Be honest. Does your liver enjoy holiday weekends as much as you do? If you had to think, we’re here to offer your body some low-intensity detox rituals that promise to yield some majorly positive results. There’s no need to go to extremes to get your system in fighting shape. Enter our list of the best detox foods.
To keep things as effortless as possible, we’ve assembled a list of the nine most powerful detox foods to purify your system. These powerhouse ingredients are full of antioxidants, minerals, and essential vitamins to gently cleanse your system. Add a serving of each to your mealtime habits, and your liver will seriously thank you. Get ready to revel in the results—from increased energy to flawless skin. The best part? It’s going to require precious little effort. We’re all about getting the maximum return on your investments.
Rich in sulfur and bio-active selenium, garlic possesses valuable properties that naturally eliminate toxins in the bloodstream. The potent herb also reportedly lowers cholesterol and is commonly used as a natural treatment for high blood pressure. Garlic also has the ability to protect the liver from some kinds of toxins. Try an herbal capsule supplement if you can’t stomach the intensity of raw garlic on its own. Garlic contains many distinct anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, and antiviral agents. It’s a powerhouse.
The monounsaturated fats found in avocados triggers fat-burning hormones while simultaneously boosting energy. Avocados contain mannoheptulose, a sugar that blunts insulin release, as well as antioxidants like glutathione. They also contain low-calorie, vitamin-rich fuel. Guacamole is arguably the most delicious way to carry toxins out of the body. Consult our handy illustrated guide to learn how to pick the perfect avocado.
Spinach, while delicious cooked, is best for detoxing when consumed raw. The leafy green is chock-full of antioxidants such as glutathione, as well as being a good source of iron. Opt for a fresh salad with olive oil and lemon, or prep a green smoothie to get the most boost out of the raw veggie.
Alexis Joseph, MD, RDN, LDN, who’s behind Hummusapien, recommends beets for reducing inflammation. The root veggie contains the nutrient betalain, which naturally staves off inflammation and swelling in the body. Packed with fiber and vitamin C, beets contain betaine and pectin, which both help liver cells naturally rid the body of toxins. Beet juice is a favorite among athletes for its ability to increase energy and endurance during exercise.
Cleansing your liver is at the top of our list of the most awesome ways to get fit without working out. The liver produces bile, an alkaline fluid used by the digestive system to break down fat. Detoxifying the vital organ will effectively kick-start weight loss, reduce toxin buildup, and boost energy levels. One daily glass of hot water with lemon each morning is enough to alkalize your system. Drink up.
A high source of fiber, asparagus contains (you guessed it) detoxifying all-star glutathione, along with fiber, folate, iron, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. The veggie is a natural diuretic that also boasts potent quantities of inulin, a prebiotic that supports good bacteria for a healthy gut. (The road to health is paved with good intestines.) The naturally anti-inflammatory food is also said to possess anti-aging effects.
Among our favorite coffee alternatives to try, dandelion is a caffeine-free natural diuretic. Dandelion also contains essential fatty acids and phytonutrients that reduce inflammation and relieve pain and swelling throughout the body. Add a glass of hot dandelion tea to your morning routine for an easy, gentle detox.
Artichokes contain cynarin, a potent phytonutrient that serves as a powerful detoxifier for the liver. Cynarin is a compound that aids the liver in bile production and helps to flush toxins and fats out of the body. Artichokes are also naturally high in fiber in addition to containing valuable nutrients such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
High in fiber, grapefruit takes the body a while to digest, enabling the fruit to serve as a mild appetite suppressant when consumed before a meal. The is also a good source of the potent liver-cleansing antioxidant glutathione. The citrus is a natural fat burner and easy to-go breakfast. What’s not to love?
Shop a few of our favorite detoxifying cookbooks below.
With their encyclopedic knowledge of ingredients, founder and chef Lily Simpson and nutritionist Rob Hobson document 200 recipes to keep you in good health in this beautifully curated edition.
One of our favorite bloggers, Minimalist Baker consistently raises the bar for accessible, delicious, and nutritious meals. Her concoctions also happen to be ever so photogenic.
