20 Foods that Detox Your Body & Mind

This Evidence Based article was written by

The best foods to detox your body & mind.

The connection between the body and the mind is a very real one, with the way your body feels playing a big part in how your brain functions and whether or not you experience a state of well-being. Keeping it free of toxins, free radicals, and other nasty things that can end up in our insides is essential to maintaining a healthy life. You’ll notice that with many of these detox foods the road to purification goes through the liver, and getting it to full capacity can have several long-lasting benefits throughout the body. Eating healthy foods, especially superfoods, is an investment that will continue to pay strong dividends in the way of feeling happy and energetic.

Artichokes help the liver function at its best, which in turn will help your body purge itself of toxins and other things it doesn’t need to survive. It ups the liver’s production of bile, and since bile helps break down foods which helps your body use the nutrients inside them, an increase in bile production is typically a good thing.

Aside from all of the benefits to your liver, it’s also filled with fiber, protein, magnesium, folate, and potassium. It’s simply a good food to add to your diet in order to stay regular, stay healthy, and keep your liver happily doing its job.

Despite being a tasty veggie, asparagus ranks highly on the detox-o-meter, thanks to its prebiotic effect on the body. Not only does it help to detoxify the body, it can help you wage the anti-aging battle, protect against inflammatory conditions, help your heart to stay healthy, and boost your immunity.

It’s also known to help with liver drainage, which might sound like a bad thing, but since the liver is responsible for filtering out the toxic materials in the food and drinks we consume, anything that backs up its drainage is not doing you any favors.


Because of its fiber and antioxidant count, this is a food that is making it onto more and more detox lists. At first, many shied away from them because of they’re high in fat, but ever since the difference between good fats and bad fats become more commonly known, they are now getting the respect they deserve.

Don’t think that the guacamole you can add to your meal at a fast food restaurant for 50 cents more is going to do the detox trick. Opt for organic avocados and consume them without any other ingredients to get the full benefit of their healthy content.

You may only see beets when you order a Greek salad, but you should make a bigger effort to include them into your regular menu, and definitely pick some up if you’re going on a detox diet. There are so many different benefits to them, it’s easy to see why they are often mentioned as a super food.

When you’re detoxing they will help by making sure that the toxins you’re getting out actually make it out of your body. Many detox cleanses go wrong when toxins are reintroduced to the body because they don’t make it all the way out. Beets also help with free-radicals, making them an anti-inflammatory aid.

You’re probably sick of seeing broccoli show up all over the place whenever health food is mentioned. But that’s only because it packs a nutritional punch in a mini-tree shaped vegetable. Why does it belong on your detox food shopping list? It specifically works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into something your body can eliminate easily.

If you’re stuck for ways on how to make broccoli taste better try changing up the way you cook it, or consider eating it raw. But don’t microwave it or it won’t have the same detox properties.

Don’t let the fad Cabbage Soup Detox Diet throw you off course with this helpful vegetable. Like most things that go viral this diet has some truth to it, but you don’t have to go to extremes. Cabbage helps your liver with the byproduct being lower cholesterol, so there is more than one reason to include this cruciferous vegetable.

In addition to cleansing your liver cabbage will also aid in helping you go to the bathroom, which in turn helps you expel the toxins, getting them out of your system so you can start fresh.

Happy liver, healthy life is the motto here, and dandelion root can help you on your quest to a healthy liver that does its daily duties. This plant is considered a weed by most lawn enthusiasts, but it has several healing properties for the liver, and therefore should not be overlooked when it comes time for detox.

Dandelion has been used to treat liver problems dating back hundreds of years, but you don’t have to wait until your liver is in dire straights to get the benefits. Strengthening an already healthy liver will still yield plenty of good results and makes it worth looking into dandelion on your quest for a cleanse.

Many detox diets list garlic as a crucial piece of the puzzle. The reason is that garlic boosts up the immune system as well as helping out the liver. One good thing about garlic is that you can up your intake of it without having to worry if your body is going to get used to it or build up a resistance.

