Should You Go on a Juice Cleanse?

Going on a juice cleanse, or “juicing,” has become extremely popular over the last few years. Juiceries like Blueprint, Project Juice and Salúd have popped up in all the major cities, and even celebrities have been known to promote juice diets. Phrases like “detox” and “fast weight loss” are often used to describe the diet, in which you can only drink water and juiced fruits and vegetables for 3-10 days. However, there’s also controversy and debate in the health community about the potential harms of juicing.

Diet fads come and go, but the juice trend has stuck around for longer than most. In a society that values efficiency, juice cleanses are appealing because they’re advertised as a quick and easy way to lose weight and boost your energy. With the help of social media and celebrity testimonials, the juice cleanse is one of the most well-known diets today.

Despite its popularity, the benefits of juicing have not yet been proven. Look on any juicery’s website and you’ll find the same 3 claims about the diet: it adds fruits and veggies to your diet, it helps you lose weight and it gives you energy. Medical journals have repeatedly debunked these claims, yet consumers still believe them because the benefits are so desirable.

First of all, since juicing a fruit or vegetable removes all the fiber but keeps all the sugar, you’re better off eating a carrot than drinking carrot juice. And although juice cleanses are known for helping people lose weight, they are not sustainable, and studies have shown that people gain back this weight once they finish the cleanse. Many people do have increased energy in the early stages of a cleanse because they’ve cut out unhealthy elements of their diet like processed sugars or alcohol. However, after a few days the lack of nutrients and calories cause fatigue.

The bottom line: don’t buy into claims about juice cleanses. All in all, they may help you lose a few pounds in a few days, but they aren’t healthy for you. You don’t need a “detox” to be healthy, because your body flushes out toxins naturally. Juice cleanses are not the fast and easy way to nourish your body, the only way to accomplish that is by eating right.

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