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Are Cleanses Really Good For You?

By Stepy Kamei

You've probably heard about cleanses and detoxes when looking up ways to improve your health. Cleanses are a relatively new diet fad, but they seem to be everywhere these days. Still, are they really beneficial to your health? They seem like an easy shortcut to the important need of getting enough nutrition into your diet -- so do they really work? Fortunately, numerous studies have been done to examine the effects of cleanses and detoxes on the body. If you're looking for the short answer, it's important to keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Read on to learn more about the health claims behind some of the most popular types of cleanses -- and if you really should be buying into the hype or not.

What is a Cleanse Anyway?

Essentially, a cleanse (or a detox) is marketed as a regimen designed to rid the body of toxins while regulating the functions of the digestive system. This is generally done by replacing solid foods with liquids and other substances thought to naturally detox and cleanse the body.

Some cleanses rely on drinking only smoothies and juices. Some place an emphasis on consuming large amounts of water in addition to small amounts of food. Still others encourage people to consume only a specific type of food for a certain predetermined period of time.

What Do Cleanses Claim to Help With?

The idea is that by going on a cleanse, you're giving your metabolism a break, flushing out toxins from your system and resetting important functions such as your immune system and the colon. Supporters of cleanses claim to experience greater metabolic function and increased amounts of energy, among other benefits.

Do Cleanses Work?

Unfortunately, there's really no scientific evidence proving that cleanses provide any benefit to your health at all. In fact, there is evidence saying that certain cleanses can actually harm your health.

For instance, cleanses that are based on consuming only liquids end up depriving the body of such important nutrients as protein, which can lead to spikes in blood sugar, causing weakness and dizziness. Furthermore, "colon cleanses," which encourage a high-fiber diet, often end up causing stomach pains, cramping, diarrhea, and even vomiting, which is not the kind of cleanse you want at all!

Be sure to speak with a nutritionist for proper advice on how to eat healthy and clean, without sabotaging your body.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mansfield, Tex.

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