Good Protein Foods to Eat While Detoxing

A close-up of dried lentils.
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A detox plan is intended to cleanse your body of chemicals, pesticides and pollution you encounter in your everyday life. Eating a diet based on whole foods helps you achieve these goals, while maximizing energy and promoting an overall sense of well-being. While fresh fruits and vegetables are the focus in most detox plans, you should still include protein foods to keep muscle mass and support cellular growth and repair. Most detox plans limit your consumption of red meat, eggs and dairy – but you still have plenty of protein options.


Most grains are not a complete source of protein, meaning they do not provide all the essential amino acids you need from dietary sources. The one exception is quinoa, a seed that is classified as a grain and provides 8 g of complete protein per cooked cup. Brown rice, steel-cut oats, teff, amaranth, buckwheat and millet are other grains to include as incomplete protein sources. These grains, when eaten with beans or dried peas, form a complete protein.


Animal Proteins

While some detox plans are vegan, meaning they include no animal products, others include fish, organic poultry, lamb and wild game. When choosing fish, opt for wild over farmed, and choose types that are low in mercury – including flounder, salmon, sole and freshwater trout. Organic poultry does not contain colorings, hormones or saline solution. Wild game may be included in a detox plan because it is raised without the use of hormones and antibiotics.

Vegetable Proteins

Dried beans, such as black, kidney, pinto, garbanzo and cannellini, are a vegetarian source of protein that offer fiber to help with detoxification. Lentils and dried peas are other vegetarian sources of protein that fit into a detox diet plan. Skip canned versions if possible, as most contain added sodium. Soak your own instead. Sea vegetables, such as chlorella and spirulina, are also complete sources of protein often included in detox plans.


Nuts and Seeds

Nuts, particularly almonds and walnuts, are a source of healthy fats, along with protein. Choose raw options to ensure that you get no added salt or preservatives. Pumpkin, hemp, sesame and sunflower seeds are additional sources of protein, magnesium, fiber and unsaturated fats.