Best cleanses and detoxes

What Dr. Michael Smith Says:

Does It Work?

There are no known health benefits to the diet, supplements, products, and techniques that DeLuz recommends in her book, such as not chewing, coffee enemas, and laxatives.

Despite the popularity of “colonics” in recent years, they don’t make you healthier. There’s no reason to detoxify your body, as it takes care of that on its own. It may even be harmful for some people.

You won’t have the energy to do much on this program, but the recommendation to avoid exercise is counter to everything experts know about exercise and health.

You’ll likely lose weight on such a strict plan. But much of that will be water and muscle, since the plan offers very little protein.

Your metabolism will also likely plummet, making it even harder for you to burn calories throughout the day. Any diet that promises you’ll lose a pound a day is not a healthy approach and not one you’re likely to stick with. You’ll likely regain the weight after you go back to eating normally.

You also may have headaches and feel fatigued during this detox plan. Overall, you probably won’t feel very good.

Is It Good for Certain Conditions?

If you have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease, this is not the program for you. You need to find a program that you can stick with and that will help you manage your health.

If you have diabetes, this diet could be harmful. If you take diabetes medicine, your blood sugar could fall to dangerously low levels.

Before starting any strict diet program such as this, it’s important to talk to your doctor to make sure it’s right for you.

The Final Word

The Martha’s Vineyard Diet is not a healthy approach and may leave you worse off than before. Such a strict program will leave you frustrated. It will not deliver the long-term effects you’re looking for.

The only positive thing that the diet has going for it is the focus on vegetables. Eating a wide variety of vegetables is an excellent strategy for getting your health in order.

But skip this plan and find another that focuses on lowering calories through a well-rounded diet and exercise program that works for you.

Best Cleanse for Weight Loss: Lose Fat with These 6 Detox Drinks

Yes, you can detox and lose fat at the same time. Studies show several common detox ingredients also contribute to weight loss, directly or indirectly.

It makes sense that you lose weight during the cleansing process. After all, you’re ridding your body of old toxins and waste that contribute to the added pounds on the scale.

We’ll identify the best cleanse for weight loss. While purifying your body should be the primary goal, don’t be surprised if you drop a few pounds while at it.

1. Apple Cinnamon Water

Apple and cinnamon seem to go hand-in-hand for whatever reason. These water detox drinks are actually quite trendy because they provide tons of flavor minus the calories and artificial flavors. Apple and cinnamon are another two effective ingredients to make for a terrific weight loss cleanse.

Why it works: Studies show apples have an appetite-suppressing effect. The pectin fiber in apples contribute to delayed gastric emptying. Essentially, this prolongs the time the food remains in the stomach, thus maintaining the feeling of being full and satiated.

As for cinnamon, we know for a fact the spice is a proven blood-sugar reducer. New studies also show that cinnamaldehyde, a compound in cinnamon, may induce fat-cell autonomous thermogenesis.

2. Green Tea

We had to include green tea because it’s as mainstay as cleansing ingredients get. We especially recommend matcha green tea due to its high flavonoid profile. Green tea is even widely available in capsule form as a weight loss aid.

READ MORE: Homemade DIY Colon Cleanse: Make Your Own Detox Remedy for Pennies on the Dollar

What makes green tea a top weight loss cleanse drink? Aside from containing a bevy of antioxidants that help flush the liver, it’s also a natural fat reducer.

How so?

Why it works:The caffeine and flavonoids in green tea increase metabolism and elevate fat oxidation. Studies show that green tea contains the compounds catechins and epigallocatechin gallate, which are shown to have a positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance.

3. Beet Juice

You can consume beets as they are or add them to any existing detox smoothie. We included beets in several of our past posts. Beets are a natural nitric oxide vasodilator due to their high nitrate content. The nitrate opens the blood vessels and promotes higher blood flow, leading to more efficient waste transportation.

Why it works: Beets help you lose weight through a more indirect mechanism. The root vegetable is a good source of magnesium. This mineral is a natural testosterone booster. More testosterone means more muscle mass. More muscle means more calories burned even when the body is at rest.

4. Cranberry Juice

This is another wonderful fruit that you can easily add a cup-full of to any detox drink.

Be warned, though: Cranberries in their raw form are quite tart and sour. In case you’re wondering, you cannot substitute real cranberries for the sugar-fortified craisins. Studies have shown that cranberries in their raw form fight urinary tract infections. Their cleansing power lies in a class of antioxidants called proanthocyanidins, which amplify the potency of other antioxidants that fight free radicals.

