Nutrition for Weight Loss Eat Well Inspiration Print What to Eat While Detoxing Eat These Foods to Hit the Reset Button By Cathy Wong Updated July 19, 2019 Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician More in Nutrition for Weight Loss Eat Well Inspiration Choosing Healthier Foods Shopping Tips Dining Out Advice Whether it’s because of holidays or a hectic schedule, sometimes our eating habits can use a little prodding to get back on track. That's when people turn to a detox diet or cleanse. For some, it may be about curbing refined sugar, while others may want to cut back on meat and other animal products, alcohol, or 3 p.m. sugary snacks. You don't need a juice cleanse. Focusing on home-cooked meals with vegetables, fruit, lean protein, unrefined whole grains, and healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts allows you to get back on the right track, and hopefully continue to make these healthful foods part of your everyday routine. For help recalibrating your eating and getting back on course, consider including the following detox foods in your diet. Vegetables Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Vegetables are rich in phytochemicals (naturally-occurring plant chemicals) that are being explored for their potential to regulate hormones, stimulate the immune system, and prevent damage to our body's cells. A good rule of thumb is to incorporate vegetables into most meals, filling at least half of each plate with a variety of brightly colored (or strongly flavored) vegetables. Vegetables thought to be particularly good for a liver detox include onions, garlic, beets, artichokes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Other vegetables to eat include asparagus, carrots, celery, cucumbers, endives, jicama, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, okra, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga, snow peas, spinach, sprouts, squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, yucca, zucchini, and sea vegetables including arame, dulse, hijiki, kelp, nori sheets, and wakame. Fruit Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Like vegetables, fruit contain phytonutrients that may provide health benefits. Aim for five to 10 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables per day. Choose whole fruit (fresh or frozen), such as apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, figs, grapes, guava, kiwi, lemon, lime, loganberries, mango, melon, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, and watermelon. Whole Grains and Complex Carbs Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Everyone has their go-to carbs (often pasta and bread), but this is a good time to experiment and try other sources of whole grains and complex carbs, such as: Rice QuinoaBarleyBuckwheatFarroFreekehMilletAmaranthWild riceTeffTapiocaArrowrootOatsWinter squashSweet potato Unrefined whole grains are preferred, but also try products made from the above ingredients, including brown rice pasta, buckwheat soba noodles, glass noodles, kelp noodles, mung bean noodles, shirataki noodles, rice crackers, quinoa flakes, gluten-free bread, and rice bran. Beans and Legumes Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Beans and legumes are high in fiber, protein, and iron. They're also less expensive than animal protein. Try: Split yellow and green peasLentils (red, brown, green, yellow, French, du Puy)Other beans and legumes, such as adzuki, cannellini, chickpeas, black, black-eyed peas, kidney, and lima. Fats Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman During a cleanse, focus on fats from foods like avocado, raw nuts and seeds, coconut, and nut and seed butter: AlmondsBrazil nutCashewChiaHazelnutHemp seeds, hemp nuts, hemp heartsMacadamia NutPecanPine nutPistachioPumpkinSesame seedsSunflower seedsFlax seedsPoppy SeedsWalnutsCoconutNut and seed butter, such as tahini, almond butter, cashew nut butter If you're cooking with oil, try to use high-quality, cold-pressed, unrefined oils, such as: Olive oilHemp oilFlax oilAlmond oilAvocado oilCoconut oilHazelnut oilPumpkin oilWalnut oilSafflower, sesame, and sunflower oils in limited amounts. Dairy and Dairy Substitutes Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Although cleanses will often recommend that you drop dairy temporarily, some include probiotic-rich organic yogurt and kefir. Instead of milk, consider trying one of these plant-based "milks": Unsweetened nut milk, such as almond or cashew milkHemp seed milkRice milk (unsweetened)Avocado milkCoconut milk Beverages Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman In general, it's a good idea to use your thirst to guide how much you drink, although some people have conditions that may require them to drink more or less. You may decide to limit your alcohol and coffee intake, swapping in herbal, green, or white tea. Here are some beverage options: Infused water (sometimes called "detox water")Plant-based "milks" such as rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk.Coconut waterLemon waterHerbal teas, such as rooibos, cinnamon tea, ginger teaGreen tea, white teaKombucha (unsweetened)Unsweetened juice made from allowed fruits and vegetablesMineral or seltzer water Drinks or smoothies with allowed ingredients If you simply can't give up your morning cup of coffee, try limiting it to no more than one 8-ounce cup (and avoid added sweetener). Condiments Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Fresh and dried herbs and spices can make any meal more flavorful, without adding sugar or salt. Chop some fresh herbs such as basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, or thyme. Spices you can cook with include allspice, anise, caraway seeds, cardamom, celery seeds, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, saffron, tamarind, or turmeric. Fresh or raw ginger and garlic can instantly make meals more interesting. Here are some other condiments and ingredients to consider: Vinegar (e.g. apple cider vinegar, balsamic, coconut, red or white wine, rice vinegar)Baking soda or baking powderCoconut amino acidsFish sauce Nama shoyuNutritional yeastMiso OlivesLemons and limesCacao powder and cacao nibsCarob powderSea saltMustardWheat-free tamari Sugar and Other Sweeteners Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Limiting your overall intake of sweets and sugar from all sources will go a long way. If you are going to use a sweetener, choose natural sources such as the following: Brown rice syrupCoconut nectarDried fruit, sparinglyMonk fruitSteviaMaple syrupHoneyBlackstrap molasses100% fruit jam For dessert, choose whole, fresh fruit or try frozen desserts or puddings made with nut milk (or yogurt) and fruit. Animal Protein Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman Detox diets differ on the question of whether to include animal protein. If you're going to eat it, consider the following options: Organic turkeyOrganic chicken, preferably pasturedWild, cold-water fish, such as Alaskan salmonAnchovies, sardinesLambWild game, such as bison, pheasant, quail, venison, buffalo, ostrich A Word From Verywell It’s not about depriving yourself, skipping meals, or going on an overly restrictive juice cleanse. The ultimate goal is to make these healthful and tasty foods a part of your everyday routine and to make positive lifestyle changes that will last even after the detox diet is over. Use it as a time to experiment with new recipes and cooking methods. You may discover, for instance, that spaghetti squash isn't much harder to prepare than white pasta, roasted cauliflower can be a satisfying snack if seasoned with herbs and sea salt, or that there are delicious milk alternatives like almond or macadamia nut milk. Foods You Should Avoid on a Detox Diet Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Get nutrition tips and advice to make healthy eating easier. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Institute of Medicine. 2005. Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10490. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.