Quality, cold-pressed juices are everywhere right now – from Starbucks to the grocery store. And while they're not just being sold to people on so-called juice cleanses, the act of giving up all food but juice for better health is trending too. The idea is to give your body a break from all the garbage you normally put in it and, for three days up to a week, consume nothing but nutrient-packed fruit and vegetable juices. When done correctly, these cleanses can help rid the body of excess sugar and stop the flow of synthetic food ingredients, which get backlogged in our bodies and can make us feel sluggish, achy, bloated, and generally like crap.
"The point of any detox program is to optimize the body's natural ability to detoxify itself," says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet. "Juice cleanses are a way to rapidly reboot your system."
But there are many myths swirling around about juice cleanses – that they'll make you drop 10 pounds in as many days, or they'll magically cure long-term ailments. Here's the truth.
Myth #8: A Bad Diet Is the Only Source of Toxin Buildup
Processed foods are major sources of toxin buildup in our bodies, but they're hardly the only ones. Most household cleaners and grooming products contain noxious chemicals that we inhale and absorb through our skin every day. Just like food toxins, they also build up in cells and tissues, hinder normal functioning, and potentially make us sick.
"It's just as important to detox from all of the chemical products we use in our homes and on our bodies," says Nolan Cohn. Use your juice cleanse as incentive to ditch highly toxic grooming and cleaning products. Hyman suggests searching the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database and Guide to Healthy Cleaning for safer alternatives.
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