Taste of Health Francesca Ballicu | 5 years ago

Do Detox Diets Really Work?

If you’re thinking of going on a detox diet, here are some things to consider.

Juice cleansing, herbal detox, Master Cleanse – there are a lot of detox diets out there, but not a lot of evidence to suggest that they work. Even so, many people choose to jump-start weight loss during the New Year by putting themselves on a detox diet. This begs the question: Do they really work? “Most doctors agree that detox diets are unnecessary,” says Ashley Bizzell, senior dietitian nutritionist, at Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville. “The liver and kidneys are extremely effective at filtering out toxins. In some cases, detox dieting, if overly restrictive in calories, can lead to weight gain later on because it causes the body to go into starvation mode, leading to increased fat storage when you resume your normal dietary habits.” While specific detox diets vary, they tend to involve a period of fasting followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, juices, colon-cleansing herbs and water. Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets. Why? It may be because detox diets eliminate or reduce foods that generally cause inflammation in the body, such as sugar, processed foods, dairy and gluten. In addition to clarity and increased energy, the promise of fast weight loss is also a draw. However, detox diets are not a long-term solution. As mentioned above, they can kick your body into starvation mode, which ultimately slows your metabolism and ultimately leads to weight gain. Instead of putting your body (and your willpower) through the rigorous process of detoxing, try eating a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein, like chicken and legumes. Fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley have powerful cleansing properties and help rid your body of heavy metals as well as accumulated salt and waste.


In lieu of a traditional cleanse (which, let’s face it, is simply not pleasant), make this tasty and oh-so-healthy salad for lunch or as an accompaniment to your dinner entrée. It’s packed with detoxifying nutrients, and you’ll fill up on fiber and healthy fats like avocado, walnuts, sesame seeds and olive oil.

For the dressing:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 cups kale, tightly packed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 avocados, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley & cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing (or put everything in a small blender and blend) and set aside until ready to use. Add the kale, cabbage, broccoli, bell pepper and carrots to a large serving bowl. Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss until everything is coated. Add the parsley and cilantro, diced avocado, sesame seeds and walnuts and toss again. Recipe: The Roasted Root Do you wish you had a community to inspire you and support the choices you make to improve your family’s nutrition habits? Now you do. Join the conversation, or start your own, using #TasteOfHealth.