Step Four: Eat Your Leafy Green Vegetables

detox Dec 02, 2019

This is the fourth post in a 20-part series about how to detox your body, life and spirit. Make sure to check out the first post in the series, which also lists all 20 steps of the detox program. You can also subscribe to be notified of future posts in this detox series, and sign up to receive my free 67-page detox e-book.

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How to Detox with Bitter Greens - The Health Benefits of Leafy Green Vegetables | #detox #greens #health #healthtips #cleanse


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An important part of a detox diet is to increase your intake of bitter green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, cilantro, arugula, collards, and kale. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of greens, the nutritional differences of various greens, and my favorite green supplements.

The bitter taste stimulates the release of bile and elimination of toxins, supporting the liver, one of the main organs of detoxification. 

Leafy greens are also alkaline and help reduce acidity in the body. Acidic pH is a breeding ground for bacterial, fungal and parasitic infection and/or overgrowth which in turn creates dysbiosis in the gut. 

Dysbiosis is responsible for many gut issues, which affect the whole body’s balance.  The gut is the main source of your immune system. When you have dysbiosis, the gut cannot produce the proper components for a viable immune system. 





  • Kale is a green, leafy, winter vegetable that is high in fiber. The potassium content of kale may help reduce the risk of heart disease. It is high in beta-carotene, a carotenoid that is converted by the body into vitamin A as needed. Kale also contains vitamin C, supporting healthy skin, hair nails and collagen production.
  • Consult with a doctor before adding kale to the diet if you take blood thinning medication or have a kidney problem.


  • The dark green leaf color is a sign of a high content of chlorophyll and health-promoting carotenoids. These phytochemicals have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties and are especially important for healthy eyesight, helping to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts with its lutein content. 
  • It is also a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis.
  • Spinach contains a high amount of oxalate. Individuals with a history of oxalate containing kidney stones should avoid over consumption.  Reduce the oxalic acid content by lightly cooking or wilting the spinach.


  • Collard greens are rich in folate, calcium, dietary fiber, and vitamins E, A, K, and C.  Packed with many nutrients, collard greens have been associated with cancer prevention, detox support, anti-inflammatory properties, heart health, and digestive support.
  • “These green/leafy vegetables, when consumed regularly after steam cooking, would lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, advance human nutrition research, and improve public health.” (Source)


  • Arugula is chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Amongst minerals, it provides calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sodium. It has high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, fat soluble vitamins A, E and K and small amounts of other B vitamins. It is packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals, and carotenoids.
  • When compared to other leafy greens, arugula is low in oxalates, which are chemicals that actually inhibit the absorption of minerals into the body. Arugula has been cited to support bone health, helps improve the immune system, and increases metabolism. it also improves eyesight, increases mineral absorption, and tastes great!


  • Dandelion is a highly nutritious plant that can be eaten cooked or raw and serves as an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. It also contains vitamin E, folate and small amounts of other B vitamins. What’s more, dandelion greens provide a substantial amount of several minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
  • It contains high levels of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is known to provide strong protection against cellular damage and oxidative stress. This infamous plant, known in the northeast US as a weed, has many beneficial healing properties.
  • When wild harvesting your own supply be mindful to harvest in areas that are not sprayed with chemicals, fertilizers or pesticides. Avoid harvesting near roadways and highways as cars release hydrocarbons and other toxins. Plan a hike where you know the plant grows naturally in the wild.
  • It has been suggested to lower inflammation, aid in blood sugar control, reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, promote healthy liver, boosts the immune system and aids in healthy digestion.
  • (Sources 12)


  • Cilantro contains vitamin K and small amounts of folate, potassium, manganese, and choline, as well as the antioxidants beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
  • It has been found to inhibit lead accumulation in rats. The study shows evidence for the use of cilantro to overcome lead and other heavy metal toxicity.
  • Because of its ability to chelate (bond chemicals together), cilantro is also being studied as a natural water purifier.  Cilantro’s antibacterial, antifungal and heavy metal chelation factors have increased its use in ‘detoxification’ juices, soups and smoothies.
  • (Sources 12)


  • Parsley is packed with a mighty nutritional content with vitamins A, B, C and K. It also contains iron and potassium.  It is a natural diuretic and protects against water retention and bloating without depleting potassium stores.
  • Parsley has been noted to support against a variety of diseases including atherosclerosis, asthmas, diabetes and colon cancer.
  • It is high in vitamin C, which is a vital nutrient in neutralizing free radicals and oxidative stress in the body.


  • Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is well known as a superfood in the health-conscious communities. It is known for its high protein content and often responsible for providing protein to vegans and vegetarians.
  • It may protect against oxidative stress and free radicals. Spirulina is also an anti-inflammatory and provides homeostasis to the immune system.
  • Studies have also indicated spirulina to have anti-toxic effects against arsenic, fluoride, iron, lead and mercury. It may benefit weight loss, gut health, diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, metabolism, allergy symptoms, and mental health.
  • (Sources 123)


  • Chlorella is a single-celled freshwater algae that is harvested primarily in Taiwan and Japan. There are many different strains of Chlorella, all which have different nutritional content.  It is hard for the body to break down, so it is often found in forms that have been pre-processed. Pre-processed chlorella such as cracked single cell or pulverized chlorella allow for better digestibility. (Source)
  • In general chlorella contains proteins, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. It has been found to support the immune system and boost antibody count, protect against dementia, fight estrogen mimickers, and provide anti-cancer effects.


  • Chlorophyll can improve liver detoxification by upregulating and contributing to phase II detoxification enzymes.
  • It is also said to help speed up wound healing by protecting against bacterial colonization and also by reducing inflammation. Chlorophyll also is blood building and has similar properties to hemoglobin the oxygen carrying component of human blood. (Source)



If you have a hard time getting enough fresh greens and antioxidants in your life, whether it’s because you’re too time crunched to get in the kitchen or you’re on the go a lot, you can try high quality powders and supplements. Here are a few of my favorites for supporting the detoxification journey:


“Shilajit is popularly referred to as the Destroyer of Weaknesses. This resin has a wide array of therapeutic benefits and is used all around the world as a panacea for almost every health problem.

Natural Shilajit Resin



“Spirulina is a powdered blue-green freshwater algae, and one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet! This ancient superfood contains a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals to fortify and nourish our bodies.”



“Imagine drinking some of the world’s greatest super foods in one glass. Our proprietary formula is scientifically designed to nourish your body with vital nutrients without the need to dramatically change your daily routine!”




“Restore your vibrance with a convenient, daily dose of plant-based powerful antioxidants. Wild Green’s PH balancing blend of spirulina, chlorella, vegetables, and greens is a delicious way to promote anti-aging, increase energy and focus, and boost immune function.”



“Shilajit Fulvic Acid Complex works with Co-Q10 in the mitochondria and boosts energy production in brain and muscle tissues during exercise”



“Antioxidant and bio-generative properties promote cellular regeneration and maintenance of older cells. Our resin contains numerous microelements as well as ashless humic, fulvic, and amino acids.”


If you enjoyed this post, which is the fourth in the detox series, make sure to check out the first post in the series, which lists all 20 steps. Please subscribe to be notified of future posts, and sign up to receive my free 67-page detox e-book.


Dr. S, ND


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