Wodraska: Pros and cons of a cleansing diet
After weeks of gluttony, virtually all of us are ready to clean our systems and start fresh.
So it's no surprise that cleansing is something people are talking about this time of year. It's a trend many folks latch onto. But, as with everything, there are pros and cons.
For many, cleansing can be a good thing. It can signify a commitment to healthier eating. It can help stem cravings or put an end to poor dietary habits. For instance, there are cleanses that can target parasite infections, fungal infections and Candida or yeast overgrowths. There also are cleanses for certain organs such as the liver and kidneys and cleanses to draw heavy metals from the body.
It imperative that you discuss a cleanse with your doctor before committing to one, especially if you are pregnant, take medications or have other medical conditions.
Once you've got the OK, make the cleanse part of your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. I discourage people from performing a cleanse if they are going to return to the same bad habits that necessitated it.
In other words, don't use a cleanse as an excuse to continue bad habits.
Most health food stores carry various cleaning kits. Costs vary from $15 to $45. The number of days for each cleanse will vary, just follow the instructions on the box.
Here's what's available.
General or first-time cleanse • This is good for those who want an overall cleanse to flush out toxins or as a commitment to better eating.
A general cleanse includes drinking half your body weight (in ounces) of water each day. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink 50 ounces of water daily. Besides drinking plenty of water, eat fresh vegetables and fruits that are raw or lightly cooked; avoid caffeine or keep it to a minimum; avoid acidic foods such as dairy products, fruit juices and meats; and stay away from heavily processed foods that usually contain artificial flavorings or preservatives. In short, keep the diet as fresh and light as possible.
Candida/parasite or fungal cleanse • If you experience symptoms such as night sweats, unexplainable food cravings, bloating, gas, headaches or nausea after eating or have fungus infections such as athlete's foot or yeast infections, a parasite, fungal or candida cleanse might help battle the cause of your symptoms. Parasite cleanses are often recommended for those who eat a lot of raw or lightly cooked foods that can harbor parasites such as sushi.
Heavy metal or liver cleanses • These can be particularly helpful for those who have had surgeries, eat a lot of fish or work in environments where heavy metals are common.
With any cleanse, remember that it should be done with a purpose. Focus on cleaner living with a better diet and you're bound to feel better.
Lya Wodraska is a certified CHEK Practitioner and Holistic Lifestyle Coach. E-mail her at Lwodraska@sltrib.com.