Do we need greens for detoxification? Or is it better to avoid them to cleanse faster?

First of all, we need to remember that our body is detoxifying all the time. If detoxification would stop, we would die very fast. Secondly, our body needs certain nutrients for detoxification to take place. And it can’t take it out of the thin air, unless you are a transcended breatharian guru, I guess.

Is faster detoxification always better?

How can we tell that detoxification is happening faster than usual? Is it because of the detox symptoms? Cleansing reactions, like skin rashes or headaches are a result of toxins being released at a faster rate than they can be neutralised and released.

If we consume less calories than we burn, which is usually happens on a cleanse, toxins are being released from the fat tissue. If we don’t have enough necessary nutrients for neutralising these toxins, they can stay in our bloodstream for too long, go to our brain, giving us headaches or to our skin and damage it.

In this case some detox specialists can say that detoxification is being successful and that we need to keep on going with the same protocol until all the toxins come out. Even if our hair is falling out and our teeth losing their enamel. They say that all these things will grown back after the detoxification process is done.

Cleanse and then rebuild?

Specialists how recommend the fruit only protocol can sometimes recommend to alternate detox with the rebuild phase. Where you can eat some veggies to rebuild the tissues of our body.

But do we need to wait until the end of the detox to give our body the components that it needs for the detox itself? Let alone the nutrients that are needed for the body to keep the teeth, bones, hair and nails healthy? And can we get all the necessary nutrients and phytochemicals for effective detoxification from fruit alone?

All the cleansing reactions that people are often getting on fruit only detox protocols tell me that the process of detoxification is not efficient or safe.

So is there a way to get all the necessary nutrients to keep us safe, without slowing down the process of cleansing and healing? To figure it out, let’s look at the basic physiology of detoxification in our body.

Faster detox through lymphatic system

Lymph is collecting toxins from the tissues in our body. And juicy fruit is definitely helping to keep our lymph flowing. But also, let’s remember that our lymphatic system doesn’t have a heart. And the best way to move our lymph is to move our body and breathe deeply.

Some detox specialists say that greens would slow down the lymph flow. But I can’t find any evidence or logical explanation for this statement. If there is any that you know of, please let me know in the comment section below.

After the lymph collected toxins, it transports them into the bloodstream. The least harmful of these toxins are usually water-soluble and can be collected from the blood by kidneys and excreted with urine. But there are also a lots of more harmful toxins which are usually fat soluble. This type of toxins are coming from drugs, medications, air pollutants, plastics, gas fumes, conventional cosmetics, water pollutants, pesticides, food additives, etc. This kind of fat-soluble toxins need to be collected and worked on by the liver.

The main organ of detoxification

Liver is the primary organ of detoxification. It transforms harmful, fat soluble chemicals, hormones and toxins into water-soluble metabolites that can then be safely excreted by the intestines, kidneys, and skin. Our liver needs energy (glucose) and variety nutrients to do it’s work properly.

Detoxification in the liver works through pathways called Phase I and Phase II detoxification, which involve transmutation of series of enzymes.

So which nutrients do we need for the phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification to work properly and efficiently? And can we get enough of them eating only fruit recommended by certain detox specialists?

I’ve entered different variations of fruit only diets in Chronometer and compared them to a fruit based day of eating with a copious amounts of greens. And then we can compare all of them to the list of nutrients needed from Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification.

So here are some examples of mono-fruit cleanses:

3 kg (6 pounds) of grapes

5,8 kg (12,7 pounds) of melon

Melon-only version definitely looks better to me. The main reason for that is the lower calorie density of melon comparing to grapes. So to get the same two thousand calories a day, we can eat almost twice as much of it.

But if you are a marathon runner and require 4000 kcal per day, you can do a little better on the grape fast too. Although you obviously need more nutrition also.

And at the same time, if you are small little sedentary lady, who burns only about 1600 kcal per day you might be in a bigger trouble nutrient wise with the melon cleanse too.

Fruit based detox plan balanced with copious amounts of greens and almost no overt fats

This plan consists of the same types of fruit as the above mono-diets, but it’s balanced with copious amounts of greens, which can be juiced for easier digestion. I also added just one Brazil nut for selenium, but overall kept it ultra low in fat to allow the maximum detoxification.

For all these plans, the macronutrients are set to 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein and 10% fat. All the plans are about 2000 kcal. And although the amounts might scare most of the normal people, any seasoned raw vegan knows that these plans are pretty realistic.

