Food-based cleansing is the process of eating simple foods in order to promote rejuvenation in the body. During a food-based cleanse, you avoid foods that may be stressful to your body or promote an inflammatory response such as weightloss resistance, allergies, skin problems, mood issues, digestive distress, auto-immunity, chronic disease, brain fog, etc. A specific list of foods is provided and you adhere to the list of foods for a period of time in order to achieve a healthier outcome. A food-based cleanse may allow for the re-introduction of foods gradually over time. In this way, it can also serve as an elimination diet.
I have helped thousands of people through food-based cleanses over the last fifteen years. I offer this service in private consultations and also through a group called The Body Tune-up Workshop that we offer annually at Human Nature. The Body Tune-up Workshop offers four consecutive cleanses, the first of which is a Digestive Cleanse. The Digestive Cleanse combines a food-based cleanse with supplements that support elimination through the digestive system. The food portion of the Digestive Cleanse includes: saturated and unsaturated oils (no processed or man-made oils), above-ground vegetables, and animal proteins (wild seafood and pastured meats are prioritized). Participants follow this diet for 10 days or longer.
In the food-based cleanse described above, common foods that cause inflammation are avoided. In this way, a food-based cleanse helps the body with resolving chronic issues and re-boot itself. A good food-based cleanse will provide foods that do the following:
1) Normalize blood sugar levels and balance insulin. We avoid foods containing natural sugars like fruits and sweeteners in order to allow insulin levels to normalize and reverse the inflammatory impact of insulin in the body. Insulin production drives many illnesses including metabolic syndrome and hormone imbalances.
2) Repair the gut lining. We avoid foods that tend to aggravate the gut lining and are de-mineralizing like whole grains (yes, even quinoa) and legumes. Improving the health of the gut lining is key to resolving many chronic problems including food sensitivities, auto-immunity, hormonal and blood sugar issues, mood problems, and immune stress.
3) Reduce a negative immune response. Foods with a large molecular peptide structure (like gluten and dairy) tend to aggravate the immune system and make it harder to heal or have optimum health.
You can read about my own health story and food-based cleansing at this link.
Stay tuned for the next articles on what to expect on a food-based cleanse and what it means to detoxify.