Gwyneth Paltrow is practically an oracle when it comes to detox routines. Her latest cookbook is all about simplifying healthy meals to keep you feeling and looking your very best.
Any detox book that leads off with a cover shot of a pizza gets an A+ on our report card. Megan Gilmore’s accessible read is a must for taking the guesswork and splurgy vibe out of cleansing.
Sears ME. Chelation: Harnessing and Enhancing Heavy Metal Detoxification—A Review. The Scientific World Journal. 2013;2013:1-13. doi:10.1155/2013/219840
Ried K. Garlic Lowers Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Individuals, Regulates Serum Cholesterol, and Stimulates Immunity: An Updated Meta-Analysis and Review. The Journal of Nutrition. 2016;146(2):389S-396S. doi:10.3945/jn.114.202192
Bayan L, Koulivand PH, Gorji A. Garlic: A Review of Potential Therapeutic Effects. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014;4(1):1-14.
Nakamoto M, Kunimura K, Suzuki J, Kodera Y. Antimicrobial Properties of Hydrophobic Compounds in Garlic: Allicin, Vinyldithiin, Ajoene and Diallyl Polysulfides (Review). Exp Ther Med. 2020;19(2):1550-1553. doi:10.3892/etm.2019.8388
Heskey C, Oda K, Sabaté J. Avocado Intake, and Longitudinal Weight and Body Mass Index Changes in an Adult Cohort. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):691. doi:10.3390/nu11030691
Bhuyan, Alsherbiny, Perera, et al. The Odyssey of Bioactive Compounds in Avocado (Persea Americana) and Their Health Benefits. Antioxidants. 2019;8(10):426. doi:10.3390/antiox8100426
Why Avocados Are a Healthy — and Delicious — Addition to Your Diet. Cleveland Clinic. September 15, 2020
Minich DM, Brown BI. A Review of Dietary (Phyto)nutrients for Glutathione Support. Nutrients. 2019;11(9). doi:10.3390/nu11092073
Clifford T, Howatson G, West D, Stevenson E. The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2015;7(4):2801-2822. doi:10.3390/nu7042801
Golonka R, Yeoh BS, Vijay-Kumar M. Dietary Additives and Supplements Revisited: The Fewer, the Safer for Liver and Gut Health. Curr Pharmacol Rep. 2019;5(4):303-316. doi:10.1007/s40495-019-00187-4
Behrens CE, Ahmed K, Ricart K, et al. Acute Beetroot Juice Supplementation Improves Exercise Tolerance and Cycling Efficiency in Adults with Obesity. Physiol Rep. 2020;8(19). doi:10.14814/phy2.14574
Hiel S, Bindels LB, Pachikian BD, et al. Effects of a Diet Based on Inulin-Rich Vegetables on Gut Health and Nutritional Behavior in Healthy Humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019;109(6):1683-1695. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqz001
Solway J, McBride M, Haq F, Abdul W, Miller R. Diet and Dermatology: the Role of a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet in Preventing and Reversing Skin Aging-A Review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2020;13(5):38-43.
Ovadje P, Ammar S, Guerrero J-A, Arnason JT, Pandey S. Dandelion Root Extract Affects Colorectal Cancer Proliferation and Survival Through the Activation of Multiple Death Signaling Pathways. Oncotarget. 2016;7(45):73080-73100. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.11485
Wirngo FE, Lambert MN, Jeppesen PB. The Physiological Effects of Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale) in Type 2 Diabetes. Rev Diabet Stud. 2016;13(2-3):113-131. doi:10.1900/RDS.2016.13.113
Murtaza G, Ullah N, Mukhtar F, Nawazish S, Muneer S, Mariam. Phytotherapeutics: The Emerging Role of Intestinal and Hepatocellular Transporters in Drug Interactions with Botanical Supplements. Molecules. 2017;22(10):1699. doi:10.3390/molecules22101699
Artichoke, Raw. USDA. October 30, 2020
Dreher ML. Whole Fruits and Fruit Fiber Emerging Health Effects. Nutrients. 2018;10(12). doi:10.3390/nu10121833