One other positive aspect is that it can help to add flavor to otherwise bland foods that you’ll be eating on your detox program. But if you don’t like the taste of garlic you can still get its benefits because it comes in supplement form.

This is one root whose medicinal value dates back to ancient Chinese civilizations, and one that is still believed to offer many health benefits. Often used in a tea or other drink, you can add it to the meals you make as well. It is thought to help the liver function, and has some astringent properties.

Some detox diets ask you to chew on ginger root. You may also find that adding it to hot water makes the water taste better. Basically any way you can think of it get it into your system is going to be beneficial, especially if you’re suffering from a fatty liver caused by too much alcohol, or too many toxic foods and drinks.

The fiber and the nutrient-rich juices in a grapefruit pack a nice detox punch and can really get your body into action as far as detoxing goes. It’s all about flooding the body with good things for it while helping it dislodge the bad things. The effects of grapefruit on weight loss are well-established, and one reason may be because of the way it makes the liver burn up fat.

The big takeaway on grapefruit is that it gets your liver fired up and ready for action, while infusing the rest of your organs with nutrient-laden fruit juice. It’s a winner when it comes to detox foods.

Green tea is often thought of as a great addition to any detox program because of its high antioxidant value. Antioxidants are helpful because they will help seek out and kill free radicals before they can do any damage. This is a great beverage to drink on a daily basis for this factor alone.

Getting into a healthy state of mind is a matter of feeling like you’re doing what’s best for your body. It can be something as simple as substituting green tea for colas, juices, and other teas so that you can actually be benefiting your body from a beverage instead of hurting it.

However you choose to get kale into your body, the benefits are that it contains plenty of nutrients, and also acts as a way to help flush out the kidneys, a set of organs that must be cleansed on any good detox effort.

Kale is so good for you that it is often recommended to patients that are following a doctor recommended diet when fighting kidney disease. It’s packed with so many antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties as well, not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals it contains.

This is an herb that is used in Thailand and other parts of the world as a natural way to cleanse several organs at once. It not only helps the liver but also the kidneys, the bladder, and the entire digestive tract. Benefits of using it in your cooking, or drinking it as a tea include a better complexion, better circulation, and better digestion.

It is most often used as a tea in the world of detoxing, and there are several recipes you can try until you find one that suits your tastes best.

Lemons and lemon juice are often mentioned when detoxing, and there’s even a few Lemon Detox Diets floating around out there. It’s simply a matter of adding lemon juice to water and drinking it. It’s supposed to flush toxins from your body. Some people add cayenne pepper and sweeten it with sugar, but sugar is not recommended if you’re trying to get a detoxifying effect from it.

It helps with your digestion and you can drink a cup of hot water with lemon added in order to prepare your digestive system for that day’s work.

Some liver cleanses out there call for olive oil mixed with fruit juice in order to trigger your liver to expunge its gallstones. But aside from that, olive oil should be your go-to oil for use in cooking when you’re trying to detox the body. That’s because it has a lot of healthy properties, and makes for a better choice of fat than most of your other options.

Just be sure not to cook with it at high heat to avoid killing off its beneficial properties. Use it as a salad dress to help things like dark leafy greens go down.

This probably doesn’t enter your menu unless it’s wrapped around a piece of sushi, but seaweed has a ton of nutrients and antioxidants in it. If you’re trying to get more detox foods into the body, don’t go for the nori they used to hold together a sushi roll, you’ll want to go with kelp instead to get the most out of it and avoid the salt that’s added to the dried nori.

The kelp is used in Asian cuisine and can often be found in soups. That’s a great way to have it when you’re detoxing, and it makes it so it’s easy to digest and tastes good too.

This is an herb that usually shows up as a tea, and it has specifically been studied in relation to the effect that it has on the liver. It’s said that you can do a detox using just turmeric tea, and drinking it for a week straight along with a healthy diet.

If you are simply looking for a way to start adding detoxifying foods to your diet, it would be good to keep this on hand and to substitute it for another beverage to reap its healthy benefits.