Why it works: We’re surprised that cranberries hardly come to mind when one thinks of the best cleanse for weight loss. Cranberries are high in organic acids that help the body dissolve fatty deposits.

According to a study from the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, daily cranberry consumption helps decrease body weight and body mass index.

READ MORE: The Best Colon Cleanse for Weight Loss: Does a Colon Detox Lead to Fat Loss?

5. Plain Water

If you don’t feel like brewing tea or adding fruit slices to water, then just drink plain H2O. It doesn’t get any simpler than water if you want to detox and lose weight.

Many people are surprised that the best detox for weight loss involves nothing more than what makes up 70 percent of our bodies. Go beyond the recommended eight glasses a day and drink at least 12 cups. Aim for a gallon or more if you’re physically active.

Why it works: Water keeps the contents inside your digestive tract moving along. Your body needs water in order to urinate and sweat. Both mechanisms are essential for your body to excrete waste.

Water also creates what’s known as diet-induced thermogenesis. This means your body burns calories in order to process whatever is coming in, including water. One study also found that subjects who drank water throughout the day saw a 2-3 percent increase in caloric expenditure.

6. Lemon Water

This is a simple recipe. Just cut a few slices of raw cucumber and put them into your water just like you would with a lemon wedge. Speaking of lemons, you should definitely include a wedge of lemon or other citrus fruit. Drink at least eight glasses a day for seven days.

READ MORE: Slippery Elm: The Key to Digestive Relief?

For maximum effect, eat the cucumbers. This recipe is deceptively simple yet one of the best detox cleanse for weight loss.

Why it works: The cucumber is the main ingredient here. Unbeknownst to most people, cucumber acts as a diuretic, which helps to flush toxic-carrying moisture from your body. With the citric fruit, you add additional fat-burning enzymes.

The Best Cleanse for Weight Loss Involves All-Natural Ingredients

Regardless of the drink or recipe you use, just be sure to stick to unprocessed ingredients. The best detox for weight loss will always require nothing more than what’s found abundantly in nature.

The same holds true if you decide to use a detox supplement like Digestive Refresh. These detox drinks alone won’t give you six-pack abs, but they’ll certainly help you achieve your ideal body weight.

These Detox Drinks Are the Secret to Fast and Easy Weight Loss

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic potion you could drink to lose weight? Well, actually, there is. And, guess what? There’s more than just one. Detox drinks are a great way to cleanse the body of the toxins responsible for things like digestive issues, bloating, not to mention: constipation.

The best part? Most detox drinks can be homemade and offer a variety of benefits (in addition to detoxification). See some of our favorite recipes for weight loss, ahead.

1. Morning detox tea

A great way to start off your healthy day. | Winterling/iStock/Getty Images

Looking to detox your body and promote weight loss? Give an apple cider vinegar-infused detox drink a try. We love this recipe from Tasteaholics:


  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 dash of cayenne


Combine all ingredients, stir, sip, and enjoy!

2. Detox ginger lemonade

These ingredients make for a deliciously nourishing beverage. | White Caty/iStock/Getty Images

Think your detox drink can’t be delicious? Think again! The Live Fit Girls created a yummy ginger lemonade mixture that not only tastes great, but promotes detoxification, too. Here’s how to make it:


  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons of unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 1 inch knob of garlic, sliced


Add the ingredients to a mason jar and shake. Sip throughout the day.

3. Detox green smoothie with chia seeds

A green smoothie that tastes like dessert. | Jenifoto/iStock/Getty Images

If detox drinks aren’t your thing, try a detox smoothie. We love this one from Ally’s Cooking because it contains delicious ingredients that naturally detox. Here’s how to make it:


  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds


Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add more almond milk.

4. Cleansing cucumber lemonade

Cucumber and lemon can turn plain water into a fun drink. |

Put a new spin on lemonade with the cucumber infused recipe from SkinnyMs. We love this detox drink because it tastes delicious and the cucumber adds a refreshing aftertaste.


  • 1 pound of cucumbers, peeled if waxy, unpeeled if organic and not waxy, chopped (reserve ½ cup of sliced cucumbers for garnish)
  • 2 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 cups of water, divided
  • ⅔ cup of raw honey
  • 12 ice cubes


Add chopped cucumber to the blender with 1-2 cups of water. Once blended, strain the cucumbers through a fine mesh sieve into the pitcher. Discard the pulp and add ice. Then, heat 1 ½ cups of water on the stover over high heat until it starts to steam. Once steaming, add the honey and whisk until it’s melted. Pour the honey, lemon, and water over the ice and cucumber water. Stir and enjoy!

