There are all varieties of detox diets out there—so think of the Master Cleanse as the old-school-Rocky-Balboa-no-frills-boot-camp school of all cleanses.
Like all detoxes and diets, it really comes down to tastes and personalities. Some say its strict, no-solid food for ten days paradigm is way too radical. Others are on board with the theory that when you don’t introduce any new matter to the intestine by fasting, and simultaneously use enzyme-rich lemons to break down the “gut plaque” that has built up over the years, true cleansing begins to occur. Hence, the Master Cleanse. On Day 3, you might be a bit grumpy—but on Day 8 you will very likely feel lighter, brighter and somehow more lucid; and by Day 10 you might even find yourself contemplating a Day 11.
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But some experts tend to disagree. According to Miami-based nutritionist, Maria Patricia Restrepo MD, “Cleansing is a powerful weapon. Just as it can perform miracles, it can also be harmful. That is why as a general rule, I opt for more gradual cleanses, which include food. Foods are full of medicinal and chemical properties and we can use these to our advantage to promote cleansing!” According to Restrepo, scallions and red onions, for example, are great for detoxing because they are high in sulfur. Sulfur drives the phase 2 hepatic detox pathway (which is part of our liver’s detoxifying job), making toxins available for elimination. Also, these onions provide materials to make glutathione, a detoxifying compound for the body as a whole, and the liver specifically. Glutathione supports the liver and helps detoxify various common toxins (i.e. acetaminophen, pesticides, caffeine). And who doesn’t want to get rid of those?