Should you try a juice cleanse? Expert shares ‘important thing to recognise’ when juicing
This Morning: Dr Sara on the pros and cons of juice cleanses
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Juice cleanses have been hailed a weight loss hero by many over the years, but are they safe for everyone to do them? Experts explain that if a person lacks nutrients from fruit and vegetables, their bodies may benefit from a liquid detox.
The premise of a juice cleanse is simple; by drinking only juices from fruits and vegetables over a designated period will supposedly help a person lose weight.
These juices are full of nutrients, vitamins, and phytonutrients – the compounds with antioxidant potential.
Some newer trends now incorporate solid food into the routine, adding fibre to a person’s diet.
And while Alicia Romano, a clinical dietitian at Tufts Medical Centre in Boston, explained that healthy people’s bodies will naturally cleanses themselves, some people may need a little help.
“Healthy people can rely on the liver, kidneys, digestive tract, and even skin and lungs to naturally detoxify the body,” Romano said.
“Those organs convert toxins into compounds that are eliminated by our bodies in sweat, urine and faeces.”
And nutrients packed in fruits and vegetables, such as vitamin C, can also help support these processes.
“Some people feel that when they drink green juice their life is better,” Ryan D. Andrews, an adjunct nutrition instructor at Purchase College in New York explained.
“That’s an important thing to recognise.”
He went on to detail how many more people experienced more energy and less bloating.
“There aren’t solids coming in, so you’re not feeling as distended,” Andrews said.
“By eliminating all or most solid foods, you’ve also removed ingredients that cause gas — a normal by-product of eating — or that you may be particularly sensitive to.
“That clean slate may help you feel better in the short term.”
He added: “If you aren’t consuming any veggies or fruits and suddenly add in all of these juices, you’re getting vitamins you weren’t getting before.”
But there’s no evidence that consuming them in liquid form is any better than getting them through eating plant foods.
Many juice cleanses promise weight loss due to their low-calorie ingredients.
Tinsay A. Woreta, a liver specialist and assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, explained: “You’re relying on a diet consisting solely of fruits and vegetables.
“It makes sense that you would lose weight in the short term.”
Anyone hoping to try juicing should consult their doctor to see if it is safe to do so.
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