Juice cleanses aren’t the holistic venture many think they are

По | 11.02.2023

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Juice detoxes, cleanses ­– whatever you want to call them – are not backed up by any scientific research. So why do people claim to feel better when doing them? The truth, while common sense, is often shrouded by wellness jargon.

‘I’m doing a cleanse’ your friend declares, before sipping from a bottle filled with broccoli-coloured liquid. ‘I saw it on TikTok.’

You momentarily wonder when the last time they chewed solid food was, thinking that this can’t be good for them – or anyone for that matter – despite their attempts to convince you they’ve ‘never felt better’.

As it turns out, juice cleanses are pretty popular. They’ve been promoted as weight-loss miracles by celebrities for decades and are maintaining their popularity through wellness influencers on social media platforms.

Since their emergence, cleanses have been misleadingly marketed as a way to rid our bodies of harmful toxins – a bogus claim we’ll get into later on. A typical juice cleanse program recommends replacing all three meals with fruit or vegetable juice for around 1–8 days.

Besides sounding absolutely miserable, the so-called benefits of juice cleanses are not backed up by any scientific research. So why have they persisted across generations? And why do people claim to feel ‘better than ever’ when doing them?

Let’s dig deeper.

Most juice cleanses promise clearer skin, higher energy, weight loss, and reduced bloating.

Nutrition experts say that although these kinds of short-term benefits can happen for many whilst on a cleanse, they’re not long-lasting. This is because most people go back to poor health and dietary habits once their juice-only lifestyle is over.

As a result of limiting their intake to liquified fruit and vegetables, participants on a juice-only diet often claim they ‘feel great’. But doctors say this is a placebo effect, caused primarily by what’s been eliminated from their diet, as opposed to what’s being added in.

Juice cleanse guides often recommend the individual stops consuming processed foods, refined carbs, red meat, alcohol, or caffeine. In doing so, they’re likely to avoid post-meal lethargy and daily crashes in energy levels caused by glucose spikes.

This leads to an overall feeling of lightness, which of course, feels better than having the J.A.M.S – aka Just Ate Must Sleep.

On the other hand, there can be some nasty side effects.

Some report feeling extremely lethargic while drinking only juice, because their daily calorie intake is significantly lower than the recommended level. Headaches, irritability, and digestive problems are all common side effects.

For those on longer programs, many will end up severely lacking certain nutrients and overloading on others, which can cause issues or kidney stones.

This should hardly come as a surprise, since our bodies require varied diets to work at their optimal level.

Finally, juice cleanses aren’t necessary to remove ‘impurities’, because our bodies have evolved to do exactly that.

Despite what promoters will have you believe, our bodies are biologically designed to remove any harmful toxins that find their way in through organs such as the liver, kidneys, and bladder.

No diet consisting of 100 percent celery juice will speed up or improve that process.

It’s far more widely recommended for individuals to increase their intake of whole foods, including vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Together, these help support better digestion and weight stability while offering long-term health benefits.

Let’s leave the cranberry cocktail to Regina George, deal?

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