Depurative Diet: Recommended Foods, Mechanism of Action and Recommendations

Depurative diets are intended to cleanse and regulate the body, eliminating toxins.

With the pursuit of a depurative diet, you can lose weight, but they are not particularly indicated.

These diets fulfill these two functions so that when the purification process is being carried out, it is also becoming thinner.

With a cleansing diet, the liver is detoxified, helping the body to burn calories.

There are many models of depurative diets; you should only choose detoxifying foods that usually provide fewer calories.

They are usually prepared in juices or steam preparations, boiled or roasted, but not fried.

Recommended foods

Among the recommended foods to consume while performing a cleansing diet we have:


  • Vegetables: Those with green leaves such as chard, alfalfa, watercress, celery, spinach, and lettuce, which have high antioxidants and are natural diuretics. Other vegetables such as artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts stimulate liver enzymes, carrots, and beets because of their high flavonoids and beta-carotene onions and garlic for their allicin and selenium content.
  • Fruits: Apple, melon, grapes, pineapple, and pear, among others, for their pectin content. With special attention to citrus fruits for their contribution to vitamin C.
  • Green tea:  Because of its flavonoid content, turmeric and ginger help indigestion.
  • Cereals: Especially whole grains, whole grain bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, quinoa, millet, and sesame have been shown to have depurative effects.
  • Fats: Olive oil or granola in small quantities and avocado, in addition to fat, contributes to the liver and eliminates toxins.

Usually, the organs and the immune system are responsible for detoxifying the body, but following a cleansing diet helps.

Mechanism of action

To detoxify the body, the diet must be low in fat and consume a lot of fluid.

These practices help absorb nutrients, including vitamin C.

The cleansing diet improves circulation in the lymphatic system.

This system is composed of a network of thin tubes extended by the body, called lymphatic vessels, which carry the lymph, responsible for exchanging nutrients between tissues and blood, to the heart.

This diet helps produce enzymes that fulfill the detoxifying function of the liver.


  • The depurative diet does not have the body’s nutrients, and it is not advised if intense physical activities are carried out.
  • It should only be done for a few hours; above all, it should not be prolonged beyond the indicated time.
  • They are not recommended in people suffering from kidney failure, liver failure, diabetes, patients with oncological diseases, eating disorders, pregnant women, children, or the elderly.
  • Before starting the depurative diet, the nutritionist should be consulted.

Some depurative diets

Usually, the diet requires that only fruits and vegetables should be consumed for one or two days. These foods should be consumed raw and fresh, fruits all day with salads at lunch and dinner.

However, there is a variety of diets where basic food is established, such as:

A day of fasting

It is an ancient practice that is still carried out in different cultures. Called therapeutic fasting, only liquids are ingested in it.

The duration is one day; a stress-free day is chosen where no type of activity is carried out, with moderate physical and intellectual activity.

In case of dizziness or nausea, you must give up the fast and begin to eat meals little by little.

Oatmeal Diet

A combination of fruits, vegetables, and oats is consumed for about two days.

The fruits are combined with oatmeal cereal at breakfast, and at meals, an oatmeal broth is made with carrots, leeks, and celery that are diuretic vegetables and is accompanied by a fillet of chicken or grilled fish or steamed.

Soy diet

It combines soy and derivatives with fruit and vegetables.

It is recommended to relieve premenstrual symptoms and menopause.

The duration is one day.

It is recommended to take soy yogurt with fruit at breakfast.

Mid-morning, a serving of baked soybeans (a natural snack).

At lunch, a soy product such as hamburger accompanied with lettuce.

In mid-afternoon, take a soy milkshake, and at dinner, soy tofu with tomato salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil.

Carrots diet

In this diet, only carrots and water are consumed.

It lasts one day.

At breakfast, drink juice with three carrots and tea.

Midmorning, a raw carrot.

A broth with five carrots, celery, onions, and steamed fish is recommended at lunch.

In the middle of the afternoon, a juice with two carrots.

And at dinner, juice two carrots, and before going to bed, have tea.

