Close-up of water drops on limes
Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

A citrus cleansing diet aims to help your body detoxify itself of accumulated wastes and toxins in your body. At the same time, citrus fruits nourish your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function. Citrus fruits to include in your cleansing diet include lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, mandarin and clementines. Before starting a cleansing diet, consult with your doctor about possible nutritional deficiencies that may occur from this diet.

Function of a Citrus Cleanse

In “The Master Cleanser,” Stanley Burroughs says that the majority of diseases that affect your body are caused by the internal accumulation of wastes, toxins and poisons. Foods that have been processed have been removed of their beneficial ingredients, such as minerals, vitamins and fiber. Instead, food products are enhanced with damaging compounds such as chemical preservatives, food additives, artificial flavorings and colorings. In “The Raw Food Detox Diet,” Natalie Rose states that a diet rich in processed foods lacks nutrients and causes a toxic buildup that damages your insides. Consuming only whole, unprocessed foods, such as citrus fruits, nourishes your body with vitamin C, B vitamins, beta-carotene and fiber.

Benefits of Fiber

Fiber is an essential nutrient supplied by a citrus cleanse. All citrus fruits contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. In “The Complete Master Cleanse,” author Tom Woloshyn defines fiber as an indigestible carbohydrate that acts by enabling peristalsis to occur. Peristalsis is the contraction of the muscles during the digestion of food. It must occur in order for you to experience the regular elimination of wastes and toxins from the colon. Fiber helps prevent constipation, diverticulitis, colon cancer and other digestive problems.

Function of Enzymes

In “The Raw Food Detox Diet,” Natalie Rose claims that live enzymes are found in citrus fruits. Live enzymes are proteins that regulate and assist with chemical reactions in your body. They function by creating proteins from amino acids. Enzymes also assist in the breakdown of fats and toxins throughout the body. To ensure that you receive the most live enzymes, eat or drink citrus fruits fresh or raw. According to Natalie Rose, live enzymes are very sensitive and can be destroyed by heat, light and oxygen.

Function of Water

Citrus fruits are considered to be high water content foods as they contain up to 95 percent water. Water is needed for many metabolic functions, including the absorption of nutrients throughout your body. Proper hydration is needed during a cleanse to break down and remove wastes and toxins from your body. Dehydration from insufficient water intake can cause stress to your kidneys, cause headaches and elevate blood pressure. It is recommended that dieters consume the equivalent of six to 12 glasses a day of water from filtered water or food sources such as citrus fruits.

Benefits of Vitamin C

A citrus fruits cleanse provides you with a significant amount of vitamin C. Individual vitamin C requirements may vary with weight, amount of activity, rate of metabolism and age. According to the “Nutrition Almanac,” your body needs more vitamin C during periods of stress such as anxiety, infection, injury, surgery, burns and fatigue. Vitamin C fights infections by producing white blood cells and raising the level of interferon. Interferon is a compound that has anticancer and antiviral properties. Vitamin C also functions by combating hearting disease, lowering cholesterol levels, acting as an antioxidant and reducing blood pressure.