Are you feeling overly bloated, constantly constipated or always feeling tired? You might be in need of a body cleanse.
In addition to these symptoms, you might also be having frequent unexplained headaches, skin irritations, nausea, bad breath or food cravings.
These symptoms are a common sign that something is not right internally. Your body is not working as it should. These are some of the few reasons why you would choose to do a body cleanse
- 1 But what exactly is a body cleanse?
- 2 What are the benefits of doing a body cleanse
- 3 How do you do a body cleanse?
- 3.1 1. Fasting
- 3.2 2. Follow a specific cleanse
- 3.3 Through Lifestyle choices
- 4 In conclusion
But what exactly is a body cleanse?
A body cleanse or detox is a short term dietary intervention in which you aid your body to rid itself of any accumulated toxins or wastes.
The words body cleanse or detox are most commonly used interchangeably to refer to this process.
We use the word “aid our body” because our bodies have a natural detoxification process. The organs involved include the digestive system, lungs, liver, and kidney.
This is done through a process such as urine, sweat, and poop to eliminate wastes from our body.
But because of constant environmental pollutants or foods we choose to eat, our systems can end up overworked and in need of some assistance. This is where a body cleanse comes in.
A body cleanse is a way to reset our organs and give it a break from all the overwhelm we have subjected it to every day.
What are the benefits of doing a body cleanse
Following a successful body cleanse, many people report benefits such as
- Improved energy
- Better gut health
- Clear skin
- Increased bowel movements
- Better mental focus and clarity
How do you do a body cleanse?
A proper body cleanse can be done in the following ways depending on your preferences. We have rounded some of the most common ways below;
Fasting is the practice of abstaining from eating any sort of food for a certain period of time. This practice is often done for religious, health or wellness reasons.
Even though fasting is only now gaining popularity in the health and wellness community. This practice is centuries old and goes as far back as our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Human beings have been fasting for centuries and even today, many religions require a form of fasting. For example, Muslims practice fasting during Ramadhan and during Lent.
Fasting to cleanse is a great way to reset your body especially after a period of overindulgence. To cleanse you’re restricting yourself to long periods of not eating anything. Most fast last from between 16 hours to 3 days.
This allows your organs to take a break and reset. There are different ways you can fast to cleanse your body;
This fast lasts for 1-3 days and no foods can be consumed during this period except water. This method often requires a lot of discipline and restraint. It’s not the best choice for beginners who’ve not tried fasting before. Read more on the benefits of water fasting here
This is a fast in which you abstain from eating for a few hours or more.
Intermittent fasting is most often recommended to beginners as a way to ease yourself into fasting. It’s is a great way to learn how to control food cravings. The duration of fast varies and you can choose what works for you.
With intermittent fasting, these are the most common protocols to follow;
- 16/8 protocol
This is where you fast for 16 hours and only eat within an 8-hour window.
- 5/2 protocols
You fast for only 2 days a week
- 20/4 Protocol
Also known as warrior diet
Here you fast for 20hrs a day and eat one big meal during the 4-hr window
- Alternate day fasting
This is whereby you alternate between days of eating and fasting. If you eat on Monday then fast on Tuesday and so forth.
Benefits of fasting include;
- Promotes cell rejuvenation a process known as autophagy
- Lowes blood pressure
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Lowes risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease
- Control food cravings
Even though fasting boosts of several health benefits it is not recommended for everyone. This is especially so for diabetics, those with kidney issues, or expectant mothers.
To get started, start small with protocols of intermittent fasting and then proceed to water fast when you’re comfortable. Read more on full guide on intermittent fasting.
2. Follow a specific cleanse
Also known as master cleanse. This cleanse has been made famous by celebrities such as Beyonce. It’s a liquid only diet that is recommended for 10- 40 days. It involves drinking a mixture of water, lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup.
The diet though easy to follow can be very challenging for most people.
For the cleanse you will need;
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/10 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 to 12 ounces of purified water
This cleanse is claimed to help your body flush out toxins and also boost weight loss as you’re consuming a very small number of calories. Read more about the master cleanse.
Salt Water Cleanse
If you’re looking into doing a body cleanse due to digestive issues then this cleanse is for you.
Doing salt water cleanse is one of the best natural remedies for clearing up constipation issues first. This is because the salt mixture kicks start the body’s natural waste elimination process.
It allows the body to rid itself of any stored up waste or toxins by forcing a bowel movement.
You can do this cleanse by drinking a mix of pure sea salt and hot purified water. Then drinking the mixture. Allow yourself about 2hrs to more for complete cleansing.
This cleanse is best done first thing in the morning before having breakfast or eating anything. Because bowel movements are expected so do this only when you be at home
The salt cleanse is not only beneficial for digestion but also aids in;
- Ease sore throat
- Reduces pain due to inflamed muscles
- Balance hormones
- Force out toxins or wastes
This is not an everyday cleanse as your body especially gut needs to recover. You can perform this in between a couple of weeks or even months and only when necessary.
