The practice of detoxifying the body to rid it of unhealthy toxins has been around for centuries. Hippocrates recommended fasting to improve health, and many religious groups have historically used fasting as a way of purifying the spirit.
Today the marketplace is cluttered with detox diets that promise to help you lose weight, boost your energy levels and more. However, many popular detox diets, especially those that involve extreme low-calorie fasting, can rob the body of important nutrients and place the body in starvation mode, which actually slows your metabolism. Other downsides of many detox diets include: dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and even colon damage.
The Body’s Detox System
Oftentimes people don’t realize that the body has its own extraordinary internal detoxification system. Here’s a brief look at three critical organs involved:
- The Liver: Your first line of defense against toxins is your liver, which acts like a filter in preventing toxic substances contained in foods from passing into your blood stream.
- The Colon: This organ has bacteria that produce both healthy and unhealthy chemicals. You want to keep your colon flowing regularly since its main role is to flush out toxic chemicals before they can do you any harm.
- The Kidneys: Like clockwork, the kidneys are constantly filtering your blood and getting rid of toxins in the form of urine.
For a detox diet to truly work, you need to maintain these three key organs by nourishing your body with the right nutrients. Dr. Oz’s 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse is based upon eating certain “detoxifying” foods that will keep these systems running smoothly. The plan couldn’t be simpler to follow so you’re not always focused on what to eat next. You'll need to prepare and eat the following meals and snacks two days in a row. To get ready for the weekend cleanse, print out the complete cleanse shopping list and make a trip to the supermarket. Get the shopping list here.
Dr. Oz’s 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse
Breakfast: Quinoa With Prunes
Start your morning off with a bowl of quinoa; this healthy whole grain is also a complete protein, and it’s high in phosphorus and fiber. Top it with prunes; they’re high in fiber and sorbitol, a chemical that acts like a laxative.
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp flaxseed oil
1/3 cup chopped prunes
1/4 cup rice milk
Snack Items: Detox Drinks
Enjoy these healthy pick-me-ups in between meals throughout the day.
Kale, Pineapple and Ginger Detox Drink (Juicer required)
This purifying beverage contains kale to cleanse the kidneys; pineapple, which has bromelain to aid digestion; and ginger to help stimulate bile flow in your gall bladder.
1/2 cup pineapple
2 large cucumbers
1 bunch kale without stems (4 cups chopped)
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/4 inch of ginger
1 bunch of mint (1/2 cup)
Pineapple, Lemon and Pomegranate Blend-Free Detox Drink
If you don’t have a juicer to make the first drink, mix up this easy detox concoction with ready-made juices and cut with water.
3/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
3 cups water
Get the complete juice recipes here.
Alternate: Veggie Snack
Slice and mix together celery, radishes and cucumber, or any assortment of fresh vegetables. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Put this crunchy cleansing treat in plastic baggies or a portable container so you can take it with you on the run. You can have as much of this snack as you want throughout the day.
Lunch: Fruit Smoothie
In a blender, whip up a nourishing smoothie that contains blueberries, loaded with quercetin, a flavonoid that boosts immunity and is good for your liver; bananas, full of vitamin B6, an essential vitamin for liver detoxification; and ground flaxseed, packed with brain-nourishing omega-3s and fiber for healthy elimination.
½ cup almond or hemp milk (plain/unsweetened)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia
¼ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Dinner: Vegetable Broth Soup
This purifying broth contains fennel to help bile flow in your gallbladder; garlic to help with liver and gall bladder function; cabbage, excellent for detoxification in both the liver and kidneys; and shitake mushrooms to boost liver enzymes. Serve soup with a side of sauerkraut with sliced apples. Sauerkraut contains probiotics, the good bacteria that protect your GI tract. Make sure to use traditionally fermented sauerkraut to get the greatest health benefits. Apples boost both kidney and liver function.
Vegetable Broth Ingredients
2 red onions, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb, fronds and stalks included, roughly chopped
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup sliced shitake caps
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 cabbage, roughly chopped
2 quarts water
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
8 sprigs parsley, chopped stems and leaves
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
To get the most out of Dr. Oz’s 48-Hour Weeekend Cleanse, be sure to follow these rules:
- No Eating After 7 p.m.
- Take an Epsom Salt Bath: This therapeutic bath will help you sweat out toxins and also contains magnesium to relax your muscles as well.
- Dandelion Root Tea: Before bed, enjoy a cup of dandelion root tea, an excellent way for your liver to excrete toxins from your body.
Bonus: More Foods to Boost Your Body’s Detox Systems
- Dark berries such as blueberries and blackberries will make it easier for your liver to get rid of certain toxins.
- Hot peppers have capsaicin, which boosts enzymes responsible for detoxifying the liver. As a rule, the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin.
- Whole grains contain phosphorous, a natural laxative, and fiber to help bulk up your stools.
- Fermented foods like kimchi (Korean spicy pickled cabbage) and sour pickles are packed with probiotics, the good bacteria that help protect your colon.
- Soy products such as miso, tofu and edamame all act like diuretics, allowing you to urinate more often.
- Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, bok choy and broccoli increase your kidney’s ability to transport toxins into the urine and help liver cells recover from detox.