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Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Work?

Posted by Terra's Kitchen on Tue, Dec 19, '17

Detoxing is a hot trend and it’s not going away anytime soon. People everywhere are foregoing their favorite foods in exchange for paired down menus consisting of soups, teas and juices. If you’re interested in trying a cleanse, you’re probably wondering how to detox naturally and without going to extremes. Fortunately, there are different methods to choose from so you can find a detox that works for your lifestyle.

Here’s what you need to know before starting your first cleanse:

How do detoxes work?

Detoxes and cleanses aim to remove toxins from your body. Most regimens give your digestive system a break by adhering to a strict diet of mostly liquids, or other easily digestible, clean foods. This gives your cells time to rest and rejuvenate. Other cleanses aim to eliminate toxins in the body’s major systems like the blood, skin, and major organs like the kidneys and the colon using herbs and other supplements.


Which cleanse is best?

A quick internet search reveals tons of choices which can be overwhelming. Options range from 10-day programs that cost several hundred dollars, to detox meal plans that you can execute on your own with a little research. Most cleanses fall into one of the following four categories:

  • All (or Mostly) Liquids - This is the most prevalent category, where all of the juice, soup, smoothie and tea detoxes live. Sometimes these strictly focus on one type of product (juice only, for example) or provide a combination for you to enjoy each day. Usually these cleanses last at least 3 days, with the average program lasting 5-6 days.
  • Only The Good Stuff - Other programs achieve detox by eliminating indulgent and harmful foods that are high in saturated fat, sugar, and cholesterol in exchange for a low-calorie diet of whole foods that are nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich and full of fiber. Fresh food detoxes are a great way to go if you want to give your body a rest, kickstart healthy habits, increase energy levels and boost your metabolism. Using this method, you’re removing the “bad stuff” and making your body more healthy improving your overall health along the way.
  • Intermittent Fasting - This type of cleanse has recently been a popular topic with new research indicating that fasting may help increase your lifespan. With intermittent fasting, you completely stop caloric intake for a day or two. While you’re on your “break from eating” you can drink as much water as you want, and depending on your fasting method there may be other restrictions on what you eat before and after your fast.
  • Supplement-Based Cleanses - There are also plenty of herbal supplements that are designed for cleansing, each with their own set of claims and benefits. Particularly with supplement-based cleanses, it is important to consult your doctor and read the ingredients very closely. There is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of these types of cleanses and most have not been evaluated by the FDA which is why we recommend focusing on fresh foods instead of these “quick fixes.”


Do you feel like you need to give your body a break after an indulgent holiday season? Our meal delivery menu has healthy options that can prepare your body for a detox program, or build your own. Choose from cold-pressed juices from Suja, ready-to-drink soups from Zupa, fresh smoothies, salads and more on our meal delivery menu.

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Topics: nutrition