This cleanse is not for everyone and if you’re suffering from digestive illnesses, high blood pressure or any other medical issue please consult first before attempting this cleanse. How to do a salt water flush.
10- Day Green Smoothie Cleanse
This cleanse involves limiting your diet to only leafy green vegetables and fruits. This is done for a period of 10 days. It has proven to be one of the easiest and most popular as it’s healthy, filling and very tasty.
This diet aims to restore energy, improve digestion, reset your body and curb cravings. And for most people, this cleanse comes with the added benefit of weight loss.
For those hoping for a full cleanse, then for 10 days, you replace your meals with smoothies. You can snack on crunchy carrots, cucumber, celery, boiled eggs, nuts and seeds, and plain greek yogurt
Ease into the diet slowly by replacing one meal a day with a green smoothie.
A simple green smoothie recipe would include blending a cup of kale, green apple, banana, and fresh parsley. Blend this together and enjoy your green smoothie.
Have you tried out the celery juice challenge?
Juice cleanses such as the celery juice challenge is uber popular in today’s health and wellness community. This is mostly because of the almost instant results, especially with clearing up digestive issues.
This cleanse involves consuming only juices for 3 days. These juices are pressed exclusively from fruits and vegetables.
Unlike when making green smoothies, with juice cleanses the fiber is not consumed. This is the main reason many people choose juice cleanses, to reset their digestive system.
As juice is easy to break down and gives the stomach a bit of a break.
Juice cleanses deliver a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is, for this reason, you can expect benefits such as;
- Better sleep
- Clear skin
- Weight loss
- Improved energy levels
- Improved mental clarity
Despite these wonderful benefits, this cleanse can be quite challenging as you’re not consuming any fiber. Fiber keeps is what keeps us full by slowing down the digestive process. As a result, expect to feel hungry more often.
You might drink about 6 juice blends per day or more.
Example of juice blends;
- Spinach, cucumber, celery, lemon, apples, ginger, parsley leaves
- Beets, apples, carrots, lemon
- Celery juice, green apples
Through Lifestyle choices
After going through a cleansing period you need to set up your body for success. Allow your body to naturally cleanse itself every day. You can do this by;
Drink more water
For most of us, we often underestimate just how important water is for proper body functioning. A proper body cleanse would be incomplete without water as it helps the body rid itself of wastes and toxins.
In addition, water also aids in proper digestion of foods, and absorption of nutrients into the body after digestion. Because a cleanse is essentially a way to boost the body’s natural detoxification process, drinking more water should be your first step.
You want to aim for a minimum of 8 glasses per day. Start slow and aim to have a glass of water first thing in the morning and in between meals. If you find it hard to drink plain water, spice it with some lemons or berries.
In addition, you should always choose fruits with high water content such as watermelon or cucumbers to snack on.
Eat more fiber
Digestion is one of the ways in which the body rids itself of waste. For good gut health fiber is key. Dietary fiber encourages frequent bowel movements that eliminate waste from the body.
This is why if you suffer from constipation most times you feel bloated. This is due to uneliminated waste. By including more fiber in your diet you’re allowing your body to cleanse itself every day
You can include more fiber by choosing whole grain cereals, rice, and pasta. Include more legumes such as beans, chickpeas in your diet. Snack on fresh fruits and dark leafy vegetables for better gut health.
To allow your body to cleanse itself best you want to avoid alcohol at all costs.
Because alcohol is broken down in the liver. Drinking too much alcohol impairs the liver from functioning at it’s best. The liver is one of the organs that detoxify the body. As a result, your body won’t be able to rid itself of all harmful substances.
During a cleanse, you want your body to work at its optimum it is best to avoid alcohol.
As much as like to ignore it, our bodies need to exercise. Exercise gets our bodies moving and working at full capacity.
Sweating experienced during a heavy workout is the body’s way of getting rid of waste. Not only that, but exercise also improves blood circulation and improves digestion.
A body cleanse would be incomplete without incorporating the benefits of getting active daily.
If you’re not a gym person aim to hit at least 30-minutes of walking or jogging daily. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise workout for your body to enjoy the benefits.
Get Enough Sleep
Your body resets itself when you asleep. We tend to forget that our bodies are like machines constantly working to keep us alive. The best way to truly give it a break is by getting adequate sleep every single day.
Aim to get the recommended 7 – 8hrs of sleep daily. This does not aid in cleansing but it allows your body to function at its best.
Despite all the benefits, body cleansing is not recommended for everyone. Pregnant women, diabetics or anyone dealing with kidney issues should consult with a doctor first.
Body cleanses are a great way to jump-start your body’s natural detoxification process. Cleanses such as salt water cleanse can benefit the body by improving bowel movements.
They can also force you out a binging season or unhealthy cravings
However, the best way to cleanse is by choosing daily habits that allow your body to function at its optimum. Nutrition is one of the greatest ways you can support your body.
Choose to eat more fiber and drink enough water daily to allow your body to detoxify itself.
Have you tried a body cleanse before?