Doing a cleanse can have many health benefits.
But there’s a right way to do a cleanse, and a wrong way.
Unfortunately the vast majority of cleanses are just crash diets in disguise.
You think that you’re detoxing your system, but in reality they leave you feeling hungry, grumpy, and exhausted at best.
And if you do them too regularly you can end up with a bad case of yo-yo dieting, disordered eating, blood sugar and hormone imbalances, or worse.
The truth is, your body is already an amazing detoxing machine.
Your liver has a two phase system for transforming nutrients.
This incredibly efficient system ensures that your body can use the nutrients it needs, and shuttling everything else out on the double.
Problems only crop up when you are exposed to too many toxins from your food and environment, giving your liver more work than it can handle so it becomes backed up and exhausted.
This can lead to stress in your physical body, as well as stress on the emotional plane.
But the crash-diet version of cleansing actually just stresses your system more.
There are some red-flags you want to look out for when choosing a cleanse.
Don’t do a cleanse that involves only raw and/or cold ingredients.
According to Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, raw and cold ingredients douse your stomach fire, slowing down digestion.
This means that your body is less able to absorb nutrients, even if you’re consuming more overall.
You also want to avoid a cleanse that doesn’t include any fats.
Healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil are essential for absorbing nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Fats also help you feel full longer, so you need less food and keep your blood sugar stable.
Because you’re giving your body what it needs, eating healthy fats will also help you feel happier and more satisfied during and after your cleanse.
And finally, you want to avoid doing a cleanse in the middle of winter.
So that New Year’s Resolution cleanse you were thinking about doing?
Yeah. Not a good idea.
Winter is when your body needs to store up as much energy as it can so your mind and body can function well.
Save your cleansing for spring and the beginning of autumn and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
When you do a cleanse, you want to emphasize nourishment above all else.
Warm, easy-to-digest, nutrient dense foods are key.
Supportive herbs are also helpful.
And finally, you want to make sure you include daily practices and lifestyle adjustments that help relieve stress in both your mind and body.
Do this and you’ll come out of your cleanse feeling calm, energized, lighter, and satisfied, rather than exhausted, aggitated, and relieved that it’s finally over (which is what’ll happen when you do a cleanse the wrong way.)