If you’re among the many who believe a detox diet is based on deprivation and only drinking green juices until you’re dangerously close to wilting or disappearing you couldn’t be more wrong. A healthy and effective detox diet often involves eating the right foods, instead of starving oneself. But for many, the challenge is around what foods are okay to eat versus which ones to avoid. While pretty much everyone knows to avoid junk foods, the more difficult challenge involves narrowing down the many choices to options that will help with your detox goal instead of preventing progress.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing by providing you with a foolproof list of fiber-rich foods to include in your diet as part of your next detox regimen.
Generally speaking, high fiber foods are a great addition to your diet for several reasons. For starters, they keep you full for longer, which means fewer cravings. Fiber also helps with the digestion process, attaining a healthy weight as well as regulating blood sugar levels. We’ve broken down the list into categories (because who doesn’t like to group things for ease of reference?)
We all know the importance of vegetables in maintaining a healthy diet, but not a veggies are created equal. To aid your detox efforts you should include carrot, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, garlic and kale in your diet as these all do a great job of helping with liver detox.
For effectiveness, you should ensure that at least half of each meal consists of vegetables. Get creative with preparation by roasting or grilling instead of simply boiling as this is a great way to bring out the flavor.
Fruits are generally the much-favored option on this list. For starters, they are more pleasant on the palate than most of the other fiber-rich foods on our list and more often than not they provide sufficient sweetness from natural sugars for those with sugar cravings.
You can get your fill of fruits like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas by eating them (fresh whole fruits are preferred to frozen) or adding them to your favorite smoothie recipe.
Legumes are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and iron. We recommend adding lentils, kidney beans, split peas, chickpeas, and green peas to your diet. While you can create a stew using beans and pair it with your favorite carb, we like adding them to salads for a melting pot of flavors. The possibilities are endless as long as you’re prepared to be a little creative.
4. Whole grains & complex carbs
Whole grains and complex carbs should be your go-to starch option for your detox diet. Say goodbye to rice and pasta then welcome their fairer replacements – quinoa, almond, chia seeds, sweet potato, oats and winter squash.
Whole grains and complex carbs are another opportunity to get creative with your recipes. Use the quinoa in a salad with your legumes or bake your sweet potato then top it with broccoli.
Avocado is technically a fruit but we’re adding it to the healthy fats category along with its group mates like coconut, cashew, hazelnut and pistachio nuts.
Use your avocado as a mayonnaise substitute (it works wonderfully as a dressing) then top your salad with your favorite nut from the list.
Just remember to use these ingredients in moderation because of their fat content. While they are good fats to consume, portions still matter.
6. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a lot healthier than its milk chocolate or white chocolate cousins. It is a powerful source of antioxidants and research suggests it may improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
Consider it an option to fight off sugary cravings as your press forward with your detox diet plans. It’s a great alternative with none of the bad side effects.