By: Alonso Chavarriaga
Cleanses and fasting have been around since ancient times and in some religions were used as a way of achieving spiritual rebirth.
Today, “spring cleansing” is becoming a common way to shed the layer of fat gained over winter that’s accumulated from the holidays. It can also be used to start a diet or clean your body in a short period of time.
Is a cleanse right for you? And, what kind of cleansing should you do?
Dr. Susanne Bennett explains that the goal of a cleanse can include the following:
- Heal inflammation in the gut, liver, kidneys, or other organs.
- Reduce food cravings for things such as sugar, fried foods, alcohol, and coffee.
- Achieve weight loss and get rid of a swollen belly.
- Reset your body in preparation for a diet, as a way to kick off a better eating plan.
You can choose from a variety of cleanses that include herbal laxatives, supplements, antioxidants, and probiotics, and even add in other forms of therapy such as aromatherapy and massages.
This type of cleansing involves fasting for a certain period of time, and can sometimes limit you to just drinking water. Dr. Bennett is not a big supporter of these types of cleanses since your body can slip into starvation mode, breaking down your organs and causing more harm than good. Most weight loss from this type of cleanse will be from protein and muscle loss.
Intermittent fasting is commonly executed by eating an entire day’s worth of food within an eight-hour window, then fasting for the remaining 16 hours. Dr. Bennett recommends eating for 12 hours instead, maybe from 7am to 7pm, and then fasting until breakfast at 7am the next morning.
Juicing involves a strict dietary regimen that includes only juice extracted from fruits and vegetables. This sounds healthy from afar, but fruit juice contains fructose, which in large quantities can pose a problem. High levels of fructose can increase blood sugar, as well as triglycerides in your body and liver.
If you choose to cleanse through juicing, Dr. Bennett recommends including organic and nutrient-dense green vegetables like kale, collard greens, and cucumbers. Throw in some powerful antioxidants like blueberries and you will get much more out of it.
General Detox Cleanse
If you don’t have a specific goal in mind but want a general detoxification of your body, you can start by eliminating food allergens like dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol. Removing these simple ingredients will reduce inflammation, and adding supplements and nutrients will further cleanse your body.
Herbal remedies are a very popular way to cleanse your colon, as are enemas and laxatives. It’s important to eat plenty of fiber and keep your gut flora healthy and strong. Dr. Bennett recommends adding probiotics to meals, or eating more fermented meals like kimchi or coconut yogurt.
People today are exposed to so many toxins in everyday life, whether it’s through the air you breathe, the food you eat, the water you drink, or the products you use on your skin. The main purpose of a liver cleanse is to flush out these toxins and clean out your liver.
A lot of products and recipes exist for liver cleansing, but you can achieve it naturally by regularly eating lots of healthy, non-inflammatory foods that detoxify your liver. Some of these foods include bok choy, broccoli, and cauliflower. Foods high in sulfur like kale and Brussels sprouts can also help detoxify organically without playing a major burden on your cells or organs.
Dr. Susanne provides natural remedies, recipes and much more so that you can effectively fight infection, avoid sickness and keep your body as healthy as possible. In this week's edition: Learn about various natural cleanses and how to pick which one is right for you.