What is a Raw Food Cleanse?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
Wheatgrass and other green juices are sometimes consumed during a raw food cleanse.
Wheatgrass and other green juices are sometimes consumed during a raw food cleanse.

A raw food cleanse is a dietary program that people follow to cleanse their bodies of waste, detoxify, and lose weight. There are various kinds of cleanses that are detailed on health food websites, blogs, and in books on diet and nutrition. In most cases, a raw food cleanse is a program that lasts for somewhere between a few days and a few weeks. There are, however, people who maintain a raw diet for much longer periods of time, nourishing themselves with raw foods for years, even decades. It is important to check in with a doctor before beginning a raw food cleanse to make sure that one can follow the program without experiencing any complications.

During a cleanse, water may be flavored with a squeeze of lemon juice.
During a cleanse, water may be flavored with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Prior to beginning a raw food cleanse, it is generally recommended to prep the body for the experience. Those who smoke and drink on a regular basis should wean themselves off of alcohol and nicotine for a week or so before beginning the cleanse. Also, begin to incorporate more whole grains and raw foods into the diet while slowly cutting out processed foods and sugary foods. During the entire process, it is important to drink plenty of water to help the body in the cleansing and detoxification process. Feel free to flavor the water with a squeeze of lemon juice or a few pieces of sliced orange or cucumber.

Vegetable juice may be consumed during a cleanse.
Vegetable juice may be consumed during a cleanse.

In most cases, eating primarily raw foods will provide enough dietary fiber to cleanse the digestive system. Some raw food cleanse programs suggest that people using the program also use a fiber supplement to aid in the process. This is especially true for cleanses that are based on the ingestion of raw fruit and vegetable juices.

It is important to do a bit or research and planning before beginning a raw food cleanse. The program won't work if one does not get proper nutrition. Be sure to lay out a diet plan that incorporates a variety of raw foods to get the greatest variety of vitamins and nutrients. There are a number of books on raw food and fasting that set out exactly these kinds of meal plans.

Drink plenty of water during a raw food cleanse.
Drink plenty of water during a raw food cleanse.

There are certain activities that can assist in the cleansing process. Many raw food cleanse enthusiasts recommend yoga, walking, massage, and meditation as ways to supplement and improve the cleansing experience. These activities can also help when people following a raw food cleanse feel a bit cranky for having to give up some of their favorite foods and beverages.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for , Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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    • Wheatgrass and other green juices are sometimes consumed during a raw food cleanse.
      Wheatgrass and other green juices are sometimes consumed during a raw food cleanse.
    • During a cleanse, water may be flavored with a squeeze of lemon juice.
      During a cleanse, water may be flavored with a squeeze of lemon juice.
    • Vegetable juice may be consumed during a cleanse.
      Vegetable juice may be consumed during a cleanse.
    • Drink plenty of water during a raw food cleanse.
      Drink plenty of water during a raw food cleanse.