Grab the list of the best detox foods you can eat to help detox your body naturally! I'm sharing my favorite detox foods, plus you can download a free printable list of every detox food there is!
What does detox actually mean?
‘Detox’ has become such a buzzword! When you see the term detox, it’s likely accompanied by a cleanse of some sort. Usually, it’s promoting a product or program that’s focused on external markers of ‘health’ like weight loss, clear skin, and better energy. So what is the truth about detox?
Conventional medical professionals have fought back against the practice of detoxing, only considering the popular cleanses and false science that have made detoxing popular. They claim that your body takes care of all its own detoxification, and that we don’t need to do anything at all to detox.
It’s true, of course. Our bodies do naturally detoxify toxic substances through several organs and systems. But it’s just as absurd to claim that these organs can’t become overburdened, particularly with the onslaught of toxicity our modern-day diets, lifestyles, and environments bring. Then, a large portion of the population also has a genetic mutation that makes detoxing more difficult.
When I refer to ‘detox,’ I don’t mean a 7-day cleanse or a quick fix. I mean making sustainable, reasonable lifestyle and diet choices that support your body’s natural detoxification abilities. Supporting your detoxifying organs and systems is safe for almost everyone and simply helps ensure your body can do its job properly (especially if you have an autoimmune disease!)
How can you detox naturally and holistically?
You can detox by supporting the organs involved in your body’s natural detoxification processes. This means including foods, lifestyle practices, and products that can hit each of these organs as effectively as possible.
Your skin is the largest organ you have! You detoxify through your skin by sweating and shedding old skin cells. If you suffer from chronic skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, etc. then you might have an issue with one of your other detoxifying organs. If your skin shows visible signs of stress, it means that your body isn’t detoxifying efficiently. This is actually something to be grateful for! This kind of insight is your body’s way of alerting you to a potential problem. While acne and other skin conditions aren’t fun, they’re often a lot less serious than a malfunctioning liver.
Your lymphatic system consists of pathways and organs that move lymph fluid along the body. Lymph fluid contains white blood cells, ready to remove waste and toxins from your cells. Your lymphatic system consists of lymph nodes, concentrated in your neck, armpits, groin, and chest. If your lymphatic system is sluggish, waste isn’t able to be removed from your cells; therefore, toxins can build up.
This system is pretty straightforward! After you ingest food or beverages, your body takes what it can use for energy and other processes and excretes the unusable parts through your stool. Your body also expels excess or old hormones and other toxins through your stool. This is why excreting regularly is so important for detoxification; if you’re not excreting fully or often, toxins can recirculate in your body.
Your liver is a busybody! It has over 500 functions and is important enough to regenerate if removed. We’re familiar with the role of the liver in detoxification; just look at issues like liver failure as a result of toxic substances like alcohol. Your liver detoxifies old and excess hormones, environmental toxins, alcohol, pathogens, and much more. Supporting your liver is crucial for supporting your detoxification.
These mainly filter your blood–a super important function. Similar to your digestive system, the kidneys take nutrients that can be used and filter through the rest, excreting the waste in your urine. If your kidneys aren’t functioning optimally, those waste products will recirculate.
How you can detox your body:
Now that you know how your natural detoxification works, you can find easy and effective ways to detox daily! Be sure to go slowly and incorporate just one or two things at a time. It’s important not to overwhelm your system with too much detoxifying.
Eat The Best Detox Foods!
Naturally, what you eat is one of the most important ways to detox your body.
- Put the focus on veggies and protein. Richly-hued vegetables–think jewel toned tubers, leafy greens, and crucifers–provide your body with free radical busting antioxidants and fiber that will support your natural detoxification.
- Plenty of protein supplies your body with the amino acids necessary for all phases of detoxification.
- Avoid inflammatory and nutrient-empty foods.
- And don’t forget the water! Drink enough that your urine is pale, but not clear. Use mineral-rich sea salt on your food and in your water to replenish electrolytes.
Reduce Toxic Load
You cannot effectively detox your body if you continue to burden it with toxins. This means reducing your overall toxic load by:
- choosing organic produce and meat (you can order it online here!)
- filtered water
- non-toxic household cleaners (I use Branch Basics)
- safer personal care products (I love Beautycounter and Primally Pure)
You should also take care to purify the air in your home with a high-quality HEPA air filter, plenty of house plants, and opening your windows (outdoor air is cleaner than indoor air!)
Movement & Sleep
Get your lymphatic system flowing and your skin sweating with exercise!
- Aim to sweat a few times a week and get some low-stress movement in daily.
A moderately-paced walk outdoors hits three angles of detox: outdoor air, exercise, and sweating. Be sure to counter your activity with plenty of restorative sleep.
- Bedtime is when your body, especially your liver, runs most of its healing and detoxing programs.
Getting a solid 7-9 hours per night of uninterrupted, restful sleep is non-negotiable for healthy detox pathways.
The Fun Stuff
Okay, there’s more you can do for detox than just food, sleep, and safer skincare. Here’s some fun stuff you can do! For a full list of my favorites, check out 10 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body.
- Epsom salt baths are an amazing treat for gentle detox
- Rebounding–a.k.a., trampoline jumping–is great for your lymphatic system!
- Dry brushing makes your skin super soft and opens detox pathways
- Infrared saunas get you sweatin’ for optimal detoxin’!
- Try tongue scraping to remove toxin build-up on your tongue
- Contrast showers may not be fun–but they are effective.
How can you use detox foods to help with “detoxing”:
Supplying your body with ample nutrients, calories, and fiber is important for detoxing. A diet rich in organic fruits and veggies and high quality animal protein will supply you with the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals needed for both phases of liver detoxification, optimal lymph fluid flow, and killer digestion.
Best Detox Foods List:
These are some of the best detox foods that I include in my diet as often as possible!
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV–organic, raw, With the Mother–will help out digestion, balance your pH, and support detoxification. Don’t throw it back straight–try these yummy ACV shots to get this detox superfood in your diet!
Your liver loooooves beets! These purple-red root veggies include betalainas, a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage. Here is a recipe you can make that disguises beets in a nightshade-free marinara sauce.
Cruciferous veggies–think cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and so on–are especially helpful for Phase II detoxification thanks to their glucosinolates.
Citrus Fruits & Berries
Citrus fruits and berries are high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, helpful for free radical damage. Bonus: berries are usually high in fiber to help support your digestion. I love making these ‘chocolate’ dipped berry protein bars to add berries into my daily snacks.
Sweet potatoes–purple, orange, or white–are all high in fiber, beta carotene, and other antioxidants, all of which support your body’s detox efforts in different ways. I love sneaking sweet potatoes into this Bacon ‘Cheese’burger Skillet dinner!
Your Detox Equation
Here’s a simple equation for optimal detox!
Eat the best detox foods a few times a week + movement/sleep + non-toxic environment = happy detox pathways!