9 detox foods that ‘cool down’ inflammation

A gentle, seasonal cleanse is an excellent way to jumpstart your body’s healing capacities and cure chronic inflammation, reduce stress, heal ongoing infections and unhealed injuries, relieve allergies and much more.

One of the main benefits of a successful seasonal detox is a “cooling down” effect.

When we eliminate heavy metals, environmental toxins and other pollutants from our bodies, the chronic inflammation that’s burning up our organs and tissues — aggravated by a toxic body burden — starts to ebb.

This is especially true if we emphasize antioxidant-rich, detox-supporting foods that are known to help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Antioxidant foods are important during detox, as they help to neutralize the oxidative stress caused by toxins, while supporting numerous detox functions and other critical processes.

Here is a list of some very effective and fast-acting anti-inflammatory foods to add to your detox diet:

Broccoli, kale and cabbage

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower, contain compounds called indole-3-carbinol and phenylethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC). Studies show that these powerful plant protectors greatly reduce inflammation that can come from almost any common pathway — and some uncommon ones.

In addition, these vegetables contain other sulfur-based compounds that reduce inflammation further and help detoxify the body. One recent clinical study showed that broccoli sprouts help to safely eliminate harmful environmental pollutants from the body.

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This common spice contains the compound curcumin, which has been shown to control COX enzymes and other inflammatory agents throughout the body. Turmeric is also shown to support cellular health, immunity, neurological health and the organs of elimination, particularly the liver.


Another spice that fights inflammation is ginger, which contains gingerol, a compound that inhibits nitric oxide production and reduces inflammation while supporting digestion and circulation — critical components of healthy detoxification. Ginger teas and ginger baths also promote sweating, a key detoxification pathway.

Red grapes

Red grapes are good sources of resveratrol, an antioxidant compound that reduces the inflammatory effects of both COX-1 and COX-2 genes. It also inhibits nitric oxide, a chemical that in excess, contributes to inflammation and cellular destruction throughout the body. Grapes are also diuretic, which means they can help remove toxins through the urinary system. They also have a mild laxative effect to help cleanse the digestive tract.


“An apple a day” may be more than just a saying. Apples are high in antioxidants and a study in The Journal of Neuroscience showed they inhibit an inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF-a). In addition, apples are high in quercetin, a polyphenol that has also been found to suppress inflammatory proteins. Their high fiber and high pectin content, especially in green apples, helps mop up toxins in the digestive tract.


As a general rule, colorful foods tend to be high in antioxidants and other healthy compounds. Many fruits certainly fall into this category. Acai, blueberries raspberries and blackberries are very high in anthocyanins, a class of polyphenols that helps give them their color. A study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis found fruits high in anthocyanins provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as protection against cancer. They’re also high in fiber as an added detox benefit.


In addition to containing vitamin C and other nutrients, citrus also has a powerful effect on inflammation. Research published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that citrus bioflavonoid compounds offered good anti-inflammatory activity, without side effects. Lemons and limes in particular also offer detox and overall support for the liver, gallbladder and digestive system.

Mung bean sprouts

Sprouted mung beans are a rich source of health-promoting flavonoids, amino acids and other beneficial compounds to help reduce inflammation, fight infections, lower hypertension, support metabolism, help fight cancer and support the organs of elimination.

Olive oil

Olive oil is a main component of the Mediterranean diet and has been found to offer protection against inflammation with its abundance of beneficial compounds. A study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design showed that one olive oil compound, in particular, called oleocanthal, offers similar anti-inflammatory benefits to ibuprofen. As part of a seasonal detox,

I recommend a simple lemon and olive oil drink that helps support the liver and gallbladder and reduce systemic inflammation.

To make this drink, blend one whole lemon (including peel), 1 tablespoon of organic olive oil and 1 ¼ cups spring water in the blender. Strain the contents and drink before bed.

Many people report that the refreshing beverage helps them sleep better — another important factor in addressing chronic inflammation.

Diet is the first step towards combatting chronic inflammation, but it’s not the only tool we have. Exercise and stress reduction are also important factors in addressing both inflammation and detoxification. By combining these practices, we can address chronic inflammation at its roots, reduce toxic body burden and control significant risk factors for cancer, heart disease and many other conditions.


  1. Jo-Ting T,1 Hui-Ching L, Yue-Hwa C. “Suppression of Inflammatory Mediators by Cruciferous Vegetable-Derived Indole-3-Carbinol and Phenylethyl Isothiocyanate in Lipopolysaccharide-Activated Macrophages.” Mediators of Inflammation 2010; Volume 2010, Article ID 293642.


Dr. Isaac Eliaz

By Dr. Isaac Eliaz

Dr. Isaac Eliaz is a renowned integrative medical doctor, licensed acupuncturist, researcher, product formulator and frequent guest lecturer. He has been a pioneer in holistic medicine since the early 1980s, and has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers on several of his key integrative health formulas. He is the founder and medical director of Amitabha Clinic in California, an integrative health center specializing in cancer and chronic conditions. Dr. Eliaz is an expert in using highly strategic, synergistic protocols to address numerous areas of health including metastatic cancer, immunity, digestion, detoxification, diabetes, cardiovascular health and more. His approach integrates modern science with traditional healing wisdom for optimal health and wellness. To download any of Dr. Eliaz's comprehensive wellness guides, click here.