There are many versions of a detox diet plan out there that have developed over time. Although we are not going to recommend a particular one, there are certain foods that help detox the body, serve as a nice cleanse, and can be incorporated into an everyday healthy diet. We personally have done detox diets in the past (mostly 3 days), and have found them to be cleansing and feeling lighter and better inside afterwards. We believe in the benefit of a detox diet, particularly for those who recently have been eating poorly, consuming alcohol, constipated, traveling too long and not sleeping well, and feeling lethargic due to the previously mentioned factors. If this describes your life right now, you may want to consider a detox diet that will help clean your body out, literally getting the toxins out. Constipation is a storage of toxins in the body, so the smellier it is, the more toxic it actually is (so forget the sprays to cover up smell, get to the root of the problem). Here are some detox foods to load up on and include on your detox diet menu (this list is not exhaustive).
Water is at the center of a detox diet, in our opinion. Water will help flush out the toxins, relieve constipation, and give your organs the hydration it needs. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is alkaline for the body, and is an excellent source of vitamin C and a great anti-inflammatory agent. Drinking lemon and water together is also really good for sore throats or overused voices, as it is instantly healing. Water and lemon detox have positive effects on the liver, bile, and digestion. There is also a popular 'Master Cleanse', a kind of lemon detox diet, that involves hot water, grade B maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and the juice of lemons. I would not recommend buying pre-squeezed lemon juice concentrate, they usually use ascorbic acid and/or a stabilizer to keep it shelf stable.
Kale is high in antioxidants, contains phytochemicals like indoles that are supposed to be cancer fighting. Kale is high in sulfur and contains sulforaphane, which boosts the body's detoxification enzymes. It also triggers the liver to remove free radicals.
A superstar for detoxification, garlic helps detoxify the body from heavy metals, especially mercury and cadmium. In combination with the other vegetables on this list, minced fresh garlic will make your veggie sautés taste delicious, seasoned with salt and pepper.
Provide sulfur compounds including sulfide and thiosulfinates to boost detoxification enzymes. Onions also contain antioxidants, are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral. Onions are known to be a cancer fighting foods.
Artichokes cleanse the liver, and are excellent for detoxification. They contain silymarin, which is the active ingredient in milk thistle. Artichokes are bile stimulating and is many times used for indigestion.
This wonderful fragrant plant is known for its detoxification and deodorizing properties. Parsley contains chlorophyll, which is the substance that detoxifies and freshens the breath when you eat it. Parsley also helps with kidney function, likely due to its mild duretic properties.
Sources: Bowden, 2007