Are Juice Cleanses Good for You?

This is a question I bet you have asked yourself on more than one occasion. It’s a fair one, juice cleanses have been all the rage for the past few years, but most people pause at the thought of not eating for days on end. And they should. 

Here at Apotheque we are committed to helping you live your healthiest lifestyle, and to that end here is what we have found out about juice cleanses:

There is actually no solid scientific research that supports a juice cleanse. According to Dr. James H. Grendell, the head of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Winthrop-University Hospital. “It’s hard to understand because there is no good scientific evidence that a juice cleanse, or any other food for that matter, is particularly relevant to removing toxins.” Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/21/health/juice-cleanse-toxin-misconception.html

Speaking of toxins, what are they anyway? Anyone familiar with “healthy” living will have heard this word over and over again. We have to get toxins out of our body, we need to sweat them out, rub them out, flush them out. But no one seems to tell us what the heck they actually are. The word “toxin” sparks fear in us, the literal meaning is something poisonous and dangerous to our bodies. But is that what they mean when they tell us to flush out our toxins? I don’t think so. What people mean when they say toxin are things like pesticides, stuff found in the food we eat that may not be 100% good for you to ingest, but not immediately harmful. What many people don’t realize, however, is that you don’t need to go on a cleanse to rid your body of those toxins. Your body does that for you naturally. According to Peter Thorne, professor at the University of Iowa and head of the Public Health’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the university: “We’ve evolved with a whole cadre of metabolic enzymes that process most of the toxicants to which we’re exposed.” The idea that you need to deprive your body of solid food to “detoxify” your body is a myth. Your body is capable of much more than we give it credit for and starving yourself is not going to help you or anybody. Source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/85682/what-are-toxins

Can a Juice cleanse help you lose weight? Cleanses are not only used for detoxifying but are also commonly used for weight loss. But what we have found is that doing a straight out juice cleanse, can help you lose weight in the short term, but harm your body and make it very difficult to keep weight off in the future. Here is what we know: Juice cleanses are essentially fasts. You are forgoing solid food for days and sometimes weeks. What controls weight loss and gain in your body is your metabolism and fasting for extended periods of time can really mess with it. It’s job is to keep you from starving. Back in the old days people would sometimes find themselves with little food and so to prevent death by starvation our bodies adapted to less food through the metabolism is a function of your body to slow down or speed up the time it takes to process and digest food. If your starving the metabolism slows down so you keep the food in your body for longer so it can break it down over time and keep you alive. So when you fast with a juice cleanse it tells your body that you are starving and your metabolism slows down. This will make it difficult when you get off the cleanse because your body will start holding onto the food you consume and you will put the weight you lost right back on. 

Our advice? By all means drink all the juice you can, but make sure you’re eating solid food with it. Your body needs food and that is the bottom line. Instead of looking for a shortcut, consider adjusting your diet overall. Worried about toxins? Try buying organic and locally grown fruit and veggies and try to eat less processed foods. And if you do no sweat, your body can and will handle it. 

If you’re wanting to lose weight, start will small adjustments to your every day diet, cutting down on sugars, carbs, fast food, etc. Slow change is key to help your body adjust and adapt. 

We are all for you wanting to choose a healthy lifestyle, but make sure you’re doing it right and giving your body the love and care it deserves!

Gabrielle Garruto