5. Green detox drink

Your whole family will enjoy this refreshing smoothie. |

Veggies are a great way to detox your body and with this green drink recipe from Gaiam, you can reap their benefits in liquid form. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 3 carrots
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 beets
  • 1 turnip
  • ½ bunch of spinach
  • ½ cabbage
  • ½ bunch of parsley
  • ½ onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic


Add the ingredients to a blender, along with water, and blend.

6. Cranberry juice detox

Say goodbye to that uncomfortable bloat. |

Another excellent detox drink from Gaiam? A cranberry juice detox. High in antioxidants, vitamin C, and manganese, cranberry juice can help promote detoxification and protect your body. Here’s how to make a delicious detox drink from cranberry juice:


  • Cranberry juice
  • Water
  • Apple pectin
  • Psyllium fiber


Combine one part cranberry juice with four parts water, and 1 tablespoon each of the psyllium fiber and apple pectin. Mix and enjoy!

7. Green tea

Get energized with some fresh green tea. | Kazoka30/iStock/Getty Images

If making your own detox drink isn’t your thing, you can also find a perfectly great detox drink in your kitchen cabinets. Rich in detoxifying antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, green tea can help promote detoxification in the body.

Although there are no studies of juice fasts/diets, water fasting does have some scientific evidence behind it — “but very scant,” admits Strychacz.

In the book Triumph Over Disease, Jack Goldstein, DPM, outlines his true story in overcoming ulcerative colitis by sticking to strict water fasting and a vegetarian diet. Goldstein is one of very few people who has tested his own tongue scrapings, urine, feces, even perspiration during a water fast, Strychacz says. “He found that the contents are different than normal — that toxins like DDT do get removed.”

Strychacz would like to conduct a study of fasting’s effects on atherosclerosis. “Look at Dean Ornish’s low-fat diet. He claims not only to arrest but actually reverse atherosclerosis. That’s huge. I would argue that if a low-fat diet will reverse it, then what about a no-fat diet?”

Some still consider fasting — in any form — to be “out there.” “When I review diets that are not based on science, the question I ask myself is: Would I feed them to my family? In this case, the answer is a clear no,” says Susan Roberts, PhD, chief of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and a professor of nutrition at Tufts University in Boston.

But the psychological or spiritual effect can’t be discounted, says Dillard. “People love the idea of cleansing, of purification rituals, going to the Ganges, to the spa. It has powerful psychological, religious, spiritual meaning. That has its own positive effect on health. But we need to separate that from saying this is science or good medicine.”

Just don’t look at water fasts or juice diets as a weight-loss solution. As with the Atkins diet, restricting carbohydrates causes you to lose weight — but you’ll gain it all back, says Dillard. “You’re losing water in your system.”

Juice diets do prevent your body from going into a state called ketosis, he says. Ketosis means your body has no carbohydrates to burn for energy, so it has to burn stored fat or whatever else is available, he tells WebMD. “You feel bad, even smell bad. That’s what makes you feel like hell during a fast. But is that because the toxins are coming out? No! You’re going into ketosis. It’s known physiology.”

Thanks to celebrity endorsements and promises of a quick fix, detox diets have quite a following. Fans believe we need a break from the overload of toxins that engulf our everyday lives and that includes processed and junk food, alcohol, caffeine, sugar as well as cigarette smoke and pollution. The reason typically given for a detox is to support the body’s perceived inability to manage this overload, which detox supporters suggest might otherwise lead to weight gain, cellulite, bloating, fatigue and ill health.

The diets

Ranging from fruit fasts, which cut out whole food groups to restricted short term diet plans that focus on eliminating caffeine, alcohol, salt, sugar and processed foods, you may lose weight on such a diet because of the limited food choices. Most of this weight loss will be water, stored glycogen and waste products and the majority of it will be regained when you return to normal eating patterns. Some detox diets can be extreme and, when followed for a sustained period of time, may lead to dangerous nutritional deficiencies. Others that advocate the use of specific supplements can be expensive. Detox diets may also trigger unhealthy eating patterns and behaviours, especially in teenagers, which can impact long-term health and wellbeing.

