The health benefits of cinnamon are more than you think. For starters, it's a great source of fiber (it is from bark, remember?), manganese and calcium.

Did You Know? 3 Unexpected Cleansing Foods

We all have our go-to cleansing foods. We pile on the lemon, love the burn of cayenne and dandelion tea ourselves into oblivion in the name of releasing toxins and cleansing our digestive tracts. What you might not know is that there are tons of foods that can be used to reset your hot bod so you don’t have to get bored with the more common cleansing foods. I’m a fan of a real food cleanse. While I love a good juice every now and again, cleansing with actual food that you chew is my go-to because it reminds a person of what portions should look like—and feel like. It helps you reinvigorate and fuels you with energy. Looking for something to take your food cleanse up a notch? Here are three of my unusual faves that I have my clients chow down on while cleansing.

Sauerkraut actually translates into ‘sour cabbage’ and is made by chopping cabbage, adding salt and pressing it down, which releases water from the cabbage and causes fermentation. Fermentation brings to life wonderful microbes which will help keep your tummy in tip top shape and your immune system in good order. There is more lactobacillus in sauerkraut than in yogurt, making it a superior source of probiotics and it’s also loaded with vitamins C and K. Hello antioxidants, immunity, collagen and bone boosters, can I have a scoop of you on my plate?! But before you grab a can of the kraut you piled on your childhood hotdog, you actually want unpasteurized, vinegar free kraut to get the most cleansing benefits.

Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Whatever you consider the versatile avocado (it’s a fruit by the way), it should definitely be in your cleansing routine. Full of F’s—fiber, flavonoids and monounsaturated fat (MUFAs)—these little green gems are loaded with cleansing power. Fiber helps to keep you full, flavonoids are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, and MUFAs are those healthy fats that help burn belly fat. MUFAs also help to keep you satisfied in a keep-your-hand-out-of-the-candy-drawer kind of a way. In other words, avocado is welcome in my cleansing world.

Like most herbs and spices, you don’t need to worry about overdoing it when you are cleansing, but there’s good reason to make sure you shake some cinnamon onto your detoxifying ways. Cinnamon is a great source of fiber (it is from bark, remember?), manganese and calcium. Cinnamon also has essential oils that help prevent inflammation, bacterial growth and improve colon health. You can get these benefits in the powdered spice, so you don’t need to hunt for the oil-version to reap the rewards. Besides all that, cinnamon mimics sweet and can make your eats feel indulgent, when you’re laying off the sugar.

WORDS: Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Nutritious Life

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