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Detox v's Cleanse

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food-1209503_640 Have you tried the latest detox? How about the latest cleanse? Over the past few years these popular terms have become buzzwords in the health and weight loss industries and they’ve never been more popular. Cleansing juice drinks now come pre-mixed in the supermarket aisles, whilst thousands of women follow detoxing diets in a bid to become healthier, slimmer and stronger from within. But with so many people using the words detox and cleanse interchangeably, what’s the actual difference between the two? Quite a bit actually…


The purpose of a detox is to rid the body of toxins by cutting our foods, drinks and habits that detoxify the body, things like smoking, alcohol, sugary drinks and processed foods. And replacing them with vitamin-rich foods that enable to body to process and eventually rid itself of excess toxins. Detox diets often feature foods that support the liver – our bodies main detoxification organ. You might also be encouraged to add liver boosting supplements like Milk Thistle or Alpha-lipoic acid to enhance the effects of your detoxing diet. Detoxing, liver friendly foods include:
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Dark Green Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Grape Fruit
  • Green Tea
  • Kale
  • Lemons
  • Onions
  • Pineapple
The downsides of a detox can be headaches, tiredness and even feeling faint, a result of the raised levels of toxins in your bloodstream as your body begins to push them out. Upsides include the opportunity to indulge in therapeutic ‘sweating’ to support the process, and since saunas often seem to be based in a spa… well it would be rude not too really!


Detox Recipe: Liver Boosting Beet Juice

Peel and chop
  • 1 beet
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 handful parsley
Then run all ingredients through a juicer and serve.


A cleanse goes a step further than a traditional detox, the goal being to detoxify the body and then ‘cleanse’ the organs that process food, drink and toxins, mainly the digestive tract. A cleanse usually involves cutting out all potential allergens such as gluten, soy and dairy, that’s in addition to the elimination of  any high fat, high sugar and processed food and drinks, alcohol, corn and caffeine too. Cleansing diets are usually based around juices, soups and smoothies, the idea being that liquids are very easy to digest and enable the body to become more efficient at processing food. The downside of this can be side effects that include headaches and fatigue, as the body adapts to this new eating regime. Most nutritionists will discourage any diet that involves a long period of fasting as this can swiftly lead to vitamin deficiencies. Cleansing foods include:
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Beers
  • Blueberries
  • Celery
  • Cranberries
  • Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Legumes
  • Seaweed
  • Watercress


Cleansing Recipe: Avocado and Mango Breakfast Shake

  • 2 cups of coconut water
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cut in half
  • A large handful of baby spinach
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve straight away  

Pregnant women and new mamas beware

Most environmental toxins are fat-soluble, which means that they are stored in our fat cells. During a detox or cleanse, these toxins are released into the bloodstream where they are carried to the liver and filtered out of the body. For this reason if you are pregnant or breast-feeding you should avoid doing a detox or a cleanse as these toxins could be passed from mother to baby as blood passes through the placenta or through breast tissue.  

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