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The Pros and Cons of a Juice Cleanse

By Paul Rothbart

It seems there's always a new fad diet or other health kick popping up. They usually claim to offer many health benefits and generally claim that they are backed by science. Some are legitimately good for your health, others not so much. Many fall in the middle. There are some health benefits but potential problems. Caution must be taken when trying this. One of the more recent of these practices is the juice cleanse. It's become popular and promises weight loss and detoxification of the body. But is it legitimate or just more hype? Here are some facts on the pros and cons of a juice cleanse.

How It Works

A juice cleanse involves consuming nothing but juices for a specific period of time, usually 3-10 days. The juice is extracted from healthy fruits and vegetables by pressing. Only the juice is used, not the pulp or any solid part of the produce. In this regard, juicing is distinct from blending. The theory is that the juice contains essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that enter the body and boost overall health. The juice has far fewer calories than solid food, allowing you to lose significant weight during the cleanse. Two of the major claims of juicing advocates are that the juices add healthy enzymes to the gut, improving digestion and that the juices flush toxins out of the body, leaving it cleaner and healthier. There is currently no scientific evidence to back up the claims of health boosts brought by a juice cleanse. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence, and you may want to give it a try. But first, you should be aware of the potential risks, which are backed by science.

Risks of a Juice Cleanse

Doctors have attached several health risks to juice cleanses. The juice diet is low in calories. Although this may seem like a good thing, the weight loss experienced during a cleanse is usually only temporary. The pounds tend to come back quickly when the cleanse is over. Additionally, consuming an insufficient number of calories can cause low blood sugar and lead to headaches, lightheadedness, and even fainting. Some juices contain substances that can lead to kidney stones when consumed in large quantities. Excessive amounts of juice can cause other kidney issues and anyone who has a kidney problem should not engage in a juice cleanse. 

How to Try a Juice Cleanse

Should you wish to see for yourself if a juice cleanse will work, do it carefully. First, consult with your doctor to make sure you don't have any health issues a cleanse can exacerbate. Avoid premade cleanse kits. They advertise how healthy they are, but you won't really know what's in them. By a juicer and make your own juices, choosing fruits and vegetables that contain essential nutrients. Don't stay on the cleanse for too long. Start with no more than three days and stop the cleanse immediately if you experience any kind of symptoms.

Healthy fads will always be with us. The juice cleanse is one that many people found helpful. If you want to try it, remember, it is not backed by science, and do it carefully.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Avon, Ohio

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