Water is often overlooked but is so important for all of your organs, and for flushing toxins out of your body. If you’re exercising and taking saunas to help release the toxins it becomes even more important to stay hydrated.

If you’re not used to drinking water daily, be sure to only increase your intake by one cup at a time so you don’t overload yourself. Your kidneys won’t know what to do if they’re not used to getting water and then get a ton of it.

Give your liver a big boost with cleansing action of watercress. If you’re into making smoothies for your detoxing this is a great one to blend up and drink down. You can also try adding it to a salad, but you might want to make sure you enjoy the taste first. It’s an acquired taste for some, and a source of consistent dislike for others.

This helps to release enzymes in the liver that clean it out and help rid it of toxic buildup. A great way to be good to yourself!

All of those health nuts that have been drinking wheatgrass shakes for years were onto something. This is a great boost to your liver and it can help you feel good all day due to its alkaline property.

It’s also effective at lowering your blood sugar and for getting your metabolism back on track. It’s simply a great food to consume, and is a nice counteraction to any junk you may have eaten in the past. Show your body you really do love it.

+ 4 Things to Avoid

Alcohol has a very toxic effect on the liver, and will undo all of your hard detox work. It can single-handedly cause a fatty liver, or it can contribute to one. When your liver is taxed your whole body suffers. Try to eliminate or at least drastically cut back during any detox program you follow. Check out these 20 non-alcoholic drinks to help you wind down.

Beverages with caffeine in them have a dehydrating effect on the body, and make the liver work overtime to process the caffeine they contain. You have to drink plenty more water to counteract the dehydrating effects they cause, so it’s easier to just avoid them while you’re trying to detox.

Excess sugar will also cause excess stress to your liver, and will thwart your cleansing efforts. Try your best to cut out these foods you’re craving. You’ll find that as you release toxins from your body you’ll crave these kind of foods less and less, but you have to give them up in order for this to happen.

Overloading your digestive system leads to things moving sluggishly, and can lead to an accumulation of toxins. While you’re trying to detox you want to make sure that you’re stopping when you almost feel full, and that you’re eating freshly prepared foods that are high in fiber and nutrients.

Keep in mind that not one single detox food on this list is a magical one that you can focus all of your attention on to fully cleanse the body. Consider increasing your intake on as many as you can reasonably accommodate. Some might be hard to incorporate, either because you can’t find them locally or you can’t picture yourself adding them to your diet. Just do the best you can to come up with a detox plan that works for you and that you feel good about.

You may also like 28 Simple & Natural Ways to Detox Your Body.

Users Comments:

  • NaturalLady

    Lemon is one of the best superfoods out there. I use it for detox, and it is also the main ingredient in so many natural remedies. You can use lemon when you have a cold or sore throat and in tons of homemade skin products.

    • Robinson

      I used to drink lemon everyday. i mix it with water and drink it.previously i had a problem with my gum .i was ok.is it good for me to drink lemön every day?

  • sherry

    I am going to try to eat these as much as I can over the next week. Great resource! Can’t wait for your full site launch.

  • Meg

    Love AVOCADOS! I just can’t get enough of them. Nice to know they can be used for detox as well.

  • Hauwa

    I decided I want to change my eating my habits so i can feel healthier and happier and fixing my diet is the best to start! Thank You for the suggestions

  • SlimJim

    Despite the goodness explained here, I cannot stand the taste of artichokes, asparagus, and broccoli. Avocados, cabbage, garlic, grape fruit, and green tea to name a few, I very much love them. I eat so much junk food every day and there’s probably lots of toxins built up in my body due to my poor diet. I’m going to make a conscious effort to eat more of these detox foods and eat a little less doritos and whipped cream. I’ve got to get healthier when I’m still young.

    • Anni Nolan

      Doritos AND whipped cream? Together??

    • BJ

      Once you get off ‘junk food’, you’ll never go back! I haven’t had
      a McDonalds hamburger in more than 20 years and the thought
      of a 1/4 pounder makes me sick to my core. Not to say they don;t
      have some okay stuff….their breakfast burrito does in a pinch, the yogurt parfay is acceptable and I really think their 1 buck chocolate chip cookies can sooth an
      aching heart and soul once in a while! Other than that……junk.
      Good food, good for you food just simply TASTES good, and once that’s experienced,
      there is no going back!

