Detox, short for detoxification, is the removal of potentially toxic substances from the body. Although detox is primarily thought of as a treatment for alcohol or drug dependence, the term is also used to refer to diets, herbs, and other methods of removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body for general health.
This is a sample two-week detox diet plan to support detoxification by increasing elimination from the body, cleansing the colon, enhancing circulation to clear toxic substances, eliminating foods from the diet that require detoxification or are allergenic and providing nutrients to support and protect the liver, the main organ involved in detoxification.
Foods to Eat
Fruit | Fresh or frozen fruit.
Vegetables | All fresh vegetables. Vegetables thought to be particularly good detox foods include broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, onions, garlic, artichokes, beets, spinach, red and green vegetables.
Rice | All forms of rice, including rice cakes, rice crackers and rice pasta. Brown rice is typically preferred.
Other Grains | Quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat can be used instead of rice. They can be purchased at a health food store or in some grocery stores.
Beans | Split yellow and green peas and lentils are easiest to digest and require the least soaking time. Other good options include kidney beans, pinto beans, mung beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and adzuki beans.
Nuts and Seeds | Unsalted nuts or seeds can be sprinkled over salads or eaten as a snack. Good options include flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews and walnuts. Nut-butters are permitted. Peanuts and peanut butter are usually not recommended.
Oil | Extra-virgin olive oil is a preferred oil.
Condiments | Vegetable salt, sea salt, vinegar, soy sauce or tamari, all herbs or spices.
Tea | Herbal teas, green tea.
Other Beverages | Water, lemon water, pure unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices, rice milk
Daily Detox Do’s
- Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day, warm or room temperature.
- Take the time to chew food well, especially grains.
Foods to avoid
Sugar | Includes sugar, products containing sugar, and hidden forms of sugar, such as sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, brown sugar, and turbinado. Artificial sweeteners are usually not recommended. Stevia and erythritol are allowed natural sweeteners.
Dairy Products | Milk, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, and other dairy products.
Wheat | Wheat and products containing wheat, such as pasta and bread.
Gluten | All gluten-containing grains: wheat (including spelt, triticale, and kamut), rye, and barley.
Coffee | Although most detox diets recommend avoiding coffee, both regular and decaffeinated, one cup a day is usually acceptable and may reduce the occurrence of caffeine withdrawal headaches.
To alleviate stress, celebrate the amber light of fall afternoons with a herbal tea ritual.
- Warm a teapot by filling with boiling water; drain.
- Use a blend of ¼ cup dried rosehips, 2 tablespoons dried crushed lemon balm, 1 tablespoon leaf sage, 1 tablespoon dried orange peel and 1½ teaspoons whole cloves with 6 cups boiling water, then cover and steep 6 to 8 minutes.
- Pour tea through a strainer into cups.