A 3 day cleanse is a short detox program that aims to eliminate toxins and impurities from your body. Cleanses have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to reset your system and promote overall health. While cleanses come in many forms, most involve restricting your diet to only certain foods or liquids for a set period of time. But with so many different cleanses out there, you may be wondering – what can you actually eat and drink on a 3 day cleanse? Here is an overview of some common foods and beverages that are usually allowed during a standard 3 day cleanse.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies should make up the bulk of your cleanse diet. Most 3 day cleanse plans recommend focusing on fresh, organic produce as much as possible. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and water – all of which help flush out toxins and keep you feeling energized. Some good fruit and veggie choices for a cleanse include:
- Leafy greens – kale, spinach, lettuce, collards
- Cruciferous veggies – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts
- Fresh berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- Citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruit, lemons
- Melons – watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew
- Apples, pears, bananas
- Tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets
Aim for a wide variety of produce to get a range of nutrients. You can eat these fruits and veggies whole, smoothie form, juiced, lightly steamed or roasted.
Staying hydrated is key during a cleanse, so drink plenty of fluids including:
- Water – Plain, filtered water should be your main beverage. Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Adding lemon can help boost cleansing effects.
- Tea – Herbal teas like dandelion, green, or ginger tea can help flush toxins. Black tea and coffee should be avoided.
- Vegetable juice – Fresh pressed vegetable juices provide hydration and nutrients. Limit fruit juice intake.
- Broth – Bone broths provide hydration as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Getting adequate protein is important during a cleanse to prevent muscle loss or cravings. Good cleanse-friendly proteins include:
- Beans and legumes – lentils, chickpeas, black beans
- Nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds
- Wild caught fish and seafood
- Organic poultry – chicken, turkey
- Plant-based protein powders – hemp, pea, rice protein
While limiting processed and fried foods, be sure to still get plenty of healthy fats like:
- Coconut oil or milk
- Olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Cold water fish
Healthy fats provide energy, help absorb nutrients, and keep you feeling satisfied. Portion control is key though, as even healthy fats are high in calories.
Herbs, Spices and Condiments
To add flavor to your cleanse foods, try:
- Lemon/lime juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fresh or dried herbs – cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme
- Spices – cinnamon, ginger, cumin, turmeric
- Minimal sea salt
- Dijon mustard
- Low-sodium tamari
Foods to Avoid
On a typical 3 day cleanse, you’ll want to avoid:
- Processed foods – fast food, packaged snacks, instant meals
- Added sugar – soda, candy, baked goods, ice cream
- Caffeine – coffee, energy drinks
- Dairy – milk, cheese, butter
- Gluten – wheat, barley, rye
- Refined oils – vegetable, canola, soybean oil
- Excess sodium
This allows your body to take a break from digesting more complex proteins, fats and compounds. Focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods will get your cleanse off to the right start.
Sample 3 Day Cleanse Meal Plan
Here is an example of what a 3 day juice cleanse may look like:
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast: Green juice||Breakfast: Green juice||Breakfast: Green juice|
|Snack: Celery sticks with almond butter||Snack: Sliced bell peppers and hummus||Snack: Cucumber slices and guacamole|
|Lunch: Vegetable broth with quinoa||Lunch: Large salad with chickpeas||Lunch: Zucchini noodle veggie stir fry|
|Snack: Handful of nuts||Snack: Apple with nut butter||Snack: Carrots and snap peas|
|Dinner: Steamed vegetables and baked salmon||Dinner: Veggie soup with kale||Dinner: Roasted cauliflower and tempeh|
Tips for an Effective 3 Day Cleanse
Here are some tips to help make your cleanse safe and successful:
- Talk to your doctor before starting, especially if you have any health conditions
- Choose organic, whole foods whenever possible
- Drink 64+ ounces of fluids per day
- Get some exercise daily like walking, yoga or stretching
- Plan ahead with your meal plan and grocery list
- Listen to your body and rest as needed
- Avoid intense workouts and stressful situations
- Manage cravings with herbal tea, mineral water or distraction techniques
- Break your cleanse gently by adding foods back in over a few days
The Bottom Line
A 3 day cleanse focused on whole, nutrient-rich foods can help reset digestive health, eliminate toxins, improve energy levels, reduce inflammation and promote weight loss. Typical allowed foods include fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, lean proteins, healthy fats and hydrating fluids. Avoid processed fare, sugar, caffeine and alcohol during your cleanse. Check with your doctor before starting any cleansing program and be sure to stay hydrated and listen to your body’s signals along the way. A short term, gentle cleanse can be a great way to support your health if done properly.