The Truth About Juice Cleanses
The days are getting longer and temperatures are heating up. With swimsuits now occupying the racks where sweaters once hung, many of us are coming to terms with the exact volume of sugar cookies we enjoyed over the holidays. Even if we managed to avoid the Halloween-to-Christmas junk-fest, our new year’s resolutions tend to be body-centric.
While we know the road to health and fitness is a marathon not a sprint, we’re nevertheless wooed, on occasion, by promises of quick fixes and rapid progress. Among those tempting magic-bullet plans is one we continue to hear a lot about: juice cleanses.
While it’s true that consuming fresh fruit and vegetable juice can be perfectly healthy (although drinking vitamins and minerals has no advantage over eating them), consuming only juice can actually be harmful to your health.
Five Myths About Juice Cleanses
Myth #1 A Juice Cleanse Will Help You Lose Weight Quickly
While it’s true juice cleanses may help you lose weight quickly at first, the extreme hunger created by depriving your body of sufficient calories can cause you to subsequently binge eat and gain weight. In addition, because juicing removes the fiber, it’s only particularly beneficial for people who are more inclined to drink fruits and veggies than eat them.
Myth #2 A Juice Cleanse Removes Toxins from Your Body
According to the National Institutes of Health, “There isn’t any convincing evidence that detox or cleansing programs actually remove toxins from your body or improve your health.” Our bodies naturally eliminate toxins with the help of our liver, kidneys, and skin. There are some things we can do to help that process along, including not putting a bunch of junk in our bodies to begin with, but consuming only juice is not one of them.
Myth #3 A Juice Cleanse Will Help Your Emotional Wellbeing
It’s true there are certain fruits and veggies that seem to support mental health, particularly those with high levels of antioxidants. But, again, consuming only juice is likely to have the opposite effect. Fat and protein, nutrients not present in juice, are essential to the production of neurotransmitters that help regulate mood.
Myth #4 A Juice Cleanse Will Help You Think More Clearly
Some people are interested in juice cleanses not for weight loss or detox purposes, but to clear their foggy thinking. But if you’re not feeding your brain the right combination of nutrients, a cleanse can actually contribute to confusion.
Myth #5 The Sugar Content in Juice Doesn’t Count
Yes, it’s true that naturally occuring sugar is better for you than processed or added sugar. But that doesn’t mean sugar from fruits and veggies doesn’t matter. Excess amounts of both types of sugar can have serious health consequences, and if you’re consuming nothing but juice, you’re most certainly getting more sugar than you should.
Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with consuming fruit and vegetable juice, but juicing should be just one part of a healthy eating plan—not the entire plan. Read more about what happens to your body on a juice cleanse.
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