Tomato diet

Suitable for smokers and people suffering from cellulite, its duration is one day.

When you get up, you should eat a tomato juice at breakfast, two tomatoes seasoned with oregano and coffee, a tomato salad with soybeans spiced with olive oil, and grilled chicken at lunch.

In the afternoon, tomato juice with mint leaves; at dinner, tomato salad with lettuce, and before going to bed, have a tea.

Diet from Alcachofa

The diet of the artichoke is a diuretic that lasts one day.

At breakfast, eat a slice of wholemeal bread accompanied by a cream of artichokes and tea.

Mid-morning, a low-fat yogurt.

At lunch, white parboiled rice and grilled artichoke hearts.

In the afternoon, a glass of skim milk.

And for dinner, a French omelet with artichokes.

Grapefruit diet

Grapefruit or grapefruit is an effective fat burner, detoxifies, and loses weight because it is rich in fiber and vitamin C.

It lasts one day.

Eat only grapefruit in several presentations: Juice, tacos, or slices, and combined with low-fat yogurts mid-morning and mid-afternoon, at lunch and dinner, a salad of spinach or lettuce.

At breakfast, there is another option:

  • A grapefruit juice
  • A slice of whole-grain bread with coffee
  • Low-fat yogurt in the middle of the morning

A broth of celery, two boiled eggs, and half a grapefruit at lunch.

A salad of lettuce with half a grapefruit for dinner, with a grilled chicken fillet.

Other important recommendations

There are longer-lasting depurative diets because they are only based on foods with detoxifying properties.

The body has dexintoxicant functions, where it metabolizes the toxins so as not to become intoxicated. Once they reach the blood, they are transformed by the liver’s enzymes into others less toxic to the human body.

The metabolites that result from this metabolic action are eliminated by different routes, such as the kidneys, bile, or skin in the form of sweat or accumulate in organs and tissues.

It is possible to carry out a cleansing diet by changing eating habits and consuming foods with detoxifying properties or containing few toxins for the body.

Thus the excessive consumption of proteins of animal origin contributes considerable amounts of ammonia, provoking acidity and hindering the natural depurative processes of the human body.

In addition, the use of sugar, processed or refined flours, fish contaminated with heavy metals, precooked foods, soft drinks, fried foods, refined oil, refined salt, and animal fat, among others, should be avoided.

The foods in the depurative diet are of vegetable origin: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and seeds.

A diet with the intake of these foods improves digestion, is rich in nutrients, provides fluids, and helps in the liver’s detoxifying function.

Oatmeal is a cereal with formidable detoxifying properties; it is a grain with a high content of fiber, minerals, and amino acids, avoids constipation and provides carbohydrates that present a slow absorption.

It is recommended to eat oats accompanied by ground seeds and red fruits ( antioxidants ).

Green vegetables have chlorophyll and potassium and are recommended in this diet.

It is recommended to consume them in the morning when no food has been eaten; it is also recommended to ingest them in milkshakes in the middle of the morning and the afternoon.

These act at the level of the liver, are alkalizing properties, and provide enzymes that significantly improve the digestive processes.

Making the juices with cucumber, apple, pineapple, and papaya is recommended.

Within the group of vegetables with the most excellent detoxifying effect, we can consume:

  • Vegetables are rich in sulfur, such as onions and garlic, and bitter vegetables, like chicory, artichoke, and celery.
  • Roots like turnip, beet, carrot, radishes, and asparagus.

These foods will become the diet based on detoxifying foods, so you should consume five units daily in juices and meals.

They are consumed in depurative broths twice a day, mixing a vegetable of each type.

Each meal should have three types of food: One serving of vegetables, one serving of carbohydrates, and one serving of vegetable protein and only white meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Medicinal herbs such as horsetail, dandelion, and nettle, plants with depurative and diuretic properties, are usually used in this regimen.

They are taken in infusions at midmorning to help in the process of elimination of liquids.

However, it is not recommended to consume it in the afternoon because it can interfere with sleep and increase diuresis.

Water intake is essential; approximately 1.5 to 2 liters per day are recommended.