How to “detox” the right way

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JJ Virgin

JJ Virgin

It is not just Hollywood stars who want to slim down before a special occasion, but it was celebrities who started the “detox” craze.

“Most detox plans are bogus,” says celebrity nutritionist and bestselling author, JJ Virgin. “Detoxification happens in two phases – Phase 1: a fat-soluble toxin becomes water-soluble; Phase 2: your body actually excretes that toxin via urine, sweat, and feces. Most commercial cleanses and detoxes are just sugar water and don’t provide the essential protein or nutrients your liver demands to effectively detoxify. Without sufficient dietary protein, your liver cannot perform phase 2, where you actually excrete toxins. Like Los Angeles rush hour traffic, those toxins just pile up and create a serious metabolic traffic jam.”

This could be why Katie Holmes told journalists she will never go through it again.

JJ Virgin has an alternative to “sugar water AKA “juice cleanses.”

Here are five foods JJ says should be part of any weight loss or “detox” plan:


First thing in the morning, drink half a lemon squeezed into a glass of warm filtered water. Lemon helps your body remove toxins and gives you a Vitamin C immune boost. Lemon can also rev up your metabolism.


Asparagus is a diuretic that helps cleanse your liver; specialists have utilized asparagus’s anti-inflammatory properties for centuries to benefit numerous conditions including arthritis, cancer, and heart disease. One study showed asparagus extract protected liver cells against toxicity. (Researchers also found it might relieve hangover symptoms!) Most asparagus is green, but also look for purple and white varieties. Don’t discard the leaves. Bonus: they also have a therapeutic value.


This vegetable does double detox duty. Its diuretic properties help rid your body of excess liquid, carrying toxins along with it. Like other cruciferous veggies, cabbage is also sulfur-rich, helping your liver break down toxins so they can be expelled more easily. Researchers found among its numerous roles that sulfur — the third most abundant mineral in your body — helps “detoxify toxic compounds, free radicals and reactive oxygen species.”


You’re constantly bombarded with synthetic toxins in water and food, including metals, pesticides, preservatives, and additives. But besides providing major flavor to salads, avocado offers glutathione, the master antioxidant that helps break down and expel those toxins. The same study mentioned above showed that decreased amounts of glutathione impairs your antioxidant defenses. Rich in high-quality monounsaturated fat, one cup of avocado also contains a whopping 10 grams of fiber. Among its roles, fiber binds and helps your body more readily excrete toxins.


This is another cruciferous veggie; broccoli hooks up with liver enzymes to more readily expel toxins. Studies show sulforaphane in broccoli works as an indirect antioxidant because it activates several enzymes in phase 2 detoxification. Among its other benefits, broccoli can also help fight cancer. Broccoli makes a great snack dunked in hummus, and you can convert pretty much any veggie-phobic person by sautéing it with a little freshly pressed garlic and coconut oil.

One cooler bonus: Cabbage, asparagus, and avocado all land on the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15” – the least-contaminated produce choices. Nice to know, since the last thing you want to do while dispelling toxins is to get them in your food.

If you like this plan you will want to check out The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin.