunya’s executive chef, have compiled a list of products which change each season in order to offer seasonal, locally-sourced produce all year round to create the DETOX menú for the Wellness Centre’s programmes.
Leafy green vegetables: rocket, frisée, spinach, watercress, baby leaves and dandelion.
“Green vegetables are the foods most missing in modern diets and a green vegetable detox is a great way to build a healthy eating regimen. Each time greens are consumed they cleanse the insides of our body, freshening everything up.”
Cruciferous vegetables: kale, broccoli, chicory, and Romanesco broccoli.
“Cruciferous vegetables are great for metabolic detoxification and liver support. These types of vegetables also help metabolise and balance hormones, like oestrogens, and are researched in cancer prevention, especially hormone-sensitive or oestrogen-related cancers.”
Algae: chlorella and spirulina.
“Seaweed not only add nutritional value, they provide a powerful means to eliminate toxins from the body. They are able to bind heavy metals together in the body and create insoluble salts, which then flush toxins out of the body.”
Allium vegetables: garlic, onion, spring onions, leeks.
“Allium vegetables increase the activity of excretory enzymes and, taking the allicin produced in crushed garlic as an example, they are thought to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.”
Other vegetables with detoxifying properties: fennel, artichoke, celery, cucumber, beetroot, cardoon, asparagus, red cabbage.
“From the blood-purifying qualities and liver-cleansing abilities of beetroot, to celery’s anti-cancer compounds and asparagus’ benefits to those with high blood pressure, vegetables provide so many positives.”
Herbs and spices: turmeric, ginger, coriander, and parsley.
“Herbs and spices help rid your body of toxins, promote weight loss and aid blood sugar management.”
Fermented food and drinks: apple cider vinegar, umeboshi, miso, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles.
“Fermented food and drinks contain beneficial bacteria which helps your body naturally eliminate heavy metals and toxins. This healthy bacteria will create enough energy to help you balance a detox diet with the strains of everyday life.”
Fruit: raspberries, pomegranates, pineapples, papayas, citrus fruits, apples, cranberries, grapes, and kiwis.
“Fruit helps your digestive system take a break from overprocessed food and instead lets low-calorie, fibre-rich fruit clean your system while also putting your body into fat-burning mode.”
Sprouts: alfalfa and broccoli.
“Sprouts can offer pollution protection as they help our bodies produce glucoraphanin – which works to elevate enzyme levels in the liver and other tissues, something we need to expel environmental pollutants that we inhale or ingest.”
The Wellness Centre at PGA Catalunya Golf and Wellness offers a range of wellness programmes including detox programmes, working with a combination of movement and nutritional adjustments and including a choice of high-tech treatments, private yoga or massage, access to all areas of the Wellness Centre including the Thermal Pavilion and an overnight stay.