I understand my stance on “juice cleanses” may not be the popular one (especially this time of year), but let’s face it – your body cleanses itself. I almost *cringe* every time I hear someone’s practically starving themselves by not actually eating any regular food and only drinking green juices and the like. Maybe they think they’ll feel great and it will help them lose weight (even if it’s just water weight) – but, in my opinion, not eating (i.e. chewing) any food for a few days sounds pretty extreme and like the opposite of “fun” to me.
Extreme Diet Trends
Leave it to us Americans though to once again take the enjoyment out of food. We are one of the few countries that obsesses over counting this or limiting that or not pairing two particular foods together at a certain time of day (this last one I never really understood?). What happened to just eating a variety of whole foods – and simply stopping when you feel full or, better yet, satisfied – and actually taking pleasure in the whole process?? I am pretty sure that’s the way things were meant to be, and also, by default, it would help us to avoid some of those unwanted chemicals and additives (i.e. toxins found in highly processed food) in the first place.
A Professional Opinion
If you look at the facts, all of this isn’t really just “in my opinion.” I spoke to a local Colorectal Surgeon, Dr. Robert Stevens, who specializes in colons (obviously) – one of the organs people are attempting to “flush the toxins out of” with juice cleansing. I know Dr. Stevens personally (and trust him), and he verifies that your colon, liver and kidneys make up your very own amazing detoxification system. Imagine that – we are already equipped with all the right parts to naturally rid ourselves of unwanted toxins and feel good! Not to mention that not eating for a few days can cause dehydration, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and even colon damage (yikes).
Dr. Stevens tells me, “The most beneficial natural colon ‘cleanse’ is dietary fiber. Consuming the whole fruit or vegetable (not just the juice) is the best way to ensure that the contents of the colon are adequately evacuated along with any toxins that might remain.” As I learned during my own recent experiment, juicing can be expensive, time-consuming, and also does not provide you with the whole vegetable because “juicers” actually remove that fiber he is talking about (which can leave you still feeling hungry afterward, as it did for me).
I want to make it clear that there’s certainly nothing wrong with drinking a green juice, but it should not be considered an adequate substitution for regular food – especially for days on end.
No Evidence Cleanses Work
Not only is the act of giving up real food during a juice fast/cleanse basically the opposite of human nature, but there is also little to no scientific evidence that it actually flushes out any toxins in the first place (as confirmed here, here, and here). Have you ever seen a credible, peer-reviewed study that proves these cleanses really work? If so, please do share it with us in the comments.
So some probably won’t like that I am saying all of this – and others may actually thank me (you can finally chew your food again – yay!) – but either way this is where I stand. In general, be careful about extreme diet trends and remember to eat a variety of wholesome, healthy foods that you can actually take the time to enjoy. :)