  • Laura

    It says avoid caffeine but drink green tea…does decaffeinated green tea have the same health benefits?

    • Bembu

      Yes, the detoxifying effects of green tea are not due to the caffeine, but are because of the EGCG and flavonoids.

      • Gerri Ford (@Snoooty)

        I don’t like a single thing on this list. Eating these foods raw will take an effort on my part. Seems to me it would make one bloated and gassy.

    • rita

      caffeine is actually proven to be not bad for you unless you drink in excess, 2 or 3 cups daily is average, there is water in tea and coffee which balances out the effect. the only reason really to cut back is if you have an overactive bladder or if you get nervous drinking it. there have been tons of studies done on caffeine and there are no health problems associated with it other than nervousness in people or tachycardia with folks who drink too much of it or the stimulant effect on the bladder. people with ulcers are also told to stay away from caffeine but that has not really been proven to be an issue.

    • waliya

      I tried to eat mc’Donalds a couple of months ago because there wasn’t any other option that night before work. It sucked royally. Flavorless. I was so mad that I wasted my money.

  • Adam Wong

    love your website, thank you! 🙂

  • Moro

    The lesson of this article is that you need to eat stuffs that comes from of the ground if you want to stay healthy. We eat so much processed foods on a daily basis and that I believe is the main cause of our obesity problem. If we want to stay healthy individually we must cut down on processed food consumption and if we all do that, we can make the entire country healthy again. I’m going to start with me and I’m going to watch what I eat vigilantly from today.

    • Bembu

      It is all about balance too. Most people are not okay with giving up all of the processed or unhealthy foods that they love. It’s all about trying to make good decisions everyday, and if you cheat once in awhile to fulfill a craving, then so be it.

      • ernest barrett

        I have a question? If I were to make shake three times a day for seven days using all of these listed ingredient at one time, not eating or drinking anything else except for water would that be safe? And what amount of each item should I use in my shake?

  • Ethan L

    My girlfriend wants me to get into this detox food thing, I don’t really think it’s necessary but I thought I do some research before passing judgment. A lot of the things here I don’t even know what they’re, but surely they’re all natural foods that can only be good for you. I’m not completely sold yet, but let’s just say that I’m interested.

    • Bembu

      If you want to start detoxifying the easy way, try to drink at least 9-13 cups of water a day. This will be a HUGE step forward in flushing your system.

      • Joshua Steele

        Drinking 13 cups of water a day is a terrible idea. This would only diminish your digestive fire and deplete your kidney chi. Learn to trust your body and stop repeating these counterproductive memes.

  • meital

    This is a great list. Thank you!

  • Stephanie Stir Rodriguez

    Love this information on ways to use food to detox & take care of our bodies naturally……..

  • Victoria

    Very important information for our health!!

  • Julie

    Green tea isn’t caffeine free! or is it?

    • Bembu

      Hey Julie,

      You’re right! Minimally processed Green Tea is not caffeine free. There are caffeine free versions, but these are much more processed and usually contain less antioxidants, which is the whole reason for drinking the green tea in the first place. In this case, we are willing to make an exception because of the significant benefits green tea has towards detoxifying your liver. Just make sure you stay very hydrated, which you will doing anyway, during your detox.

  • Ariel

    I partially disagree with the section on avoiding sweets, candies and chocolates. 70% or higher cacao chocolate (in moderation, of course) is actually good for you. I thought that had become common knowledge by now.

    • Bembu

      Hey Ariel- We completely agree. It was a more generalized statement as most sweets are not good for you. We also believe that eating dark chocolate in moderation is not bad for you. However, in the case of detoxification, we think avoiding it is better because the high caffeine content far outweighs the health benefits of it.

