Cleanse curious? Nutritional Therapist, Vivien Allred of the College of Naturopathic Medicine, expertly explores the world of cleansing to clear up the facts from fiction.


It is true that our body detoxifies naturally on a daily basis, however, due to our modern lifestyle and the exposure to toxins we face, our bodies often require a little extra support. The other organs of elimination (lungs, skin, kidneys, lymph and bowels) support this detoxification process, but can often become sluggish and overburdened.


History of cleansing and detoxification

Principles such as cleansing, detoxification and fasting have been used in various forms, for thousands of years across the globe, by individuals seeking health restoration or spiritual enlightenment. Done correctly these methods can support the body in the elimination of stored toxins, that we are all exposed to in our food supply, water, household products and air pollution.

Why Juice?

Juicing and cleansing allows the body’s resources to be redirected from the constant energy-intensive process of digestion, to focusing on cellular repair, autophagy (the clearance of faulty/dead cells) and tissue regeneration. Vegetable and fruit juices flood the body with a variety of micronutrients and vitamins that are quickly and easily absorbed, due to the removal of fibre. These nutrients and anti-oxidants will support the detoxification process and allow you to consume a lot of plant material, without overwhelming the digestive tract.

Other factors

Simple things such as drinking warm water with fresh lemon juice in the morning before breakfast, dry skin brushing before showering, working up a sweat at the gym and staying hydrated, are all simple and effective ways to support detoxification and improve wellbeing.

“The body can detoxify efficiently when consuming only plants.”

Although fruits and vegetables provide lots of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) our liver actually requires amino acids, found in protein, in order to complete the second phase of detoxification. These amino acids help to assist metabolised toxins out of the body- think of a bouncer kicking out the bad guys from a nightclub!   Foods such as legumes, beans, quinoa, nuts, seeds and eggs should, therefore, be consumed as part of any effective detoxification protocol. This is why ending your cleanse day on a nut milk is essential.

“I’m juicing tons of vegetables…organic produce isn’t important!”

When we juice non-organic fruits and vegetables, we are basically concentrating all of the pesticides and chemicals that are sprayed onto the plants. Washing your produce before consuming does help lower the pesticide residue slightly, however, going organic is always recommended. Think about it, you are probably juicing to help your body detoxify, yet you are exposing yourself to toxins at the same time! If you can’t afford all organic produce, check out our list of the ‘Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen, which shares the fruits and vegetables that are most/least sprayed and effected by pesticides.

At CNM, our Nutritional Therapists are taught the benefit from regular cleansing and detoxification to combat some of the burdens we face in our modern lifestyles. For those looking to embark on a detoxification program, working with a trained accredited Nutritional Therapist is always recommended. They will support your detox or weight-loss goals by designing a protocol that is safe and personalised to your own needs.


For more on cleansing, click here.

For more nutrition advice from CNM, click here.

For more from Vivien, click here.

CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) trains students for careers in natural therapies, and offers Short Courses.  To learn more CNM’s unique naturopathic approach register for a CNM Open Evening in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Brighton and Bristol. For more information:

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