If you are feeling a bit sluggish after a holiday of indulging, a big night out, or simply because your body is a little run down, then having a cleansing period might not be a bad idea.
There are numerous types of cleanses, some of which have been used for thousands of years, all of which all have the key purpose of cleansing the body and enhancing health. Some are used to focus on cleansing specific organs of the body, such as the liver, whilst others promote general good health by cleansing the digestive system. They are most commonly done by following specific controlled diets that aim to eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation, promote good bacteria and supply optimal macro and micro nutrients to your body.
Some benefits that can be gained from cleansing include:
- Flushing out of toxins. This often takes place as the number of toxins being taken into the body are greatly restricted, which enables the body to naturally cleanse itself of any toxins present (for example restricting alcohol, cigarettes, processed sugar, gluten etc).
- Helps balance out the natural flora of your gut, by promoting good bacteria and helping eradicate parasites and excess bad bacteria.
- Stimulates your digestive system by not overloading it, and the healthy whole foods both support and nourish digestive health.
- Removes inflammation in your body, by restricting inflammatory foods and drinks.
One thing to be aware of though, is that not all cleanses are appropriate for everyone. Some promote a liquid only diet made only from tinctures and juices. Whilst this might work well for some people, it is important to note that your current state of health should play a key role in determining whether a specific cleanse is suitable for you or not. For example some cleanses restrict calorie intake (often juice cleanses), which can cause:
- Low blood sugar
- Decreased or increased blood pressure
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency
- Adverse effects when interacting with medications.
This is why many cleanses are often contraindicated for women who are pregnant, or for anyone with high or low blood pressure, diabetes or any number of other health conditions. So for these reasons I strongly advise that you consult with a qualified and experienced health professional before commencing such a diet. Ask them about whether digestive cleansing is appropriate for you, and if so, which ones are safe and advisable.