The terms cleanse and deep cleanse can include any number of detoxification processes and programs. Generally, a cleanse or deep cleanse is a program or protocol (often a diet or a wellness challenge) that will result in improved health. It helps people detox from unhealthy habits, foods, or toxins.
Today, there are a near limitless array of possibilities when it comes to the types of cleanses and detoxes available as well as their length and level of restriction. One person may choose to buy a prepackaged 14-day juice cleanse from an online company. Another person may opt for a 30-day challenge of eating more whole foods and fewer processed carbs. Some individuals might check into a residential center for a luxury three-day detox with spa-like amenities and treatments.
The Motivation for a Deep Cleanse
Organic and natural food options seem to be multiplying across the country. Many people are looking to live a more active lifestyle, whether that means hitting the gym, signing up for a yoga class, or just taking a walk after work.
Today’s society is becoming more health-conscious than ever before. Terms like vegan and farm-to-table are just part of the lexicon now. More consumers are looking carefully at their ingredient labels, avoiding products that have excessive sugar or known “bad” ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oil.
People who eat a healthier diet and exercise regularly are more likely to live longer, happier lives with less of a chance of disease. This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to go vegan or start eating only what they grow in their own organic garden, but it does indicate that healthy lifestyle choices can have a positive impact on your well-being and quality of life.
The good news is that a healthier lifestyle truly is accessible to anyone. Even if you have never paid attention to nutrition labels or have long struggled with substance abuse, you can decide at any point to start living healthier.
You may fear that a healthy lifestyle is too expensive, but this just isn’t the case. Today, there are many natural shopping options, with organic or natural ingredients and products available at reasonable prices. Especially with some planning, a healthy diet can be surprisingly affordable.
As for exercise, many areas have reasonably priced gyms, and if not, there are low-cost home workout options too, like exercise and yoga videos online. Plus, walking or jogging is always a free option.
A deep cleanse is appealing to many because it feels like a fresh start.
Elements of a Deep Cleanse
Because every individual’s idea of “healthy” may be a little different, and different people may be looking to detox from different things, the options for a deep cleanse are seemingly endless.
For example, an individual with a stressful job and a serious coffee habit may be looking to detox from stress and coffee. Another individual may have a more relaxed lifestyle but indulge in sweets every day and not get enough activity in a day; for them, a detox may include a break from sugar and some more rigorous exercise.
Most deep cleanse plans consist of the following components:
Arguably, the dietary options for a deep cleanse may be the hardest to choose for many individuals. Some people may choose a fast-like regimen, like a juice-only diet, or the Master Cleanse, a diet of mainly lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne powder for 10 days. Others may wish to follow a more traditional meal format, with three healthy meals a day.
The definition of healthy is, of course, subjective. Some health experts advocate raw foods for a deep cleanse, touting their revitalizing and fresh qualities. Others say raw foods are actually harder to digest and that wholesome, cooked food is more nourishing and detoxifying.
Regardless of the cooking style, many elimination diets include the following detoxifying food options:
- Ginger: Used in many cultures for detoxification, ginger aids in digestion and is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Leafy greens: Leafy greens like kale and spinach offer detoxifying fiber and an abundance of much-needed vitamins and minerals, like iron and potassium.
- Lemons: Considered a detoxifying fruit by many, including those who study the Indian health philosophy Ayurveda, freshly squeezed lemon juice is a component in many detoxifying juices and recipes.
- Garlic: High in nutrients, garlic also contains allicin, known for its anti-viral and antioxidant properties.
- Fruits: Many fruits are rich in vitamins, fiber, and phytonutrients.
Research shows that the positive impacts of daily movement and exercise are incredibly significant, resulting in improved disposition, better heart health, and a more balanced outlook on life. Exercise and “sweating it out” can also be an important aspect of detox or a deep cleanse. Depending on the type of deep cleanse, an individual may have less energy (particularly if they are fasting on juice), but they can still participate in low-impact exercises like stretching and yoga to increase the benefits of their cleanse.
Some individuals may choose to include a psychological aspect to their deep cleanse. Again, this is a very individual choice and will depend on what you are looking to gain from your cleanse. One person may choose not to complain about anything or anyone during their cleanse to improve their outlook on life and detox from negative thought patterns. Another may choose to shut off their phone notifications for an hour every night and write in a journal to detox from life’s daily stresses.
Many natural treatment options are available to those looking to enhance their deep cleanse. While all massage is detoxifying, some massage techniques like lymphatic drainage — in which massage is focused on the lymphatic system throughout the body — have an additional emphasis on body detoxification and purification.
Other treatments, like acupuncture and acupressure, can also aid the body in detoxifying and achieving a higher state of well-being. For those who don’t have the resources or time to purchase these treatments, self-massage, and even acupressure techniques can be learned quickly from online videos, and they can be very soothing and helpful.
Detox and Cleansing Kits
While some individuals wish to design their own customized deep cleanse based on what they wish to detox from and what foods and ingredients they like, others may prefer to purchase a packaged detox kit with premade meals, juices, or teas. These prepackaged kits are often more expensive than a self-designed plan, but they save time and may offer a more organized and clear-cut regimen.
If you purchase a deep cleanse kit, read the ingredients carefully. Avoid products with many chemical or processed ingredients. Talk to your doctor beforehand to ensure it is safe for you to engage in the specific cleansing regime.
Things to Avoid
While some individuals can benefit from a type of deep cleanse, and there are many safe options available to suit nearly anyone’s health and dietary needs, there are some dangers of cleansing.
Very strict and restrictive diets of any kind — even short-term cleanse — can be stressful on the body, and they can lead to compulsive behavior like eating disorders. This is especially true for diets that emphasize a cosmetic or weight-loss goal.
Strict or restrictive diets can also be harmful to people with certain health conditions, like hypoglycemia. Anyone considering extreme cleanses should consult with a medical professional to ensure it’s a safe option.
Choosing to live a healthier lifestyle is a smart choice for anyone, and a cleanse can be a healthy and detoxifying way to start in some cases. There are many options for participating in a deep cleanse, with a wide range of healthy dietary possibilities to suit almost anyone.
While making better food and health choices is of benefit to anyone, opting for a very strict or restrictive diet may be a dangerous decision for some, especially those with a history of medical conditions or eating disorders. Avoid any extreme cleanses that aim to promote fast weight loss.
After consultation with a medical professional, a more moderate cleansing plan can promote health and safety.