Hi everyone, Dr. Junger here.
What’s the difference between the Clean Cleanse and a juice cleanse?
Last week, I shared with you what a cleansing program actually does in the body and what nutrients are needed to do it successfully.
Today, I’m going to take you through the different types of popular cleansing programs like juice cleansing, raw food, and the Clean Cleanse and share with you their strengths and weaknesses.
Recap: What does a cleansing program do?
Let’s do a quick recap from last week. Cleansing and detox programs accelerate and enhance the removal of toxins.
This detoxification process has two steps. First the toxins are released from the cells and tissues and then the body neutralizes them and ushers them out of the body.
A big player in this whole process is the liver.
The liver needs certain nutrients like protein, a steady supply of antioxidants and an array of other minerals and vitamins.
This basic understanding of the mechanics of detoxification helps explain why different detox programs have different effects and results. Some are designed to release toxins in a rush, others, to let them out slowly.
But they vary in how successfully they “equalize” the release and the neutralization of toxins and this determines, to my mind, their safety for the average person.
With this in mind, here’s a guide to the most popular detox programs of the moment, and where the Clean Cleanse lies in relation to them.
We’ll start with the most intense detox and cleansing programs and work our way down.
Water fasting is the most intense form of detoxification, and has been used by spiritual leaders, including Jesus and the Buddha. Since only water is consumed, once the signal to enter detox mode is triggered, tissues release toxins and mucus into circulation—and don’t stop. In fact, the release gets more intense as the days go by.
In ancient times, when this method was used primarily for spiritual reasons, there were practically no chemicals in the environment and so there were far fewer accumulated toxins to be released back into circulation. With our level of toxicity today and our nutrient-deficient bodies, water fasting can be dangerous. More toxicity is released, with a lot less nutrient support for liver detoxification.
I have witnessed many people try this method over the years. They all became very weak and sleepy and could not continue for long. The exception was one individual who had been cleansing consistently for twenty-five years and lived a very clean life in between detox programs.
Although a few water fasters had no other problems but fatigue, many others suffered nausea, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, and other symptoms. Though I didn’t personally witness the more severe cases, they occurred and, tragically, there was one death, a man who tried this fast to cure his cancer. (It is impossible to say what killed him, the fasting, the cancer, or a combination of both.)
Nevertheless, I have also seen, heard of, and read of people healing themselves from apparently “incurable” diseases using this intense and controversial fasting method.
The Master Cleanse
The Master Cleanse is a liquid-only detox program that has recently gained popularity. You drink only water with lemon, grade-B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper for as long as you can handle it.
It can be tolerated, but as with the water fasting, I have witnessed cases where it went very wrong. Even if well tolerated, the Master Cleanse is more beneficial to those who undertake a cleanse for emotional, mental, and maybe spiritual reasons, than for the physical benefits.
Like water fasting, the Master Cleanse has trouble providing the protein necessary to breakdown and eliminate toxins. As we learned last week, once toxins and mucus are released into the blood, they must be eliminated from the body.
The Master Cleanse method enhances elimination only by the irritation that cayenne pepper causes on the intestinal mucosa, not by binding fiber to the toxins to prevent reabsorption and pulling them out. The main reason the Master Cleanse is incomplete is because it does not accomplish what I consider to be the most important aspect of a detox program in our modern world: the restoration of the intestinal flora and the integrity of the intestinal wall.
In a juice fast you consume nothing but freshly made vegetable and fruit juices and water or herbal teas. This slows down the detox intensity seen in water fasting, although not by much, so detoxification is still quite intense. To provide the nutrients needed for detoxification, the juice needs to be primarily green vegetable juices and few sweet fruit juices.
However, you still need a good knowledge of nutrients to create and benefit from a juice fast. You need to add minerals via supplements, and good fiber or herbal laxatives are essential as there is very little fiber in the juices. Again, like water fasting and the Master Cleanse, lack of protein can be an issue when juice cleansing. This type of cleanse also fails to rebuild the intestinal flora and therefore is not complete, unless you add in a side program of herbal antimicrobials and probiotics.
For many people, relying only on juice during your normal routine (work, etc.) is not enough to provide the energy necessary to maintain balance and manage stress. In these situations, binging is common.
Though hunger tends to diminish naturally, most people report that a juice fast works best when they are able to take a sabbatical from regular demands of life at a retreat center. Additional rest and relaxation can help make a juice cleanse easier to maintain.
Incorporating juice into daily routine or substituting juice for a meal may be a more balanced way to utilize the power of juice.
A raw-food diet is usually seen more as a lifestyle diet than as a cleanse, but I use it as a detox tool for some patients, because it combines the benefits of juice fasts with more solid food in the daily diet in the form of raw-food meals. Including a variety of raw foods like salads, avocado, and fruit, can be very helpful during a cleanse.
As raw-food devotees will confirm, the power of enzyme-rich raw foods both aids the release of toxicity and supports the liver in its processing. The downside is that for many people living busy city lives, it’s tricky to shop and prepare for. It’s also challenging for people with poor digestion who often have difficulty breaking down raw foods especially vegetables, nuts and seeds.
The Clean Cleanse | Nutritional Cleanse
The Clean Cleanse is part of the category of nutritional cleanses that are a recent addition to the detox world. During a nutritional cleanse, you drink shakes that have been specially designed to deliver protein, fat, and some carbohydrate in liquid form along with all the nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals needed by the liver.
With each shake and meal, you take specific supplements to target important parts of the detox process like probiotics to support the intestinal microflora and herbal antimicrobials to reduce pathogenic bacteria.
You also eat a reduced number of solid-food meals (one or two per day) that will not irritate or tax your system. These solid-food meals are based on a diet that removes the foods that commonly cause health problems, like gluten and dairy.
Over several weeks, toxins are released consistently with all the necessary support to neutralize them successfully. A huge benefit of this modern method is that it provides the protein and nutrients necessary to break down toxins and prevent them from re-entering the tissues.
I have created the Clean Cleanse based on the nutritional cleanse model because it is uniquely suited for our modern-day cleansing needs.
Here are a few of the benefits of the nutritional cleanse approach:
- More nutrients. Provides the additional nutrients to cleanse deeply and safely, especially protein, which other cleanse models are lacking.
- Speed of detox. Supports the body to cleanse at a pace that doesn’t require you to take time off from your normal day-to-day routine. Also, because you are not cleansing too quickly, there are fewer symptoms than an all-liquid cleanse.
- Ease of use. Incorporates shakes and meals so you can still eat at restaurants and on the go.
- Less stress. Because we are exposed to more toxins than ever before, I recommend doing a cleanse at least once or twice a year for a period of seven to twenty-one days. A nutritional cleanse is less intense than an all-liquid cleanse and places less stress on the body, allowing you to safely cleanse multiple times a year.
- Develop real-life habits. Whereas juice cleanses and all-liquid cleanses require you to follow a program that is unsustainable long-term, nutritional cleanses teach you how to make nutrient-dense shakes and low-allergen meals that you can use all year, whether you are cleansing or not.
With more toxins being released into the environment today than ever before, what is clear is that we do need to cleanse from time to time to support our health. The cleanse models I have listed above are a few of the ways to do this. All have their place in certain contexts and health issues.
But for the average person who doesn’t want to take a break from their normal life or go to a retreat center, I recommend nutritional cleanses. This method help to reduce the exposure to toxins through our food while supporting our liver with the nutrients needed to cleanse deeply and safely.
To your health,