January. The reset button for a lot of people and a time where everyone is starting a detox. Every year I get asked questions like, “what do you think of this cleanse?” “Should I go on a juice cleanse?” “How can I detox my body?” When I am asked these questions I eagerly provide education like the reasons we’ll discuss here.
Here are 3 reasons you don’t need to do a detox cleanse and what you can do instead.
1. The impact of health benefits are over exaggerated
This year the big trend is celery juice. I just had a friend ask for my opinion on this yesterday. I’ve seen some claims floating around the internet that celery juice is a “cure all.” That claim is a huge red flag! There are some great benefits to celery that I’ll get to in a minute. However, anytime something states: “cure all,” “miracle fix,” “quick fix,” or any other extreme claim-it is more than likely a gimmick! Often times, these claims are based off of one positive attribute of a food, and it’s impact on our health. It’s that idea that gets over exaggerated by clever marketing campaigns.
Before the celery juice fad, celery had a bad rap. People generally assume it is low in nutrients due to it’s high water content. However, celery actually has a lot of vitamins and minerals in it: including vitamin K, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, folate, and magnesium. Celery is also high in antioxidants, which help prevent diseases like cancer, and has anti-inflammatory properties. While there are a lot of benefits of eating celery, celery juice is not a cure all solution. There are several other fruits and vegetables that offer the same health benefits and include certain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that celery doesn’t have. When we rely on one food source to cure everything we are missing out on a lot of nutrients. As an alternative, if you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables regularly you will get all of the micronutrients that you need.
2. Our bodies detox themselves
The human body is a pretty amazing thing! We are already lucky enough to have organs in the body that detox our system 7 days per week, 365 days per year! What are these organs you might ask? They are the liver and kidneys. These organs remove toxic substances from our body, which come from many different sources, not just food. In fact, through our metabolic pathways the body produces toxins all on it’s own. The liver is specifically designed to filter and remove these compounds. Our digestive tract and skin also give support in the removal of our bodies toxins.
3. Juicing removes fiber
I often hear from people that juicing replaces eating fruits and vegetables. Some people argue that they can pack more nutrients in juice than what you could eat whole. However, when we eat the whole fruits and vegetables we get all of the fiber they contain. Juicing removes these fibers. Fiber helps food move through our digestive system and helps create good bacteria in our gut, which we all need!
Don’t get me wrong, if you love juicing by all means go for it. However, juice needs to be apart of an overall balanced diet and not replace meals or snacks.
Many of us turn to a well marketed fad to find a quick fix. The problem is these solutions are not sustainable. They feed the cycle of feeling bad about yourself. They do something quick to change that for a short period of time, then feeling bad about yourself again, you just end up doing another fad or cleanse next January. Instead of doing a cleanse why not try eating balanced meals throughout the day. A balanced diet of all of the food groups will provide our body with all of the nutrients it needs to detox itself, just like it does every other day! We can thank our amazing liver and kidneys for that!
If you want help figuring out what balanced eating looks like for you I’d love to hear from you! You can learn more about our practice at balancenutritioncounseling.com