Cleanses: Are they all they’re juiced up to be?

Detox diets. Juice cleanses. Raw food diets. Juice fasts. They all promise to help you lose weight, feel better and cleanse your body from the inside out. But, are they really good for your body?

According to WebMD, maybe not.

While it may be true that fiber-filled juices made fresh in the blender may make it easier for your body to absorb micronutrients and still have all the fiber included, actual juice cleanses may not be all they are hyped up to be.

Many people testify that juice cleanses or detox drinks can put you on the road to health in just 3 days or make your feel fantastic in 21 days. The actual truth may be in the fact that most juice cleanses or detox diets require that you follow a strict regimen that avoids caffeine, fats, sugar, meats and processed foods, which may contain toxins. This would make most people feel better.

Currently, there is no scientific evidence that juice cleanses will improve your immune system, lessen your fatigue, decrease your depression, aid in weight loss or detoxify your system any more than a diet filled with natural foods.

If fact in some cases, a detox diet plan may cause harm.

Your body has a built in detoxification system. However, detox drinks or foods often lack the fiber and other nutrients that your body needs to detoxify itself through the kidneys, liver and colon.

Juice cleanses can cause some health risks when they are not used in moderation. People who use a juice-detox program for a long time may see fast, weight-loss results, but may miss important nutrients in their diets. However, with the weight loss, the focus of the detox program may change from juicing for a body cleanse to juicing for weight loss.

Long-term, this can cause mental and physical health problems. For some, the thoughts of fasting or eating a very strict diet can become addicting. This situation can lead to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

The fast weight loss of juice cleanses and detox diets also can be attractive. However, the weight loss from a juice cleanse is not necessarily attributable to fat loss. Most people who lose weight quickly will lose water weight and experience muscle loss.

Detox diets are not recommended for teens since teens need high nutritional content in their diets to grow and develop into adults. This may be a hard message to convey as teens watch their favorite celebrities promote the detox-diet fad.  

It’s important to tell teens ... and anyone else that is considering a juicing diet ... that your body will be healthiest if you eat a well balanced diet that includes more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Eating a nutritious diet that is balanced with a healthy exercise program will help you look, feel and be your best.

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