There are as many ideas of what a detox diet plan is and how to do one as there are people. Some are extreme, others are easier, but typically the idea is to cleanse or clean out the toxins in the body.
Generally, your body’s got it covered.
Firstly, I want to stress the idea that the body has its own effective detoxification methods.
The liver, digestive tract, and the skin all work to convert, eliminate, and excrete waste products from internal metabolism and external sources.
For a healthy person, given the right nutritional approach, an active lifestyle, and excellent stress management, those systems don’t need any additional help.
Should You Try A Detox Diet Plan?
Sometimes, a detox plan is an excellent idea. There are cases where doing a detox helps a person reach a level of wellness that they couldn’t before. For example:
- Not losing weight despite a healthy diet and exercise
- Being on a lot of medications
- Working or living near industries that utilize many chemicals
- Stubborn skin conditions
If you are concerned that you need to detoxify, I strongly suggest you start with taking a good hard look at your diet and lifestyle first. No detox program out there will do much for you if you are sedentary and eat poorly.
How To Choose Amongst The Detox Diet Plans
You’ve probably seen dozens of different detoxification systems and kits. Does any of them work? Maybe. The ingredients tell the story.
Does the detox have any laxative properties?
Aloe, Rhubarb root, Cascara, and Senna are all laxative herbs – if I see a laxative, I reject the product, because giving yourself diarrhea for the sake of cleansing is not a good idea and can irritate the colon.
Are there any useful ingredients for detox?
Those can be Milk Thistle, Globe Artichoke, Burdock, NAC, B vitamins, probiotics, antioxidants, and much more.
What are the “non-medicinal” ingredients in the detox diet?
Are there fillers, artificial flavours, colours, or sweeteners? The more fluff in the product, the less room there is for the stuff that actually works.
There are some great products out there; you just have to be picky. Talk to a naturopath if you want more support with that.
Any diet that sounds very extreme or super restrictive in any way is a red flag because the chances are that it’s too harsh (like the Master Cleanse, for example).
If your body is overburdened by toxins, throwing it into an extreme flushing scenario can leave you feeling terrible. A gentle, liver and intestine supporting detox diet plan will give you the same effect without the nasty detox reaction.
A Healthy Detox Diet List
If you want to give you body a hand with its detoxifying function safely using food, try to make sure the produce is organic, then follow this elimination diet list for 3-4 weeks.
Foods to include in your detox plan:
• Brassica family (Cruciferous) veggies that have been steamed or cooked gently (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, rapini, etc.)
• Broccoli sprouts
• Brown rice
• Leafy, green vegetables (spinach, chard, beet greens, kale)
• Root vegetables (beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, etc.)
• Ground flax seeds
• Raw nuts and other seeds
• Dark-coloured fruit (blueberries, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, plums, etc.)
• Fish, especially small ocean fish such as sardines
• Hormone-, antibiotic-, and cage-free poultry and eggs
• A glass of warm lemon water in the morning
• 2-3 liters of clean water the rest of the day
• Green tea
If you need some elimination diet recipes to help you get started with a gentle detox, then grab the week's worth of recipes below, which includes a weekly meal plan and a shopping list.
Foods to eliminate while following the detox diet plan:
• Black tea
• Red meat
• Highly processed and pre-packaged foods
The bottom line is that generally a detox can be helpful for most people, but it cannot be extreme, and it must be safe.
The information included is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult your own healthcare provider for your own situation.