Health Cleanse: Find Out the Pros and Cons of Doing a New Year’s Cleanse

What Is a Health Cleanse?

A health cleanse is a period of time to give your digestive system and body a break from the constant influx of food, many times, toxic food. Digestion takes a lot of energy. It’s important to give this process a break here and there. I like to cleanse every few months. I feel so energized and clear-headed when I stop eating food for a time. Giving the process of digestion a break allows the body to use its energy elsewhere. There is always a good amount of repair work to which our bodies need to give attention. When we stop eating, our bodies can repair and rebuild where necessary.

What Kind of Cleanse Should I Do?

There are a few different ways to cleanse. The first and most effective way to detoxify is a water fast. I personally have never attempted a water fast. When doing a water fast, it is very important to give the body a lot of time to rest. Energy levels are very low and the body goes to work doing major detoxification. It will use stored glucose, protein and fatty acids for energy. This is how your body will release many fat-soluble toxins into the blood stream. Too many toxins released at once can be dangerous. As a result, a cleansing reaction is very likely and can be uncomfortable and even frightening for some. It is necessary to take an enema during a water fast in order to keep the toxins flowing out of the colon and not back into the system.

The next step up is the juice fast. This is done by drinking four or five freshly pressed, organic vegetable or fruit juices per day. Because you do take in some nutrition, the detoxification is slower. In the current culture, because of the high amounts of toxins in the environment, this seems to be a safer alternative. You will have energy, although the first three days may seem difficult. One major benefit is that you are taking in enzymes which is what the body uses to repair and restore itself, so by taking these in, you are helping in the cleansing process. You are also getting a good amount of vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll acts a blood purifier which is an important element of a health cleanse.

Another option is the Master’s Cleanse. It consists of drinking lemonade made from fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and pure maple syrup. The fresh lemon juice is great for cleansing, but in my opinion, drinking the sugar from the maple syrup could be hard on the adrenals and the pancreas which is where insulin is made. This choice can be cleansing and healing, but you are not adding a lot of nutrients the body.

A green smoothie cleanse is a good choice for many people. With this option, you are taking in a good amount of calories which slows down detoxification even more while, at the same time, enabling the body to do a good amount of repair work. You will be taking in fiber, protein, enzymes and chlorophyll as well as enough calories to continue on your daily routine easily. This is a great option for those who prefer not to experience the intense hunger of a total fast. A green smoothie cleanse includes munching on raw fruits and veggies during the day as well which is great for people who like to chew. It is a good idea to supplement with digestive enzymes, probiotics and green powders while on this cleanse for the full detox and weight loss benefits to occur. Check out my Web site www.thegreensmoothiechallenge.com for details on doing this type of cleanse.

A less intense way to cleanse is to eliminate certain foods from the diet such as sugar, flour, alcohol and fried foods. While doing this, you can add in many healthy foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, sprouted legumes and seeds, and cultured foods. Eating as many raw foods as you can will be very cleansing for your body and will not leave you feeling quite as hungry as some of the other cleanses. Just eat raw foods for ten days and see what happens. Do it for three months if you can. You can also try the Longevity Diet which is a very cleansing way to live.

The most important thing to remember is that "cleanse" should be a verb, not a noun. It is fine to do a formal cleanse (noun) here and there, but thinking about constantly eating a cleansing diet will do the most good in the long run. For most of us, trying to cut out all the yummy foods is very traumatic. Why not try something a little different this year. Set goals of adding certain foods into your diet. Try drinking a green smoothie and a green juice every day. Try eating a salad every day and having fresh fruit for dessert and raw almonds to snack on. Think about what you would like to add into your diet instead of what you are "never going to eat again!"

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