A fruit and vegetable cleanse is one of the safest and most sustainable of many diets meant to assist the body in detoxification. When undertaken with a focus on safety and health, this cleansing diet supports weight reduction and increases the body's ability to fight disease.
What to Eat
First, avoid anything from an animal (including meat, fish and dairy). Second, avoid anything processed. This includes any refined foods (sugar, alcohol, flour, artificial sweeteners) and anything from a bottle, box or can. Finally, avoid anything cooked before it reaches your kitchen. A limited amount of grain may be eaten, but it must be whole, organic grain. Aim to eat two servings of liver-supporting cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, leafy greens, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale) per day. In essence, the nutritional content of a fruit and vegetable cleanse is food that was available 500 years ago to residents of your region.
Making It Delicious
Including organic, nonsalt seasonings and small quantities of pure fats and oils (especially extra-virgin olive and coconut oils) greatly increases the appeal of whole, organic fruits and vegetables. If you haven't spent much time in the produce aisle lately, don't worry. Inspiration abounds online, as thousands of whole-foods recipes are available free of charge on the Web. (See the resources section.)
Some dieters choose to add a supplement component to their cleanse. (Because they also help to hydrate the body, herbal teas are more ideal supplements than capsules.) To support the cleansing function of the liver, the dieter may take an herbal tea that incorporates milk thistle, turmeric, ginger and artichoke. It's also a good idea to supplement a cleansing diet with a high-potency probiotic, which will introduce a population of beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract to help out-process old digestive buildup.
Experts in naturopathic medicine (an alternative medical system that utilizes non-chemical methods to accentuate the body's ability to maintain itself) suggest that a fruit and vegetable cleanse should last from seven to 14 days. Try to taper your eating from more- to less-cooked foods over the course of your cleanse, and never "rebound" to normal eating by gorging on processed, animal foods.
For best results, eat only foods grown in organic, outdoor earth (not a lab or hothouse) within 100 miles of your home, and are seasonal during your cleansing period. Most people find a cleanse most pleasant and beneficial during the spring and early fall, when seasonal vegetables are plentiful and there's a wide variety of choices.
Carefully cleaning your living space (including replacing filters, removing all sources of mold growth and installing a whole-home water filtration system) also significantly assists your body with its detoxifying work.
- Photo Credit vegetable image by dinostock from Fotolia.com
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