    • Deborah McCormack

      Most chocolate dark or milk chocolate has sugar. Eaten in moderation is okay. But it’s not the best thing to have everyday. Once or twice a week is good. It is common knowledge, but it still is not the best for you. Unsweetened bittersweet chocolate that is organic and fair trade is the best. Not Hershey’s dark chocolate either. Read labels and learn more.

      • leac

        I imagine this would also help with drug detox,do you know of anything helpful for leg cramping and the hand and foot sweating,that come with drug detox

    • Nicole

      I agree with the dark chocolate being ok usually, but many times it does have some sort of sugar, so if you are really focusing on a detox, sugar would definitely be something to avoid. When not in serious detox mode, I like to make a morning smoothie treat a few times a week using raw cacao, almond or coconut milk ,a banana and pure stevia to sweeten with hemp seeds, chia seeds and ice. It’s like dessert, but actually extremely good for you. You will get a jolt of energy from the caffeine though!!

      Sorry I’m late to the convo…just stumbled upon this site and article and am all about it!!!

  • Erica

    What about proteins?? This is all vegetarian stuff.

  • Laura

    Do not eat a cat while detoxing, duly noted.

  • jaderenee

    You should think about adding Coconut oil to your list. It is proven one of the most healthy foods with antioxidants, antiseptic properties, and is wonderful for detox, weight loss, and as a digestive aid. Excellent article!

  • Sonni

    Is black tea very bad for you. I have fatigue issues related to an autoimmune issue, and I prefer tea to the pharmaceuticals doctors suggest. What are your thoughts?

  • Joannie

    Great info Bembu!! Thanks for sharing.:) was happy to learn I’d incorporated so many detox foods in my diet this past yr. Yea!!

  • JC

    I am so glad I found your site. Great info… but why the McDonald’s ad?

  • Maria

    I also loved this information. I had been put on a number of medications of the last couple of years due to various health problems. I was put most recently (Jan. – April) on a Medication that made me gain weight and actually feel worse. In May I decided that I was changing my diet completely. Went organic and mostly raw. Now two months later I take 1 daily medication and feel much, much better. What I really like about the list of the 20 Foods that Detox your Body & Mind is that I have been eating most of the during this time. I drink a Green Smoothie in the morning, salad at lunch and fresh steamed veggies with dinner. So I can verify that the above is correct. My skin has cleared up, I have lost weight, my energy has gone up. So if you are hesitating to change your bad eating habits, don’t!! You will feel 99% better.

  • LaCrecia

    Im starting a 3 week detox today from meats sweets and caffeine and your site has really helped me to get started thanks

  • Pops

    i am very interested in the Detox. my biggest problem is the sweets I love chocolate and jellies. I probably can give up the jellies.

  • Susan

    When I eat asparagus, my urine has a strong odor that smells like a skunk. Why does this happen? I have talked to other women who have had the same affect.

  • lito sanjuan

    Try this. It helps cleanse and detoxify our body.

  • Deborah

    Thank you very much. This was great information..a lot of this fods I’ve eaten one time or another..I’m learning and truly understanding the benefits of these foods…It’s great!..as I learn more I can make them priority on my grocery list…ty

  • farra


  • Wanda

    Thanks for all of the great helpful tips on getting healthy. I am going to step up my game, because I need to continue loosing the weight; and I’m beginning to have water retention.

  • oldguy

    As an OldF@rt with arthritis, I can testify that the diet you propose also is better than drugs in keeping down pain from it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
    Following this diet keeps me off the hydrocodone!!
    Good stuff…

  • Joshua Steele

    This list is all fine and good but you there’s a lot of substances out there that leave all these in the dust…. like Bupleurum. If I had to choose between all of these and just that one herb I would choose Bupleurum aaaaaalllll day long. And pleeeeeeeaaaase stop all this puritanical hating on chocolate. Chocolate is all the proof anyone needs that Goddess loves us and wants us to be healthy and happy.

  • Ka tarina

    I like to add water melon to this ( always just by it❜s self ). Woriyng about protein ? your body breaks protein in to amino acidsafrom witch waste product is ammonia ( uric acid ) toxic to your body. Vegetables consist from amino acids, w/out the uric acid .But this a complicated issue, so untill you know what you doing,eat meat and eggs,
    just not to much of it. never combine protein and starch.

