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Cleanses and Fasts: Are They Healthy?

It’s claimed that cleanses rid the body of toxins via dieting, fasting consuming certain foods exclusively and/or avoiding specific foods. This might involve liquid diets, colon cleansing or chelation therapy.

We’ve all heard the promises of what a good cleanse can do for us. They include:

  • Losing weight
  • Detoxing your system
  • Gaining energy
  • Purifying your body
  • Feeling great

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 Sounds pretty good right? Or is it too good to be true?

No Evidence to Support the Use of Cleanses

There’s no scientific evidence that cleanse diets do what they claim or that they’re beneficial to our body. Reducing calories significantly for a few days will probably lead to some weight loss, but the weight is sure to return when you go back to your normal diet. Energy is hard to find when food groups and/or solid foods are eliminated. The biggest benefit may be all in your head: the good feeling you get when you think you’re doing something good for yourself.

body build

Let’s start with something amazing that you already have: YOUR BODY

Your body is an incredibly powerful, intricate organism that was designed to process and sort the variety of ingredients you put in it every day. Your body is an expert at removing what it doesn’t need and disposing of toxins that naturally occur during everyday processes.

This doesn’t mean your body wouldn’t appreciate a little help from you.

Here are some ways you can help your body run optimally:

  • Choose whole, unprocessed foods. If it comes in a box and has a lot of ingredients, your body will need to do extra work sifting and removing toxins from that particular food product.
  • Choose fiber-rich foods. These are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Think of fiber like a toothbrush for your gut; it helps keep your intestines strong and healthy.
  • Exercise as this helps keep your digestive tract moving smoothly.
  • Choose organic foods more often. Focus on choosing organic with foods on the Dirty Dozen list (those products most contaminated with pesticides).
  • Get enough water. An easy way to know if you’re getting enough? Check the color of your urine: If it looks like lemonade or lighter then you’re probably hydrated. If it’s the color of apple juice then drink water!
  • Eat probiotics (the symbiotic bacteria that live in your gut). Make sure your gut is full of healthy happy bacteria by eating fermented veggies like sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, tempeh and naturally fermented pickles (no vinegar).

Instead of putting yourself through a crash cleanse, try to do something nice for your body every day.

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