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Juice detoxes: Worth the hype?

Considering a cleanse? We often hear about the surprising health benefits of 3-day or 5-day fruit and veggie juice cleanses. But do they really live up to the hype?

Are juices healthier than other beverages? 

Fruit and veggie juices are healthy, technically. That is, as long as they don’t have added sugar. By squeezing and drinking the juice, you’re extracting and ingesting critical vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

But if your juice is packed with added sugars, you might be doing your body more harm than good. Read the label and look for the number of grams of sugar. Many fruit juices that advertise themselves as healthy have more than 30 grams of sugar per serving! 

According to the Mayo clinic, “there’s no sound scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the fruit or vegetable itself.”

Why? It turns out that juicing separates the fibers from the juice, which are vital to staying healthy and keeping chronic health conditions like cancers at bay. Due to the sugar concentration, over-consuming fruit juices can spike blood sugar levels, which is not so great for those with, or at risk for, type-2 diabetes.

Is it true that drinking only juices will really cleanse your body?

It turns out, detoxing the body isn’t really necessary. Your body is designed to excrete toxins naturally. As long as you’re in good health, your liver, kidneys, and other organs are doing just fine detoxifying your body already. Most of the products sold as detox solutions are not backed by any clinical evidence.

Eating a diet that supports good kidney function and liver health will help your body’s own processes do the work. That means avoiding too much fatty food and excess sugar. It’s also helpful to limit your alcohol intake and drink plenty of water.

The verdict on juicing

While it’s a great idea to look at your health and add more fruits and veggies to your diet, there is no medical evidence that suggests consuming juice instead of whole fruits and veggies makes you healthier. There is also no medical evidence that consuming juice detoxifies an already healthy body.

However, there is nothing wrong with drinking low-sugar fruit and veggie juice in moderation. For many, it’s an easy way to boost daily total intake of vitamins and minerals.

Make sure you get your 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and veggies, mostly in their whole form. With that alone, you’ll get the nutrients you need to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes and help maintain overall health.

2. Muraki, I., et al., Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ, 2013. 347: p. F5001.

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