Vegetables—we all know we should eat more of them. They’re nutrient-rich, hydrating, and when prepared fresh, they contain prana, or life-supporting energy. They also provide plant compounds that play key roles in digestive health, and help to remove amavisha (toxic wastes) from the body.
Green colored vegetables such as leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage are particularly beneficial for detox. They contain a special plant chemical called chlorophyll, a potent antioxidant that helps fight free radical damage to cells. Chlorophyll has many benefits for cleansing the body, among them being its ability to bind to heavy metals for removal, as well as supporting the liver in filtering toxins.
Aim to include a variety of vegetables in your daily diet and during a detox to reap all their benefits. Maharishi AyurVeda recommends cooking vegetables to make their nutrients easier to digest and absorb, but it’s also important not to overcook them, which reduces their nutrient value. Choose seasonal, locally grown leafy greens and vegetables to maximize detoxification aligned with the season.
Leafy greens are excellent sources of antioxidant vitamins A and C, and they also provide vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin K, iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. The human body is about 60 percent water, and leafy greens help purify your shrotas (the subtle channels of the body) and replenish your inner hydration stores.
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are all part of the cruciferous vegetable family. They’re abundant in folate and vitamin K, low in calories, and contain unique plant compounds that have been associated with supporting the immune system. They’re also abundant in prebiotic fiber which feed the healthy bacteria in your gut, improving microbiota diversity and digestive health.
Zucchini, and other squashes are water-rich vegetables plentiful in several vitamins, minerals, soluble and insoluble fiber, and other beneficial phyto (plant) chemicals. Loki—a white crook-necked squash shaped like an eggplant—is highly recommended by Maharishi AyurVeda, as it’s balancing to all the doshas, especially Pitta, and is beneficial for the liver.
Vegetables are superfoods for detoxification and gut health, particularly green leafy, cruciferous, and squash varieties that contain unique plant chemicals. Be sure to include them in your daily diet, and during a cleanse.