Fasting and cleansing are two great ways to eliminate wastes from the body so that health and nutrition can be restored. And even though there are many similarities between fasting and cleansing, there are also a few differences that make them two entirely different things. Fasting is much more difficult than cleansing as cleansing still allows for an intake of solid foods. Thus, cleansing is a good place to start.
There are many cleansing and fasting diets that one can go on to achieve better health. All of them are different, but the effects are similar. It is up to each individual (and in some cases with the help of a medical professional) to decide which diet and/or method is right for them.
Although Very Similar, They Each Serve a Different Purpose
Both fasting and cleansing are recommended to be carried out occasionally in order to obtain or maintain optimum health.
Similarities Between Fasting and Cleansing
Detoxifying. As already mentioned, both fasting and cleansing help to eliminate wastes from the digestive tract. If the fast or cleanse is carried out long enough, the cleaning action can also take place at a deep cellular level. The longer one embarks on the fast or cleanse, the more toxins will be removed.
Restore Health. Studies have made it clear that toxins are the #1 reason behind many diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and many more. Therefore, by removing those toxins, health and vitality will be improved.
Weight Loss. Both fasting and cleansing help to clean out the digestive tract, which in turn helps to regulate bowel movements and increase the metabolism. Both of these will help in natural weight loss, because if the body can eliminate the food that goes into the body, then the weight loss efforts will pay off more.
Lots of Fluids. Fluids help to wash the body from the inside out, and are absolutely necessary in abundance for both cleansing and fasting. In addition, fluids also help to eliminate some of the food cravings that are present during this time.
Differences Between Fasting and Cleansing
Food Restrictions. One of the major differences between a fast and a cleanse is the food restrictions. A fast restricts all solid foods, and only allows water, fruit and vegetable juices along with herbal tea.
A cleanse is not near as restrictive, as it allows individuals to still consume raw fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds. At the same time, each type of cleanse is different, and the food restrictions may vary. As with a fast, some cleanses might not allow any solid food either.
The Duration. The duration of a fast can be as long as a person desires. This may be a day or two, a week, a month or even longer. A cleanse, however, many times has a set duration in which the individual must refrain from certain foods. There are many types of cleanses that vary in duration, such as a parasite cleanse, colon cleanse, kidney cleanse and liver cleanse.
The Purpose. The purpose behind cleansing is simply to eliminate toxins from the body so that health can be restored. In many cases, this may also be the purpose for fasting, however, it is also quite often done in order to let go and clear the mind. Some call this a natural high, which allows them to experience a higher level of spirituality.
Break Addictions. Fasting can help the body to break addictions from certain foods, sugar, caffeine, cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. Cleansing can also help to a certain degree, but it is not as effective as fasting.
Emotionally and Physically Difficult. Although both are physically and emotionally demanding, cleansing is easier, as certain foods are still allowed on the diet. Being able to consume solid foods slows down the detoxifying process, which makes it easier on the body. Therefore, if planning any type of fast, a cleanse can help to prepare the body for the fast, so that it will not be quite as demanding.
The more often a fast or cleanse is done, the easier it gets, as the body becomes cleaner and stronger with each cleanse or fast.