Juice cleanses can cause nutritional deficiencies

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Juice cleanses are a popular trend among the health-conscious community because they have been known to promise weight loss, body detoxification and help treat the common cold and even certain cancers.

Juice cleanses can supercharge the immune and digestive system, rid the body of toxins and improve the function of the liver and kidneys.

However, a juice cleanse can negatively affect the body if it is not done properly .

Doing a cleanse for one or two days can be beneficial for the body, but being on the diet for multiple days can do more harm than good.

Christine Bailey, author of “The Juice Diet,” said the liver relies on vitamins, nutrients and amino acids to cleanse toxins from the body, and juices do not contain enough amino acids for the liver to properly pull out toxins.

Juices do not contain all the protein, fat and other important nutrients necessary for the body to function.

Bailey said a deficiency in important nutrients can lead to fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea and other side effects.

Since little to no food is being consumed on a juice cleanse, one can get intense cravings, which can make some people prone to binge eating.

“If you are doing a juice cleanse to start from scratch and eat healthier, it is really good for your system,” said Hillary Belmont, strength and conditioning athletic coach at California Baptist University. “If you do a cleanse for a couple of days to lose weight, it will not work because you are just going to gain all the weight back because it slows your metabolism down.”

Juice cleanses help end inconsistent meals and unhealthful eating, and they reboot the digestive system.

Bailey said this is easier when the body is taking a brief break from exercise, since cleanses generally do not provide the extra fuel needed for exercise or the added raw materials required for healing and recovery.

Even though some people may rave about how great they feel emotionally and physically while on a juice cleanse, others may struggle from depression, irritability, fatigue and constant thoughts of eating.

If one is having problems because of a juice cleanse, simply try to add more fruits and vegtables into the diet and stop the cleanse if negative side effects begin to occur.

“I did the juice cleanse for two days and it did not work at all,” said Briana Tryon, senior communication disorders major. “I tried drinking fruit and vegetable juices, but it just left me really hungry all the time and I also had no energy. Plus, it was really expensive.”

Juicing is great for cleansing the body, but should never replace a complete  nutritional diet.

About Meghan Rowland

Asst. Health Editor

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