    • rita

      I am a vegetarian and you cannot get complete nutritional needs from fruits and vegetables only, the body does need fat and protein to function: my sources for protein and fat come from beans,peas,tofu,eggs,milk,yougart,cheese. fiber is especially important for satiety which helps tremendously with weight loss: beans,peas,fruits,whole grains,and veges have the fiber your body needs.

  • JAY

    Lemon is best when we talk about detoxifying our body. It is often recommended to drink lemon juice empty stomach to detox our body.

  • crys

    What about fruits? I hate vegetables but I loooove fruit? I have really bad eating habits nd want to loose weight. Any suggestions??

  • Bill

    Great list! All things I try to consume regularly. Alkaline water also plays a huge role in my routine, I drink high alkaline water everyday. Alternatively you can actually add lemons to water to turn it more alkaline, very good for you all around.

  • Anna

    I just laughed my ass off. They say to drink green tea, yet avoid caffeinated beverages. FYI green tea has caffeine. Even the decaff kind has some in it. It’s good to eat healthy overall. There is nothing that is special about these foods by hyper-focusing on them.

  • Christian

    It is not a good idea to recommend that people eat broccoli raw as it is goitrogenic like all cruciferous vegetables meaning it acts like thyroid medication to slow the thyroid down and can lead to hypothyroidism for some people.

  • christine

    thank you for all this its very helpful for my chemistry project i will deffinately include these notes 🙂

  • kiran

    this site is good for everyone for a make over, i love it

  • Mark

    I have had lower back problems for many years. Since I changed my diet and educated myself about eating the proper foods, my back problem has become considerably better. Diet is not the only answer, but it has been a big part of the solution for me.

  • j

    I eat all of these but you can keep the beets and asparagus

  • Rosemary

    It would be nice if they would tell us how much of what to eat to get the benny’s and how much to do when attempting to detox. Christian thank you. I am hypothyroid and I love broccoli. I rarely eat it raw but, it has happened. No one ever told me what foods to eat or not eat since I was diagnosed nor before apparently, Thanks again.

  • Odette

    Hi there to all, because I am really eager of reading this web site’s post to be
    updated daily. It consists of nice stuff.

  • Robin

    I ordered the venus factor they took it the money from my account and never sent me the product I’ve emailed them Several times and nothing what a disappointment and not even a reply What a scam

  • Divinia

    Great article, thank you so much for providing this information, I am looking forward to my detox! Keep it up 🙂

  • Walnut

    Thank you. My husband I go on a 3 week vegan fast several times a year. The first time we did the fast my husband and I had sore lower backs in the kidney area. I think it was from detoxing. When the pain started we just kept drinking fluids trying to flush out our bodies. Now, we hardly have any pain in our kidneys and feel great through the process. Thank you for your great information.

  • Jacinta

    great article,i really like candies so much,i chew them daily.But before the day end i have taken much of ginger juice…..is there a problem with that?

  • Beth

    I like all the detox foods you mentioned and plan to do a crash detox routine for the next few days…only problem is I have some bananas that need to be used up. How toxic are they? and how about plain yogurt?

  • teklu tesfaye

    hey , i want to marry vegetrian woman please call me with this number 251913063203

  • William DICKIE

    Looking after a healthy body is admirable,but I think people should also try to have a healthy mind by removing all the toxic thoughts of hatred ,anger etc and replace them with positive thoughts of love,kindness and compassion- healthy mind = healthy body !

  • Allison Sharpe

    When you use puréed asparagus to detox can you add something with it to help the flavor, such as a fruit?

  • Allison Sharpe

    I was wondering if you can add like stawberries to the asparagus detox. I’m not fond of the taste.

  • Anna Powell

    Great list. I am all about natural detox through healthy eating.

  • Migs

    When you say, caffeine has a dehydrating effect , you are referring to a1928 study which is rather outdated!

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