Cleansing, Detoxing, and Fasting with Juices

Part of the Juicing & Smoothies For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you want to experience high-level wellness, your body must be able to clear away internal debris and be toxin-free. But toxins are everywhere: in the water, in the soil, in the air, and in the foods we eat. Even the normal metabolic functions that go on inside your body create waste. Eating organic food and avoiding processed and refined foods helps, but for people living in this fast-paced, stress-filled, modern society, regular juice cleansing and detoxing has become a necessary part of a healthy way of life.

The accumulation of toxins starts at birth and burdens the body by being stored in fat and organs. It’s linked with hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, nutritional deficiency, and an inefficient metabolism. Toxins are stored in fat cells because this is the safest place to keep them stable. When the body detects a buildup of toxins, it begins to retain water as a precaution for diluting the toxins within its tissues. It follows that the more toxic you are, the more weight you gain and retain.

So, what’s the difference between cleansing, fasting, and detoxing?

  • Cleansing: Cleansing is usually done with herbal teas and fresh fruit juices, and it doesn’t necessarily involve complete abstinence from food. Gentle cleansing may be undertaken right away, but if a whole-food diet is not part of the process, results will be marginal.

  • Detoxing: Detoxing is a deep cleansing program that targets specific toxins and areas of the body and is usually longer and more intense than a two- to three-day cleanse.

  • Fasting: Fasting in the strictest sense of the term is abstaining from all food while drinking only water. Fasting with only water is a severe step and should only be undertaken with the help and consent of your health practitioner.

    Juice fasting, on the other hand, is an ideal preventive measure that requires you to abstain from cooked and raw food, so that you’re having only raw fruit and/or vegetable juices (as well as water) for a short period of time (two to three days). Technically, you aren’t fasting if you’re drinking juice, but because you’re absorbing nutrients directly into the bloodstream, feeding and reconstituting the cells, and bypassing the digestive system, juice fasting is considered to be fasting.

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