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Everything You Need to Know About Detoxing

Posted by Ashley Koff RD on December 22nd, 2015 under Healthy Living, Nutrition Tips, General


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So you say you want or rather need a detox? Well, we’ve got some news for you that just might challenge everything you thought you knew about detox.

What is a Detox, really? There always seems to be - especially this month - a thousand different products and programs touting their detox benefits. They claim to undo the mess that you (or the environment) has created in your body. While the true definition of a detox is to remove toxins, that often isn’t what these programs and products actually do. The reason is that your body, all bodies, every body is designed with a detoxification system. So the reality is that you should be - and likely are - “detoxing” every darn day from birth to passing. That’s right, your body detoxes without any program or product required.

"your body, all bodies, every body is designed

with a detoxification system"


So before you throw back activated charcoal or condemn yourself to a week’s worth of green juices or mix water with coconut oil, lemon, cayenne and maple syrup …consider these tips to get the most out of your detoxification goals.


1. Reduce the toxins you take in

From taking your shoes off at your door, washing fruits and vegetables, and choosing organic food and skincare. You can get and stay cleaner by creating less mess, less work for your body’s detoxification system to do.


2. Eat plants

Phyto(plant) nutrients such as antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, spices, whole grains, nuts and seeds are the foundation of your body’s clean up team, so a plant-based diet will be most effective at promoting ongoing detoxification.

Note: Variety is essential. Think about it this way - a mop won’t do what a vacuum does – just like different kinds of nutrients have different roles. So eat a rainbow of colors, choose different spices, and try a variety of grains, seeds and nuts. Avoid mono-eating only one kind of vegetable or nut.


3. Maintain a healthy digestive system

Toxins are routinely eliminated through our bodies elimination efforts throughout the digestive tract. Thus adequate fiber, foods that nourish good bacteria, foods that support a more alkaline lower digestive tract as well as those that contain nutrients like magnesium that support healthy motility of the digestive tract and bitter herbs which help stimulate the digestive tract.


4.  Learn the deal with ‘detox’

First, what are toxins, actually? Toxins are unusable products resulting from the metabolism of nutrients, pollutants, ‘cides (pesticides, insecticides, herbicides), chemistry lab products (food additives, artificial stuff), medical drugs and alcohol.  

Second, how does the body’s natural detoxification system work? Our internal detoxification system has two phases, and to properly accomplish both of these phases we need the right nutrients.

Phase 1: convert harmful toxins to less harmful and to mark them for elimination

  • Foods that provide the nutrients for Phase 1 detoxification include: whole grains, peanuts, sunflower seeds, avocado, sweet potato, banana, yogurt, spinach, all beans, broccoli, all greens, berries, oranges, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, tofu, sesame seeds, turmeric.

Phase 2: conjugation where body adds nutrients to harmful toxins to help them be eliminated.

  • Foods that provide the nutrients for Phase 2 detoxification include: broccoli, amino acids (hemp), calcium, eggs, shallots, garlic, leeks, and water(!)

So take Mother Nature’s path to detox better, and healthier. You’ll enjoy the win-win-win of delicious, nutritious food that supports your body’s detox efforts daily.


Ashley Koff RD

Ashley Koff is an internationally-renowned registered dietitian who believes better nutrition is simple and is on a mission to help people achieve their personal health goals by providing simple but highly effective tips and strategies. Follow Ashley, a self-described “Qualitarian,” on twitter @ashleykoff or visit her website at