Juice cleanses aren’t miracle workers

By Kamri Alexander | Reporter

The fall season is upon us, and 2021 is nearing its end. With a change in seasons, a health kick usually follows. Whether it’s preparing for all the delicious yet not-so-healthy meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas or the infamous “new year, new me” mindset, dieting and quick solutions for a healthier lifestyle surge to popularity around this time of year.

One fad that seems like a great option for weight loss and resetting the digestive system is the juice cleanse. I mean, why not do a multiple-day juice cleanse? It advertises results such as detoxed digestive systems, boosts of energy, weight loss, curbed appetite, improved focus and sleep, etc. Those are things we all want for ourselves, but a juice cleanse isn’t the answer because it doesn’t necessarily work.

The reality is that our bodies don’t need juice to get rid of toxins because we have vital organs that do it already. Our kidneys, liver, lungs and skin serve a constant purpose of identifying toxins in our bodies and getting rid of them. Consider that right now. Your liver is doing a significant job of breaking down what you’ve ingested, retaining the good components and detoxing the harmful ones. No seven-day juice cleanse will magically make your liver or other detoxifying organs better at what they already do.

Besides the juice cleanse not fulfilling the purpose it promises, it’s a waste of money. If you’re pursuing your undergraduate degree at Baylor and you’re between the ages of 18 and 22, you might not be able to afford a juice cleanse that probably costs more than $30 a day.

On the other hand, companies that offer juice cleanses are typically more correct about what foods to avoid or consume after the juice cleanse. The overconsumption of processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, dairy and meat plays a role in what our bodies are trying to detox. ZEN Foods gives three signs that your body needs a juice cleanse, but those are signs that we need to take better care of our bodies in general — not that we need to pay hundreds of dollars to drink only juice for a few days and expect miraculous results.

If you’re considering a juice cleanse, before you spend your money, try more attainable lifestyle changes. If you don’t exercise, start going for a daily walk. Hydration is key for our bodies, and we could all stand to increase our water intake on most days; drinking more glasses of water or carrying a water bottle is a good start to better hydration. Start examining your daily meals as well. If they’re more processed foods and meat than fruits and vegetables, your body is working harder to detox those chemicals. After all, why drink your kale, spinach and apples when you could eat them like they were intended and feel sustained?

If you’re still set on the juice cleanse, try and make it fun. Make your own juices if you have a juicer accessible, or try juices from your local juice place that you think you’ll enjoy. Try and complement those juices with a healthy meal. However, whatever you do, don’t make food a task or source of anxiety and discouragement. We get to enjoy food and beverages. Don’t lose sight of that in the midst of making lifestyle changes. Becoming healthy is not a feasible long-term goal if it makes you miserable.

Our bodies are equipped to do everything they can to survive — including detoxes. Help your body by feeding it delicious, sustaining and nourishing meals and taking care of it the best you can.

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