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Gut Health: Cleansing

For the next two weeks we’ll learn how to apply what we know about our digestive system to lay out a cleansing and building routine for proper gut health. Last weeks blog covered some results of poor digestion and how enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics help reduce gut inflammation as well as support gut flora. Today’s entry is all about purging your GI tract. It’s good to note that a cleansing and building routine can be done simultaneously, but if you’re like me, I choose to (1) cleanse, (2) reset, then (3) build. This approach is aggressive and if you’re just starting out and not seasoned in fasting, I advise you to create a variation of this approach where meals are not omitted completely. As always, contact your doctor or a nutritionist if you have dietary needs or questions about this approach.

 

My cleansing routine involves eating simple and clean while incorporating juicing. Our digestive system was not created to digest junk. Notice how your body speaks to you and then listen. When we eat junk, we end up feeling lethargic, bloated, unsettled, slightly or fully nauseous, and even sick. Over time these effects manifest as acid reflux, headaches, sinus issues, weight gain, arthritis, skin problems, and disease. The more we force ourselves to eat junk our bodies begin conforming and builds up a tolerance that results in inflammation. Food either gives us inflammation or fuel. Finding the foods that do either is key in gut health, so you know what to eat more of or refrain from.

 

During this first step I do a 2-day raw fruits and veggies diet while juicing 16 ounces of a carrot-beet and/or carrot-spinach mix twice a day, which I count as a meal. In the morning I begin with a lemon pick-me-up tonic and in the afternoon, I take a cranberry cleanser tonic.

 

Cleansing Menu

 Lemon Tonic ~ stimulates digestive enzymes, releases toxins from the liver

2 cups warm or room temperature water

Juice from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

 

Cranberry Tonic ~ cleanses bladder, kidneys, and the lymphatic system

2 tablespoons unsweetened cranberry concentrate

6 ounces of room temperature water

 

Carrot-Beet Juice

13 ounces carrots

3 ounces beets

 

Carrot-Spinach Juice

10 ounces carrot

6 ounces spinach

 

The second step involves a 3-day water fast. This reset step is more spiritual for me where I incorporate prayer, study, and worship, however there is a physical benefit when looking at it through the lens of autophagy. Autophagy is the process where your body breaks down and reuses old cell parts so your cells can operate more efficiently, and it begins when your cells are stressed or deprived of nutrients. It naturally cleans out damaged or nonfunctioning cell components and destroys pathogens in a cell, like viruses and bacteria. Autophagy plays a key role in healing the gut by maintaining intestinal homeostasis. It is known to regulate inflammation by removing pathogens and broken organelles that act as inflammatory triggers.

 

There are many ways to approach the first 2 steps towards gut health and finding the best approach for you is personal. You may have to play around with servings and different foods to find the best fit. Also, keep in mind that your biochemical makeup could adjust throughout your lifetime so what may have worked in the past may need to be revised. At the end of the day, listen to your body and keep note of what it is speaking to you. Next week we’ll look at building and maintaining proper gut health.


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