Contrary to popular belief, the body is already continually working to cleanse itself, and needs nutrients to do so – including protein. According to Nielsen, many fast-based detox diets hamper your body’s detoxing capabilities, and can also “disturb the balance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.” Healthy detox diets should cut out alcohol and junk food, include a great deal of foods that have natural cleansing properties, like broccoli, kale and collard greens, and shouldn’t leave you ravenous.
That said, a couple weeks of detoxing a year won’t have a lasting difference on your health. “One of the big misconceptions is that you can cleanse for one or two weeks a year and go back to your normal diet,” says Nielsen. Instead, detox diets are useful when the results you feel, like increased energy, inspire you to incorporate healthy habits for the long term.