Detoxes…yes or no?

Do you hear buzz about juice cleanses and detoxes among your friends and family as often as I do?

Among other fad diets, the lemon juice/maple syrup/cayenne pepper cleanse regularly makes the rounds in my circles. I get it – the “magic pill” concept is massively appealing. I mean, who wouldn’t want an opportunity to fix all health issues, re-set metabolism, detox the body and lose weight via a few days of discomfort through fasting?

The idea of “cleansing” the system is also especially appealing these days, as toxicity infuses our lives in the form of news, politics and social divide. I was thrilled to be interviewed by Long Island Living magazine on the topic for the article above by Donna Kutt Nahas as it’s important for people to know the impact of fad diets on their health and wellbeing.

The concept of detoxing as taking a break from something that is negatively influencing your life isn’t a bad thing. For some, it can kick off a shift toward healthier lifestyle habits. Let’s face it, we could all probably could use a detox in one form or another…whether it’s from alcohol, processed food, news, social media, cigarettes, screen time or work.

But let’s get the scientific facts straight about detoxing and cleansing so that we focus our energies in a helpful rather than harmful way… 

  1. Scientific evidence does not support the notion that juice fasts or cleanses are effective in detoxing the body, getting rid of excess toxins or promoting health.
  2. In fact, very-low-calorie juice fasts that include a laxative regime as a part of the program can be dangerous and cause negative health effects such as dehydration, disruption of intestinal flora, electrolyte imbalance and impairment of normal bowel function.
  3. Our liver, kidneys and lungs are already really effective at detoxing the body and do so regularly!
  4. When a product, supplement, diet or service sounds too good to be true or claims that it can “detoxify” the body, “balance body chemistry” or act as a “magic pill” for weight loss, it’s a red flag.
  5. If you’ve done a juice fast or cleanse in the past and find that you actually feel more focused and energetic during and after, the mental clarity and increased energy are more likely caused by eating more vegetable and fruits than usual and because most “detox diets” eliminate the heavily processed foods that contribute to feelings of sluggishness and lethargy. Don’t fall for it!
  6. To feel and look your best every day, live a nutrition lifestyle made up of a variety of mostly minimally processed, nutrient-dense, whole foods.

Do you have any burning nutrition questions or concerns that I can clear up for you? Drop me a line in the comments – let’s bust some nutrition myths together! 

Cheers and warmest wishes for good health,

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