Try It: Brew some licorice tea. Licorice (the root, not the candy) is an herb that grows in the Mediterranean and throughout Asia, and is actually sweeter than sugar, with zero calories. It’s also an anti-inflammatory food that has bacterial-killing properties and a range of other health benefits. Other teas to try that can satisfy your sweet tooth are cinnamon and peppermint.
Health note: Wong warns that licorice root is a potent herb with some contraindications and recommends limiting licorice tea intake to one cup a day, citing safety concerns from the Natural Institutes of Health on licorice. “While it's good for someone with adrenal fatigue, it's not great for someone who's super stressed and pumping out a lot of cortisol,” she adds.
A note on artificial sweeteners: Diet soda drinkers, take heed: Artificial sweeteners do you no favors and are certainly not “detox approved." A University of Texas Health Science study reported that artificial sweetener consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans. Some experts suggest that they don’t curb but fuel sugar cravings – making them a lousy strategy for cutting back on sugar (and weight).
Detox Tip #2: Eat More Bitter Foods
Eating your greens is always detox-friendly. But even better are bitter greens, which must taste bitter in order to get the benefits. And that’s because when you taste bitter foods, like arugula, watercress and dandelion greens, they stimulate the liver to more effectively cleanse and detox the body.
Here’s why: Your taste buds signal what’s coming, and when you eat bitter greens, your gastrointestinal system gets the message to release hormones and digestive enzymes that increase bile flow, metabolize fats, and keep elimination moving smoothly. This helps your body carry the toxins out faster.
Bonus: Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine also say that eating more bitter greens can help ease sugar cravings. That’s a detox win-win.