Doing a cleanse can be a great way to lose weight, boost your energy, let go of unhealthy eating habits, and revitalize your health. So how exactly does a cleanse accomplish this? As we discussed in the first segment of How does a cleanse work, there are four primary functions of an effective cleanse (I often refer to them as The Four Pillars).
Pillar #1: An Effective Cleanse Rests Your Vital Organs
Pillar #2: An Effective Cleanse Purifies Your Body
Pillar #3: An Effective Cleanse Rejuvenates Your Metabolism & Immune System
Pillar #4: An Effective Cleanse Provides Balanced Cleansing Nutrition
In this article we’re going to focus on Pillar #2 and take a closer look at how to purify your body.
How does a cleanse work? An Effective Cleanse Purifies Your Body
There’s no doubt that resting your vital organs (Pillar #1) is an essential part of the cleansing process. To experience the full benefits of a cleanse, however, it’s also important to know how to purify your body. The truth is, every day inflammatory toxins build up in our cells, tissues, fat deposits, joints, bloodstream, and other bodily fluids from the foods we eat, the air we breathe, and the stress we experience. The problem with these kinds of toxins is they’re heavy. They weigh down your metabolism, they wear down your immune system, and they throw your body chemistry out of balance. When you’re able to purify your body of these toxins, however, it allows for an amazing transformation to take place.
The way I like to explain this process to my clients is it’s kind of like riding in a hot air balloon. When you throw boulders out of a hot air balloon, what happens? It’s uplifting, the hot air balloon rises. Similarly, when you purify your body of inflammatory toxins that weigh on your metabolism, your immune system, and your overall health, what happens? It’s uplifting! Your body lightens up, your energy soars, your immune system grows stronger, and the fat-burning functions of your metabolism come to life.
Now here’s an important point to keep in mind. While all cleansing plans have an ability to purify, not all cleanses have equal purification power. Some cleansing programs offer a more superficial cleanse whereas others allow you to purify your body at a much deeper level. A lot of cleansing plans, for example, rely primarily on calorie restriction to force your body to break-down fat and release toxins that accumulate in fat deposits. Another common area of focus is cleaning out debris and pollutants that can build up in the colon.
While these approaches can be helpful, they are site specific and don’t offer a full body cleanse. To really initiate a complete purification process, it requires a much more comprehensive approach. In addition to clearing out toxins in your fat cells and colon, it’s important to purify your major organs of digestion, detoxification, and elimination. To better understand why, let’s look at the primary functions of these vital life organs and what happens to them when they get overloaded with inflammatory toxins.
Your Organs of Digestion, Detoxification & Elimination
Your digestive organs break down, absorb, and assimilate the food you eat into essential nutrients that can nourish the body at a cellular level. When toxins and inflammation start affecting your organs of digestion and assimilation—such as your stomach, small intestine, and liver— your body has a difficult time getting the cellular nutrition it needs to thrive.
Your detoxification organs are your body’s built-in filters that identify, detoxify, and inactivate contaminants that get into your body. For example, your liver, kidney, spleen, and lymph system all have important filtering and detoxification functions. When your filters get overloaded, it impairs their ability to effectively clear out and neutralize dangerous pollutants. This results in a build-up of toxins in your blood, bodily fluids, and tissues that can go on to damage your body at a cellular level.
Your elimination organs are responsible for eliminating waste from the body, such as your large intestine and colon. When your elimination organs get backed up, it’s like a plumbing problem. The body ends up getting exposed to and reabsorbs higher levels of toxins, pollutants, carcinogens, and dangerous byproducts of the foods we eat.
What I find interesting is your cellular health is largely determined by these vital life functions of digestion, detoxification, and elimination. As it relates to cleansing, when you purify these major organs, what’s really happening is you’re setting in motion a process that purifies the rest of your body—cell by cell, tissue by tissue, from the ground up. When you keep these organs clean and doing their jobs effectively, your cells stay clean, your blood stays clean, your tissues stay clean, your joints stay clean, and your bodily fluids stay clean.
So what kinds of foods support this built-in purification process? Here’s a quick run-down of three food groups to emphasize during a cleanse to purify your body. For a more comprehensive discussion of what foods to emphasize and what foods to avoid, make sure to download your free cleanse kick-start guide.
Purify Your Body with Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh, whole, uncooked, unprocessed fruits and vegetables are essential to the purification process. They’re rich in phytonutrients, packed with anti-oxidants, and chock-full of anti-inflammatory plant compounds that support all phases of the body’s digestion, detoxification and elimination functions. These life-giving nutrients have an incredible way of purifying, activating, and rejuvenating the life-giving systems of the body that regulate our health, our energy, and our weight.
Purify Your Body with High Fiber, Alkaline, Plant-Based Proteins
In addition to raw fruits and vegetables, a well-balanced cleanse also incorporates plant-based proteins from garbanzos, lentils, peas, almonds, almond milk, walnuts, or sunflower seeds. What is it that makes these types of proteins an important part of the purification process? To begin with they’re:
High in fiber, which supports detoxification and elimination functions of the body;
Alkaline, which helps balance your body chemistry; and
Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that reduce inflammation and support optimal metabolic and immune function.
When combined with raw fruits and veggies, plant-based proteins initiate healing, accelerate fat-burning, refresh the mind and body, and keep us clean, pure, vibrant, and strong—all the way down to a cellular level.
Purify Your Body with Super-Nutrients
Super-Nutrients are nature’s miracle super-foods. They are whole food sources that are naturally endowed with extraordinary concentrations of phytonutrients, anti-oxidants, trace minerals, and essential vitamins. For instance, spirulina, hemp seeds, chia seeds, mangosteen, and maca are all great examples of super-nutrients. They purify bodily cells, tissues, and vital organs; they rejuvenate nerves, master glands, and hormones; and they activate the life-giving systems in the body that keep us energetic, vital, and well. Together, along with raw fruits and vegetables and plant-based proteins, super-nutrients provide your body with the cellular nutrition it needs to thrive.
It’s important to point out that a common shortfall of many cleansing plans is they don’t provide enough of these nutrient-rich foods. Take the Master Cleanse, for example, that relies primarily on lemon juice and water. Will living off of water and lemon juice for a few days rest your vital organs? Absolutely. Will it purify your body? There will certainly be some purification benefits, but it is incomplete. Why is that? Because it lacks a full range of essential nutrients that nurture and cleanse the digestion, detoxification, and elimination organs.
Putting it All Together: How to Purify Your Body with Fresh, Whole Foods
As we discussed in How Does a Cleanse Work, the first step of an effective cleanse is making sure you rest your vital organs. How do you go about doing that? By eliminating the heavier foods from your diet that weigh down, wear down, and slow down your metabolic and immune function.
In this article, we took it one step further and also discussed how to purify your body. What exactly does this entail? Purifying your organs of digestion, detoxification, and elimination with a plentiful supply of life-giving nutrients from (i) raw fruits and vegetables, (ii) high-fiber, alkaline, plant-based proteins, and (iii) super-nutrients.
Interested in seeing how these food groups come together to create balanced cleansing meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Then make sure to download a copy of our Free Cleanse Kick-Start Guide by filling out the form below!