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How to "detox" with food

Detoxification has been a buzz word for a long time. Diet related detoxes range from fasting to regimented diets like juicing. It’s a billion-dollar industry because we try one strategy and it fails. Then, we repeat the process supporting the detox industry but failing to nourish our bodies to health. Good news: the human body is naturally pretty good at detoxifying on its own. Here’s a shout-out for the liver and kidneys! However, it’s important to make choices that help the body do its work. If you are overwhelming it with foods rich in simple sugars, processed fats, and additives, then it is going to be more difficult for your body to maintain a balance. Reducing the stress on your body is key to preventing disease. Work and personal stressors may be hard to avoid, but you can avoid those foods and eating behaviors that exacerbate stress. Here’s a quick check list of easy-to-add foods to help detox:

My Top 8 Go-To Foods To Help Detox and Promote Detoxification Processes

Man with white hair sips water from a glass in a kitchen

1. Water

Are you meeting your daily goal? Aim to consume half your body weight in fluid ounces. This should be your first goal for detoxification.

Close up of blueberries

2. Berries

Eat jewel toned fruits fresh or frozen. Tip: don’t add sugar to sweeten them. Enjoy them as they are – naturally delicious!

A woman's hands pour hot water from a teapot into matcha powder in a ceramic cup, how to detox with food

3. Green Tea

If you’re tired of water or just tired in general, this should be your runner up choice to water. If this drink is too bitter for your tastebuds, try these three tips. First, change your green tea source, steep for less time in a lower temperature water and/or add a slice of lemon or orange to the tea.

Close up of 5 garlic bulbs set in a kitchen cloth

4. Garlic

When in doubt, add garlic. Garlic spread is the new butter alternative. Roast a head of garlic in the oven. Remove and spread a clove over your favorite piece of bread. I love this on sourdough. On a cold rainy day, this is the perfect addition to a cup of soup.

A loose bundle of asparagus set on a wooden cutting board

5. Asparagus

It’s springtime which means this vegetable variety is in season. I like to make a cold asparagus salad with a vinaigrette dressing. See recipe below.

3 artichoke blooms resting on a countertop

6. Artichokes

Want to spice up an afternoon snack or add an appetizer to a weeknight dinner? Steam an artichoke and dip it in your favorite condiment – butter, mayonnaise, mustard, balsamic, soy sauce or hot sauce. 

Cilantro and limes in a small dish

7. Cilantro

If this herb doesn’t taste like soap to you, it should be included on your shopping list or grown in your vegetable garden. This green herb adds color to any dish but it also helps your body process toxins. Just remember, a little goes a long way with this ingredient.

Green powder skimmed across a surface

8. Chlorella

Forget about protein powder. This is the superfood to add to your regimen if you want to give your body a boost. You can choose a pill or powder form. Just make sure it’s a cracked cell wall type of chlorella so your body can absorb it and reap all of its benefits. It is available at your local health food store.

Getting More Detox Foods Into Your Diet

Now that we know the top foods to help detox, you might be thinking of ways to include more of them. Here is a recipe to help you incorporate these detox foods into your daily routine:

Lemon Pepper Asparagus Recipe


  • 3 cups Asparagus (trimmed)

  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 2 tbsps Lemon Juice (divided)

  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (176ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Toss the asparagus with the oil and half the lemon juice. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet and season with black pepper and salt. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the asparagus are tender, flipping halfway through.

  3. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!


This article was guest-written by:

Headshot of Emily Luxford, Dietitian Nutritionist
Emily Luxford, MS, RD, IFNCP, CLT

Emily Luxford is a functional dietitian nutritionist helping patients navigate gut health, diabetes, obesity, malabsorption disorders, and autoimmune diseases, along with complex illnesses such as immune dysfunction syndromes, myofascial pain, depression, vertigo, headaches, and cancer. Learn more about her and her services at


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