Should You Do A Cleanse?
Did you know that it’s customary in many cultures to do a cleanse once or twice a year? Some people do a cleanse for health reasons. Others do it for spiritual reasons. There are many different types of cleanses. The end goal is to release toxins that have built up in our bodies and minds.
But wait! Don’t our bodies have detox systems already in place? Our bodies are equipped to deal with toxins, right? Then isn’t the whole idea of a cleanse a gimmick? Read on.
Why a Cleanse is a Good Idea
We live in a much more toxic world than our ancestors did. We are exposed daily to all sorts of toxins and chemicals that our ancestors weren’t.
- Many foods contain pesticides, additives, food dyes and preservatives.
- Plastics leach into our food and water.
- Tap water contains chlorine, fluoride, and various contaminants.
- The air in our homes contains dust, particulates, fumes and gasses from carpet and furniture.
- Cosmetics and personal products contain chemicals that are absorbed through our skin.
- Chemicals in soaps, detergents and cleaning products are inhaled through our lungs and absorbed through our skin.
- Artificial fragrances in air fresheners, candles and personal products are absorbed through our lungs.
- Medications must be broken down and eliminated.
- There is pollution in the outdoor air from vehicles, factories and roads.
Many of these plastics and chemicals are hormone disruptors. That means that they mimic our own estrogens, and are much stronger, causing estrogen dominance.
Most of these chemicals didn’t even exist 200 years ago. In fact, there are currently more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals registered for use with the EPA, many of which haven’t been studied for safety by any government agency. Our bodies haven’t had time to adapt to this increased burden.
As these toxins accumulate in our bodies, the detoxifying mechanisms of our bodies become overburdened. The body protects itself from these toxins by storing them in various tissues, especially fat tissue.
Signs That You Need a Cleanse
If you’re experiencing any combination of these, you would probably benefit from a cleanse.
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Trouble sleeping
- Unexplained fatigue
- Heavy and painful periods
- Brain symptoms, concentration and memory problems
- Mood swings
- Skin outbreaks and rashes
- Digestive problems such as constipation or loose stools
How Does a Cleanse Work?
There are four primary pathways that the body uses to release toxins.
Detoxing Through The Liver
The liver is responsible for metabolizing drugs, alcohol, caffeine, hormones, external and internal toxins and a slew of other things. It does this in two phases , each of which requires specific nutrients. It also stores nutrients, which is why it is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available to eat. It’s arguably your hardest-working organ. But there is a catch!
After the liver performs its detoxification magic, the metabolites are sent from the body through your bowels. If your digestive system is sluggish, those metabolites sit in the colon and can be reabsorbed, taxing your liver again. So while you support your liver, you also need to support your digestion. Fortunately, with the right diet high in fiber and probiotics, you can support both functions at the same time.
Detoxing Through The Kidneys
The kidneys are involved in several critical functions. They regulate blood pressure, pH, fluids and electrolytes. Probably more well-known, they filter out waste products and send them out of the body in urine. We can only live for about 2 weeks if our kidneys fail. So it’s in our best interest to treat our kidneys well and include them in any cleanse plan.
Detoxing Through the Lungs
We know that we can’t survive without oxygen. As we breathe in, oxygen is absorbed from the lungs into the bloodstream. Oxygen is carried in the blood and diffused into the cells, where it is used for cell metabolism. Cells produce carbon dioxide as a waste product. Carbon dioxide is diffused out of the cells and into the blood. As we breathe out, carbon dioxide passes from bloodstream and out of the lungs.
Detoxing Through the Skin
We think of skin as a barrier to the outside world, but in fact, our skin is porous and permeable. Blood and lymph vessels run throughout the layers of the skin and exchange substances such as nutrients, waste products and chemicals. Toxins inside the body often surface on the skin in the form of acne and dermatitis. Conversely, toxins outside the body can enter the body through the skin.
A Note About Emotional Toxicity
It’s not as easy to measure the effects of emotional toxicity on the body, yet clearly one’s mental and emotional state affects one’s health. This type of toxicity puts our body in a state of sympathetic nervous system overload. This affects our body’s ability to properly digest and eliminate foods and toxins. Doing a cleanse must consider a practice of releasing emotional toxicity.
What Should a Good Cleanse Include?
There are many different types of cleanses, but there are some key components to any good cleanse.
- Nutrients: An anti-inflammatory nutrient-dense diet is the cornerstone of a good cleanse. This means removing inflammatory foods, and eating lots of fresh vegetables and fiber-rich foods. A juice-fast is not recommended because your liver needs adequate protein to do its work. Some cleanses offer shakes and nutraceutical supplements that make it easy to get all the nutrients you need to support the two phases of liver detoxification and bowel elimination.
- Water: Hydration is another foundation of a good cleanse. Water is needed for all cellular functions and for shuttling toxins out of the body.
- Breathing: There are many techniques for using breath to cleanse the body through the lungs. A good cleanse will include this.
- Circulation and sweating: We release certain toxins through lymph and the skin through circulation and sweating. This should be included in a cleanse.
- Quieting the nervous system: Putting the body in a state of relaxation allows it to do its work of cleaning out physical and emotional toxins.
- Restorative sleep: The body does much of its detoxifying at night while we’re sleeping. Allow plenty of time to get your best night’s sleep during a cleanse.
- An environmental detox: Cleaning up your environment is the other half of the equation. Minimize the amount of toxins you’re exposed to, one step at a time.
The Amazing Benefits of a Cleanse
If you are experiencing any of the signs that you need a cleanse, you will notice a difference quickly! As your body clears out excess toxins, you will notice:
- More energy/vitality
- Clear, vibrant skin
- Better bowel movements
- Improved digestion
- Increased concentration
- Improved sleep
- Strengthened immune system
- Weight loss
Live Bright Nutrition offers the Reset and Refresh Cleanse, a 14-day professional-line cleanse that can be done individually or as a group. You are fully supported throughout the cleanse with information and coaching. You also learn how to continue to live a low-tox life after the cleanse! Call 720-989-8188 for more information.