The easiest way to support your body's natural ability to detox is to consume fermented foods and beverages. These easy-to-digest, mineral-rich traditional foods contain important nutrients including Vitamins A, D, E, K2, B and C, minerals, enzymes and friendly bacteria (probiotics). These elements not only boost immunity and digestion function, but also support overall health by increasing the amount of available nutrients in food.
Making your own fermented foods at home is optimal since you always know what you are putting in your own preparations. These are also typically less expensive than store-bought. However, many health food stores now offer some excellent products if you aren't in a position to make your own including: sauerkraut, pickles, and other fermented vegetable combinations.
Some health food stores now offer raw and pasture-raised cultured dairy foods such as yogurt, kefir, sour cream and cream cheese. Lesser recommended would be pasteurized cultured dairy foods which are more difficult to digest since enzymes and proteins are compromised during the heating process. These typically contain less beneficial bacteria than their raw counterparts.
Fermented teas such as kombucha, water kefir, and vegetable juices are also available and beneficial. These mineral and probiotic-rich beverages can be a healthy part of your diet and support for detox. All kombucha and kefir is prepared with some type of tea and sugar as the SCOBY mother (kombucha) and water kefir grains consume them to allow propagation of more bacteria. However, store-bought kombucha and water kefir tend to be much sweeter than homemade, and can also contain unwanted additives.
Although the fermentation process can help neutralize effects of caffeine in tea on the body, some people find they are still sensitive. If you don't know whether you are sensitive, try a bottle of organic, store bought kombucha to test (or homemade from a friend). Some find that they need to avoid drinking kombucha tea no later than 2 p.m. during the day due to its "awakening" and energizing effects, which can affect sleep cycles. Be sure to always check labels and look for organic and if you purchase a store-bought brand.
Always read the label carefully and choose organic whenever possible that contain only salt and vegetables/herbs for fermented produce (not vinegar). When choosing cultured dairy foods look for whole milk products (not skim or low-fat, which reduces essential nutrients in dairy foods) and which contain no additives such as modified food starch, sugar, or others you may not recognize or can't pronounce.
Interested in making your own kombucha?
Visit Kombucha Kamp.
Learn how to make other fermented foods and beverages:
Beet kvass - a traditional, Ukrainian beverage using just beets, salt and filtered water