There are all sorts of detox drinks out there, some that are healthy and some that are not so healthy, aimed at giving your digestive system a break and at helping you lose weight.
Some liquid cleanses are intended to be a morning ritual to go along with a sensible meal plan for the rest of the day and some cleanses are structured so that the drinks themselves make up all of the calories you will intake for the next week or two. If you’re not careful, using meal-replacement cleanses as your only source of fuel for consecutive days can end up leaving nutritional gaps in your diet when it comes to desirable components like protein and nutrients so talking with a medical professional can help you understand what’s right for your particular circumstances.
Most of us who are trying to lose some extra pounds can benefit from simply having one or two vegetable-based detox drinks a day to replace the corresponding number of snacks or meals. Homemade vegetable and fruit juice blends still provide your body with access to a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients without overwhelming your system with unwanted calories. This no-chew alternative also takes a load off of your digestive system to help you stay balanced, healthy and regular.
Best detox drink using fruits & vegetables
You’re trying to lose weight, but having the exact same drink day in and day out can get boring. Additionally, it’s easier on some days to muster up the strength and willpower to stick to a strict diet and it’s harder on other days so having a basic recipe that you can adapt as needed is what can help you maintain your dieting efforts without feeling overly limited.
Being too hard on yourself day in and day out can eventually make you crack and succumb to the temptation of a huge binge-on-junk-food session, which isn’t better than just allowing yourself to have an extra spoonful of almond butter here or an indulgent scoop of chocolate chips there when tailoring your daily detox smoothie.
Taking inspiration from Dr. Mark Hyman’s 10-Day Detox Diet and beauty- and life-guru Laura Armstrong, here’s a basic formula for making your own weight-loss friendly smoothie in a blender.
Feel free to adjust the recipe according to the ingredients you have on hand and what you’re in the mood for at any given point. If you bulk up a smoothie at lunch, just remember to go for something lighter at dinner. Try to strike a nice balance so that your day’s calories overall still match your goals for losing weight and revealing a healthier you.
Spinach can be your new best friend
Since leafy green vegetables are diet freebies, you don’t even need to count the accompanying calories when totalling the nutritional information for your drink. But, for your mental satisfaction in knowing just what a superfood spinach really is, a full cup is still only 7 calories. You can simply grab a giant handful or measure out a cup and a half of spinach to throw in the blender to give your drink a nice serving of antioxidants, vitamin A, fiber, protein, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Spinach is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for normal metabolism.
If you really plan on making a vegetable-based detox smoothie daily, go ahead and buy a big bag of fresh spinach at the start of the week and keep it in the freezer. When you go to make your drink each day, simply grab out a handful of frozen leaves. This way, you don’t have to worry about your spinach going bad in the fridge and you get an extra icy texture in the smoothie, which is a win-win for your wallet and tastebuds.
Kale can be the long-lost relative you instantly clicked with
Kale is another diet freebie, technically coming in at around 33 calories per cup. The weight-loss delight actually contains bile acid sequestrants, a group of resins that have shown to decrease the absorption of dietary fat and lower cholesterol. Additionally, the vegetable contains fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, iron, potassium and zinc.
Like the spinach, you can actually buy a big bag of fresh kale in bulk and then freeze the useful vegetable so it stays in good condition for your daily or multi-daily detox drink. Add a big handful to your smoothie mix, using equal parts spinach and kale or favoring whichever ingredient you happen to have more of on hand.
Berries are what make the smoothie naturally sweet and delicious
If you’d like to say no thanks to a plain spinach and kale smoothie, you’re not alone. But, adding half a cup of your favorite berries can make a world of difference. Depending on your weight loss program, you may be inclined to count the calories of fruits or you may be aligned with the school of thought that fruits don’t need to be counted so go ahead and tally your drink accordingly.
Raspberries make a great smoothie option and are filled with fiber, protein and vitamins. The tasty berry is just over 30 calories for half a cup, but you can really use whatever fruits sound good to you. If you want to throw in some blueberries, go for it. If you have some unsweetened acai berry puree left in the freezer, whip that out and also toss in a banana. If you love cranberries and are not afraid of the tartness, or simply plan to counteract that taste with the addition of sweet ingredients later, cranberries it is.
Almond milk is what brings everything together
Pouring in a cup of almond milk, along with some ice and extra water as needed, is what transforms your veggie and fruit blend into a delicious smoothie. Almond milk doesn’t have any cholesterol or lactose and actually has the potential to boost digestive health because of the prebiotic properties contained therein. You can make your own almond milk at home by grinding the nuts with water in a blender or you can purchase a ready-to-go version at your local store. When shopping for almond milk, make sure to look for an option made with real almonds that is unsweetened and free of artificial flavors.
Silk’s Original Unsweetened Almond Milk, for example, is 30 calories per cup, loaded with calcium, vitamin E, vitamin B12, riboflavin and vitamin D, and contains no added sugar, no artificial colors or flavors, no dairy, no soy and no gluten. Cartons tend to have a long shelf-life and should be kept in the refrigerator. After you’ve tossed in all your ingredients, blend well and enjoy.
Rotating add-ins are the spice of life
If drinking a green smoothie every day sounds boring, switch things up. Combine more fruits than green vegetables one day and throw in a half of a carrot. Add a scoop of chocolate protein powder or a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter. On a really rough day where dieting is killing you, toss in a small serving of chocolate chips. If you have more calories to spare, add in a few walnuts or some pumpkin seeds. Play around with proportions and recipes in order to come up with the perfect detox drink according to your tastes and preferences. Happy dieting!