The gut isn’t just a bunch of tubes where food is broken down. It’s an intricate system, which consists of key players from your immune and digestive systems. After a meal, the body diverts energy to your gut in order to facilitate digestion. Therefore, if your gut is less efficient than it should be, you waste a lot of available energy on digestion alone, leaving you fatigued. According to Dr. Junger, after this 3-day cleanse, energy that had been diverted to your gut is back at your disposal, so you will feel much more energetic!
Note: Before starting any cleanse, make sure to consult your physician, especially if you have a medical condition like diabetes. Also, don’t participate if you’re pregnant or nursing. Detoxes are also not a substitute for medical diagnoses or treatment.
Preparing for the Jumpstart Cleanse
Dr. Junger says that before starting his cleanse, you’ll need to measure the extent of your digestive problems with his Taut Test, which only requires a mirror.
If you don’t have a “clean gut,” it will reveal itself on your skin through certain signs of toxicity. Does it appear dry or puffy? Look at your cheek and pull at your skin. Does it bounce back? If not, that may be a sign of inflammation. Additionally, redness and discoloration anywhere on the face is evidence of inflammation. With inflammation comes energy drain and digestive dysfunction, according to Dr. Junger.
If you notice any of these signs, you may want to try out Dr. Junger’s cleanse to see if it’s right for you.
Healing Your Gut
The cleanse is designed to repair your gut layer by layer. According to Dr. Junger, you should abide by the following recommendations for 3 days to see and feel results.
First, the innermost layer is the intestinal flora. It’s a layer of bacteria that serves as the first line of defense that eliminates toxins from your food and helps to break down the food you eat. You need healthy flora in your gut for healthy digestion. Antibiotics, preservatives and chemicals can disrupt your intestinal flora. By promoting healthy gut flora, you lower the amount of energy needed to digest your food, making it harder for bad bacteria to cause disease.
In lieu of the traditional breakfast of coffee, bagels or cereal, you should start each day of the cleanse with a prebiotic shake, followed by a probiotic supplement. The prebiotic shake is easy to make and contains prebiotics, which help the growth of good flora in your gut, which aid in digestion. Get the recipe.
In addition to your shake, take a probiotic that contains at least 50 billion live cultures.
The next layer of your gut that requires attention is the digestive tube, or the actual border of cells that prevents anything foreign from getting into your body. Sometimes, bad things like yeast can grow and create a “bio-film” that blocks nutrients and stores toxins. If you get rid of this film, Dr. Junger states the digestive tube will have more surface area to absorb nutrients and provide more energy.
Dr. Junger recommends taking berberine every afternoon in order stop energy drain. It’s a supplement that has long been used in Chinese and ayurvedic medicine. It has anti-microbial properties that can help fight the bio-film. You can get it at any health-food store. Dr. Junger recommends 400 mg every afternoon of the cleanse.
The next gut layer is actually a very important component of your immune system. It’s called the GALT, or Gut-Associated Lymphatic Tissue. Eighty percent of our immune system is located in the gut, and if it’s weakened from bad bacteria or bio-film, you’ll have to make it stronger to protect yourself.
That’s why Dr. Junger suggests L-glutamine. It can repair the cell lining of the cells of your immune system and digestive tract. It helps promote rapid cell division, which is important for your immune system, since immune cells rapidly divide and grow in number in order to fight foreign invaders from the gut or elsewhere. Dr. Junger recommends taking 1000 mg per day during the cleanse.
The last and most important part of the 3-day cleanse helps to jumpstart what is often referred to as our “second brain.” Most of our nervous system isn’t located in the skull. It’s actually in or around the gut. In fact, 80 to 90% of the body’s serotonin is used by that network of neurons. To help jumpstart those neurons, Dr. Junger recommends 250 mg of magnesium right before you go to bed. The body needs this nutrient to make serotonin.
What Should I Eat During This Cleanse?
First things first, during this cleanse, you should avoid gluten, dairy, processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol. This will allow your body to heal itself so you can get your energy back.
In order to maximize your gut’s ability to digest food, Dr. Junger warns against mixing too many different types of food. He believes it can overload the digestive system. Each food type requires different enzymes in order to be digested; mixing too many together at once may cause poor digestion. If you overload your gut with too many different types of food, you could be engaging in what Dr. Junger calls “food dumping,” which can lead to exhaustion and ruin the efficiency of your digestive system.
As you plan your meals for the 3-day jumpstart cleanse, Dr. Junger has several rules that can help you avoid food dumping. After the first 3 days, you can continue to eat this way if you notice a positive change.
First, Dr. Junger wants you to pair veggies with grains, beans or animal protein. This is because vegetables don’t require special enzymes for digestion, so you can pair them with another food group pretty easily. Your body won’t be expending any additional energy on digesting the vegetables versus the grains, beans or animal protein.
Second, you should not pair animal protein, grains or beans together. Since each of those food types require different enzymes for digestion, eating more than one type can burden your digestive system.
Third, for the 3-day jumpstart cleanse, Dr. Junger recommends a multi-enzyme before every meal. It eases digestion for every meal, and you’ll automatically be taking a load off your gut to allow it to heal and restore itself.
To make following this cleanse easier, check out Dr. Junger’s Jumpstart Cleanse shopping list.