How to Detox With Food

So you’ve decided to do a new years detox, firstly congratulations!

Every good detox starts with food.  Food has the ability to either help or hinder our detoxification

Whether you are doing an express 2 week or intensive 6 week detox, knowing exactly which foods you can and cannot eat is the key to a successful detox.

Therefore, it is important to remove foods from your diet that stress your body’s digestive and detoxification systems, especially while undertaking a detox, and consume easily digestible foods that are rich in natural nutrients, antioxidants and fibre.

Supportive Foods include:

Protein in the form of fresh fish, lean organic/grassfed meats, raw nuts and seeds, free-range eggs and legumes provides the body with amino acids, nutrients that are vital for cleansing the liver.

Fruits and Vegetables are one of the most important foods to include in your diet during a detox or when trying to improve overall wellbeing. They are packed full of essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, phytochemicals and antioxidants.

Choose organic produce whenever possible or wash produce well to minimise your exposure to agricultural chemicals and pesticide residues.

Fibre rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and gluten-free whole grains are important as they help bind to toxins and eliminate them from the body. Fibre also feeds and encourages the growth of good bacteria in the gut which are essential for healthy digestion.


To help along with your detox diet here are 4 simple tips to get the most out of your detox:

1. Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods on the recommended foods list below. You can even prepare some meals like soups or stews to freeze ahead of time!

2. Clear your cupboards and fridge of processed foods, junk foods and anything that might tempt you throughout the next few weeks.

3. Start cutting down on caffeine, alcohol and any other recreational drugs or nicotine to reduce your withdrawal symptoms during the detox – limit caffeine to one beverage per day maximum!

4. Invest in a blender if you don’t already have one – this will allow you to make some delicious smoothies as part of your detox!


Recommended Food List

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – Aim for 4 x cups salad & 3 x cups of veggies per day. Have up to 3 servings of fruit daily.

Choose organic produce when possible and avoid canned, dried, frozen fruits and vegetables

Vegetables – focus on brightly coloured vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, asian greens, kale, salad greens, beetroot, sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, cauliflower, tomato, etc. Avoid potatoes.

Herbs such as fresh coriander and parsley are excellent detoxification aids to include in your diet too.

Fruits – include brightly coloured fruits such as berries, pineapple, paw paws, citrus fruits, apples and pears (with skins on).

Proteins – Include 1 palm size portion per meal

Choose lean, organic/free range, grass-fed meats when possible .

Chicken, Turkey, Fresh fish, Kangaroo, Eggs, Tempeh & Tofu, Beef & Lamb (limit to 2 servings per week)

Avoid pork, deli meats, smoked meats and processed meat products.

Grains – Limit to 1 serving daily- approx. 1/3 cup per serve

Brown rice, Amaranth, Millet, Quinoa, Buckwheat

Avoid gluten-containing grains

Nuts and Seeds – Limit to 2 servings daily – approx 1/4 cup per serve

Choose raw, unfrosted and unsalted nuts. Pesticide-free or organic where possible.

Avoid peanuts & peanut products.

Healthy Oils and Condiments

Cold uses – Use cold-pressed oils including olive oil, sesame oil, walnut, chia and flaxseed oil.

Cooking – use organic coconut oil or organic butter.

Condiments – sea salt, garlic, organic tamari and tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, raw honey.

Legumes – Soy beans, Lentils, Chickpeas, Lima Beans, Broad beans, Butter beans.

Dairy & Dairy Alternatives – Limit to 1 serve daily

Rice milk, Nut milks, Unsweetened organic soy milk, Plain organic dairy or goat’s milk yoghurt.


Foods To Avoid

Sugar – including sweets, cordials, soft drinks and juices (unless fresh and watered down), artificial sweeteners such as Equal and Splenda.

If you need a natural sweetener, use raw honey, stevia or xylitol in limited amounts.

Processed foods (i.e. packaged), preservatives, and artificial food additives

Dairy products – except natural, full-fat, sugar-free yoghurt (unless you have existing dairy allergies)

Wheat and gluten-containing grains including rye, spelt and kamut in breads, pastas, pastries, baked goods. These grains are commonly allergenic and have pro-inflammatory effects in the body

Processed animal products such as bacon, salami, deli meats

Excess intake of chicken, beef and lamb – these proteins have a more inflammatory effect on the body than other proteins such as fish and aren’t as easily digested. Limit to 1-2 servings per week.

Oily, deep fried, “fast foods” and processed saturated fats – fats that are solid at room temperature e.g. margarine, hard cheeses

Condiments such as tomato sauce, chilli sauce, bottled dressings, mayonnaise, relish, etc. (Watch out for the added sugar and preservatives)

Alcohol and caffeine – including tea, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate

Any foods you have an allergy to or cannot tolerate/absorb.


Further Reading: