Foods Allowed on a Detox


A detox diet, also referred to as a cleanse or a detoxification, is said to rid your body of unnatural chemicals, toxins and environmental elements that many believe may slow it down or cause sickness or disease. The crux of the detox involves foods that are consumed as they exist in nature. This means all fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and more cannot be salted or processed. There are, however, some condiments such as vinegar and honey that can be added for flavor.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Nearly all fruits and vegetables are allowed during a detox. The only catch is that they need to be fresh, not frozen or canned. Green leafy vegetables are very much encouraged, as are cauliflower, onions, broccoli, cabbage and beets. Fruits that are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, citric acid and fiber are also conducive to a detox. These include berries, grapefruits, oranges, lemons, apples and mangoes. Though sugar is not allowed on the detox diet because it usually comes processed, the natural sugars that occur in fruit are fine, and therefore need not be avoided. Many detox diets, including the Body Detox Diet Plan, recommend eating fruits and vegetables raw, although grilling is also touted as an alternative.

Rice, Grains and Pulses

Though most rices are not allowed on the detox diet, short-grain brown rice is an exception because it doesn't produce the spike in blood sugar that enriched rices, starches and other carbohydrates do. This rule also applies to other foods made from rice, including rice cakes, rice pasta and rice crackers. All three are allowed as long as they use short-grain brown rice. Eating only one type of rice can become difficult and monotonous. Fortunately, Denise Whichello Brown, author of Teach Yourself Detox, notes that there are many other whole grains allowed while detoxing. They include buckwheat, whole millet, rolled oats, quinoa and barley, which can be purchased at a health food or organic store. Brown also notes that beans, peas and lentils are also great for detoxification. Note that if you're using canned beans you'll need to drain and thoroughly rinse them, as most beans are canned in a salty solution.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are encouraged during detoxes because they contain essential oils and fats. Every nut except for peanuts is allowed during detox--just remember that they must be unsalted. Popular options include almonds, cashews and walnuts. This is because these nuts are not only hearty, but can be toasted or chopped and sprinkled over other foods. Popular seed options include flaxseed, as well as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds. These can also be eaten toasted but cannot be salted.

Keywords: detox diet, detoxification, detox foods, cleanse foods

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Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Her work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, real estate, food and wine, pets, electronics, architecture and design, business and travel. Day earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.

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