Digesting the juice cleanse

By Mina Radman • Published: April 14th, 2017
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

As the temperatures rise and days lengthen, we shed our layers. Coats go into closets, boots give way to sandals. Summertime is right around the corner.

For some people, it’s the perfect time to shed pounds gained during the winter. These days, a popular strategy is a juice cleanse, which claims to help you slim down quickly. But is it effective and safe?

A juice cleanse is a diet lasting from three days to several weeks where a person drinks juices made from organic vegetables and fruits, and abstains from eating solid food. Advocates claim this reboots and detoxifies the body while improving mood, energy and appearance.

However, nutritionists and health experts frown on these juice fasts. People who undergo a cleanse may lose water weight, but that returns once they resume their normal diet. Drinking only liquid also depletes your body of necessary nutrients and protein, which can hurt muscle production and slow your metabolism. Removing protein and fat from your diet also can weaken your hair, skin and nails.

Juice cleanses can be dangerous for people with diabetes because they can involve higher amounts of sugar, which send blood sugar levels skyrocketing. And these cleanses do not detox the body. The body has a natural system for that: the kidneys and the liver.

So, how can you get rid of that winter weight before swimsuit season arrives? Switch to a whole foods diet. Cut out processed foods and excess sugar, and mainly consume vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Combine this sensible diet with exercise and stick with it, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier and slimmer body. Juices are a good way to refresh, but they are no substitute for whole meals.