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The Detox Diet That Involves Eating MORE

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    "Do I Need to Detox?"

    "Research hasn't proven that detox diets actually flush toxins out of your system," says Erin Thole, RD, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Des Moines, Iowa. "That's what kidneys and the liver are for." In fact, "extreme detox diets can cause low blood sugar, muscle aches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and lethargy," she adds. So what should you do if you want a fresh start? Don't think about subtracting things. Instead, add these all-natural (and dietitian-approved) clean foods to your diet for more energy and less inflammation.

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    Rather than focusing on restricting, which can lead to low energy levels or easily backfire and lead to binges, "focus on eating whole foods that nourish the body," suggests Robyn Coale, RD, owner of Nutshell Nutrition in New York City. "I prefer that my clients consider it a reboot or refresh, and aim to consume more nutrients, not fewer calories." So natural sugars, like those in pineapple, still get the green light. Bonus: The tropical contains an enzyme that cleanses your colon, Thole says.

    Try it in: Tom Yum Soup with Pineapple

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    Just as the "kidneys act as a natural filter of the blood to remove waste," Coale says, ginger helps the body rid itself of unwanted by-products of digestion. The aromatic root is rich in gingerol which helps to protect your cells from damage, according to a Life Sciences study.

    Try it in: Ginger Shrimp with Swiss Chard and Bell Pepper

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    Rich in antioxidants and fiber, these prickly vegetables stick right to toxins and escort them out of your body, according to UK research. Taking artichoke extract in pill form has also been proven to increase antioxidant absorption.

    Try it in: Artichoke & Red Pepper Frittata

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    Brazil Nuts

    Brazil nuts contain selenium, which has been shown to neutralize toxic metals. Plus, proper intake of the mineral lowers your risk of infertility and heart disease.

    Try it in: Plain! Bring them to the office for a filling afternoon snack.

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    Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale may have antiviral and anticancer benefits for your liver. And, for the ultimate detox, they may keep hangovers at bay, says Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. If only broccoli martinis were a thing.

    Try it in: Broccoli Slaw

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    Key for flushing out the kidneys, which filter your blood (and all the ickies in it), water also boosts your urine production, helping speed those impurities out of your system. "Consume enough water during the day so that your urine is clear," Thole says.

    Try it in: Fresh Mint Water

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    These jewel-colored root vegetables stuff a lot of nutrition into a little package, including magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium. Along with broccoli and red pepper, beets rank in the top three overall of vegetables in antioxidant activity and ability to absorb free radicals, says the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. "The closer foods are to their natural state, the less inflammation they cause during digestion," Coale says. So stick to steamed or roasted beets rather than the fried beet chips you can grab at the supermarket.

    Try it in: Beets & Greens Salad with Cannellini Beans

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    Goji Berries

    Native to China, goji berries contain carotenoids, which are detoxifying antioxidants. These vibrant berries are also rich in vitamin C, Coale notes, which reduces your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and dementia, says research from Nutrition in Clinical Care.

    Try it in: Goji Berry Kale Smoothie

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    Add basil to your diet to fight back against germs: "The herb offers antibacterial properties," Thole says. Like the other foods on this deprivation-free detox diet, it's also loaded with antioxidants.

    Try it in: Quinoa-Basil Tabbouleh

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    Say yes to sushi: The iodine in seaweed (often used in sushi wrappers) improves thyroid health, preventing chemicals, including chlorine and fluorine, from building up in the body. It also acts as a potent antioxidant, says research from Mexico.

    Try it in: Edamame Sushi Bowl