So you can see what a striking difference it is between the fruit-only plans and the fruit-based plan with added greens. And all of these nutrients that we would not get enough of on fruit cleanses are extremely important not only for keeping our teeth and hair intact, but even detoxification process itself.

The only essential nutrients that we are missing in this plan are B12, (which our body can produce if you have healthy gut flora or supplement), D-vitamin (can get from sunshine or supplement) and Omega 6, which you can add after initial detox. And I do not recommend to go for too long without enough essential fats, but adding just a tiny bit of avocado, nuts or seeds would fix it easily.

Nutrients For Phase 1 Detoxification

Nutrients needed for phase 1 detoxificationMono-fruit planFruit with greens
and 1 Brazil nut
Sulfur❓- not enough?✅ – in kale
CoQ10 ✅ made in body✅ made in body
Selenium❓- not enough
Zinc❓- not enough
Vitamins A and E❓- not enough✅❓- more fat to absorb?
Phospholipids ❓- can’t make without enough fat?✅❓- is it enough fat?
Glutathione❓not enough sulfur and amino acids
Folate B9❓not enough in grapes
Branched chain amino acids❓not enough
Vitamin B12 ❓- test, supplement if low❓- test, supplement if low
Pyridoxine B6
Niacin B3❓not enough in grapes
Riboflavin B2❓not enough in melon

Nutrients For Phase 2 Detoxification

Nutrients needed for phase 2 detoxificationMono-fruit planFruit with greens
and 1 Brazil nut
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2❓not enough in melon
Vitamin B3❓not enough in grapes
Vitamin B5❓not enough in grapes
Magnesium❓not enough in grapes
Alpha-lipoic acid✅ made by our body✅ made by our body
Methyl donors❓not enough
Methylcobalamin b12❓- test, supplement if low❓- test, supplement if low
Amino acids❓not enough
Sulfur❓not enough
Ellagic acidadd pomegranateadd garlic, onions
Glucuronyl transferase✅ made by our body✅ made by our body
Cysteine❓not enough
Methionine❓not enough

Each type of toxins (different drugs, medications, pesticides, pollutants, xenobiotics, dietary substances, endogenously produce substances in our body, etc.) needs a different pathway and different phytonutrients that render these fat soluble toxins water soluble. So it’s important to get a wide variety of nutrients and enough of them.

Can we get all these nutrients and phyto-chemicals from fruit? Especially from the modern hybridized supermarket fruit that is low in minerals and phytonutrients? Sadly, it looks like mono-fruit cleanses are not providing enough of these nutrients.


Our body is producing lots of acidic waste and byproducts during detoxification. Some of this acidity gets excrete by our kidney, but the rest of it needs to be neutralised by alkaline minerals, otherwise our body will pull alkalising minerals from the bones, teeth, hair and nails. That’s why we see many people having issues with the tooth enamel and hair falling out when they detox too fast, particularly on fruit only cleanses.

When we eat any food, all the macronutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats have an acidic reaction in our body. The same is true for the carbohydrates in fruit. But luckily fruit has enough potassium and other alkalizing minerals, to neutralize the acidity caused by sugar in fruit. There are some alkalizing minerals left after that, but possibly not enough to neutralize acidity from the detoxification that is happening on the fruit only cleanse.

Acid forming minerals are nitrogen chloride sulfur and phosphorus.
Alkaline minerals are sodium potassium magnesium and calcium.

Greens on the other hand don’t have a lots of macronutrients in them. They do have some amino acids, tiny bit of carbohydrates and even less fat. That’s why all the abundant alkalizing minerals in greens are going towards alkalizing of bodies and neutralizing the acidity of toxins on a heavy detox.


Chlorophyll In greens helps to purify our blood, heal our skin. It’s anti-inflammatory, kills bad bacteria and supports good bacteria. It’s alkalizing, deodorising and helps to heal external and internal wounds.

Chlorophyll increases the oxygen content of the blood and helps to alkalize our body.


Celery is a good source of natural sodium, but you can’t get enough sodium on the fruit only diet. When we lose the balance of sodium and potassium in our body, our cells can’t get the nutrients from the blood and at the same time they can’t release the toxins. So it might me quite dangerous situation and in rare cases might even lead to death.

Safe and efficient detoxification

According to my 12 years of experience on the raw vegan path, studying with raw vegan doctors Rick and Karin Dina and digging into the scientific medical information, it looks like it’s much safer and more efficient to detoxify on fruit-based diet with added green juices or smoothies.

If you feel ready to try a balanced raw vegan lifestyle for smooth, efficient and not too fast detoxification, you can check out my raw vegan meal plan here: