Do the intoxicating promises of the Juice Detox Diet hold any water?
With summer just around the corner many are looking for quick fix solutions to losing weight and getting that "beach body". Juice fasting and detox diets have been popularised by many celebrities and are all the rage with those looking to lose weight or kick start a healthy lifestyle.
The low down
There is no scientific data that supports any benefits of juice detoxing. Instead, studies have shown that fasts and extremely low-calorie diets, such as juicing diets, lower the body's basal metabolic rate as it struggles to conserve energy. As soon as you resume normal eating, rapid weight gain follows.
What can juice detoxing diet (vegetable or fruit) do to your body?
- Juice, especially from fruits, causes the pancreas to produce insulin, which transports sugar (in the form of glucose) into your cells where it will be stored as fat.
- Extremely low calorie diets such as juice fasting (around 1000/day or less) forces your body to get its fuel from two alternative sources: triglycerides, a type of energy stored in fat cells, and protein, taken straight from your muscles. You begin to lose muscle mass, even if you're still exercising every day!
- Proteins in your shrinking muscles break down into ammonia and uric acid, which enter the bloodstream. Now your kidneys are working harder to effectively detox your detox diet.
- Juicing diets lack protein, fatty acids, fibre, and other essential nutrients. Without these, the body cannot function properly. You may consequently suffer with dehydration, depleted electrolytes, and impaired normal bowel function resulting in diarrhoea.
The body's detoxification system
We often forget that the body has its own built-in detoxification system which includes:
- The skin. The body's largest organ provides a barrier against harmful substances including bacteria and viruses.
- The respiratory system. Fine hairs inside the nose trap dust and other particles that may be inhaled. Smaller particles that make it to the lungs are expelled from the airways in mucus.
- The immune system. This staggeringly intricate network of cells and molecules is designed to recognize foreign substances and eliminate them from the body.
- The intestines. Lymph nodes in the small intestine screen out parasites and other foreign substances before nutrients are absorbed into the blood from the colon.
- The liver, the body's principal filter, produces a family of proteins that neutralize harmful metals like lead and mercury to prepare for their elimination from the body. Liver cells also produce groups of enzymes that regulate the metabolism and are an important part of the body's defence against harmful chemicals and other toxins.
- The kidneys filter out waste substances and move them out of the body.
Support your body's natural detoxification systems by drinking a minimum of 2 litres of water a day, eat plenty of leafy green and cruciferous vegetables and avoid processed foods and alcohol. Exercise regularly and don't underestimate the value of taking time during the day to relax and make good quality sleep a priority. If, however you still feel the need to try the detox diet and supplement your balanced diet with some extra vegetables why not try a green smoothie keeping the skin and pulp from the vegetables to also benefit from their fibre content.
Why not try?
Ali's Green Smoothie recipe /club-vision/recipe/customer_recipes/1134/118485.pdf or check out Vision's meals on Vision Virtual Training for healthier smoothie recipes.
PALERMO E., 2015. Detox diets & cleansing: facts & fallacies http://www.livescience.com/34845-detox-cleansing-facts-fallacies.html
The dubious practice of detox. Harvard Women's Health Watch, 2008. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-dubious-practice-of-detox
GAVURA S., 2P14. The detox scam: How to spot it, and how to avoid it. https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-detox-scam-how-to-spot-it
Australian dietary guidelines. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-dietary-guidelines-1-5
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