The pros

While there are very few benefits to ‘detox’ diets, they may help you to think about what and when you’re eating they can motivate you to eat more fruit and vegetables, drink more water and cut down on processed foods, caffeine and alcohol. Eating only whole, unprocessed foods may help to retrain your palate so you’re less likely to want foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

The cons

There is no scientific evidence to support the need or the value of a ‘detox’. That’s because our bodies are designed to repair, regenerate and detoxify themselves. We have specific organs like the liver, kidneys, skin, digestive system and lungs as well as enzymes in our cells that work hard to break down and eliminate toxins and internal waste products. In fact, by cutting back on key nutrients like protein you’re far more likely to compromise rather than support your body’s ability to detoxify. Some ‘detox’ diets claim to help you to break unhelpful habits, but this may be an oversimplification, as habitual, emotional or comfort eating can be complex behaviours which are unlikely to be resolved by a short-term eating plan.

How do detox diets affect gut health?

There is no robust evidence to directly link detox diets and gut health. Our liver, kidneys and immune system already do the job well by breaking down, excreting and filtering out toxins including food, dead cells, chemicals from pollution and bacteria.

As detox diets often promote a high consumption of fruit and vegetables, there is an obvious possibility that this could be beneficial for gut health. We do know that fruit, vegetables and other high-fibre foods including wholegrains, beans and pulses are very beneficial for gut health and other conditions such as cardiovascular disease. However, these should be included as part of a varied diet, so any improvement in gut health can be achieved through a healthy balanced diet.


With no scientific support that a detox is effective or sustainable in the long term and with the prospect of most dieters putting weight back on when they return to normal eating patterns, detox diets are not what they’re often touted to be. Nevertheless, cutting back on processed foods, alcohol and sugar, cooking homemade meals made from fish, lean meats, fruit, veg and wholegrains, reducing your intake of alcohol and caffeine and drinking more water will almost certainly make you feel better.

If you follow a restrictive or prolonged detox you may experience:

  • Lack of energy, fatigue and dizziness
  • A possible increase in cravings because of food restrictions
  • Nutrient deficiencies.

Microbes & me

Our new series, in collaboration with BBC Future, looks at all the factors that affect our unique microbiomes – from dietary choices to lifestyle factors.

We’ve worked with dietitian Emer Delaney to bring you expert information and specially selected recipes that will help you to understand how to eat for better digestive health.

Find out more…

How does diet affect gut health?
What are probiotics and what do they do?
Gut-friendly vegan recipes
Visit our Microbes & Me series hub page

This article was last reviewed on 30 January 2019 by dietitian Emer Delaney.

Emer Delaney BSc (Hons), RD has an honours degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Ulster. She has worked as a dietitian in some of London’s top teaching hospitals and is currently based in Chelsea.

A qualified nutritionist (MBANT), Kerry Torrens is a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food magazine. Kerry is a member of the The Royal Society of Medicine, Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT).

All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

3 Cleanses You Should Never Do (And 3 Worth Trying)

One of the worst decisions I ever made was to try a 5-day juice cleanse my senior year of college. Maybe it’s one of those things you just have to do once to know it’s a terrible idea.

Detoxing, or cleansing doesn’t really remove chemicals or toxins from your body—that’s something our organs and immune system already do. Our livers are specifically designed to remove bodily waste and our kidneys filter blood as well. The process requires zero strict diets, cleanses, detoxes, or starvation. Especially not starvation.

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So when you’re feeling sluggish, or looking to reset your eating habits, the best thing you can do is to provide your body with proper nutrition, enjoy fresh foods that are high in fiber, and drink plenty of water. Here are three cleanses we aren’t fans of, and three we think are just what you need.

RELATED: I Tried a 7-Day, Plant-Based Cleanse and This is What I Learned

3 Cleanses to Avoid:

An All-Juice Cleanse

I’ve tried one and I would never go back. I’m not going to name names, but the 5-day plan I followed was miserable and in retrospect incredibly unhealthy.

I started my day with a glass of warm water and lemon, followed by six bottled juices throughout the day that would supposedly “cleanse” me of toxins. The juices were super high in sugar (some have added sugars like maple syrup) and were very low in fiber. A proper healthy diet should provide the exact opposite of these.

If that wasn’t enough, the juices provided a daily intake of less than 1000 calories per day. Trying this left me weak, cranky, hungry, and generally unpleasant to be around. And don’t even get me started on the headaches. When your body starts fighting back, you know it’s not a good decision.

Carolyn Land Williams, PhD, RDN adds that juice cleanses remove all of the nutrients and fiber from healthy foods through the juicing process. Substitute in tons of sugar and no protein, and you’ll be left starving. Take our advice and skip this all together.

New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here, with the Cooking Light Diet.

A Detox Tea Cleanse

Though every tea cleanse is a little bit different, most let you eat real food while supplementing “detox tea” throughout your day. You might think that would be safer. The brands provide very vague promises like detoxifying your body, relieving bloating, and making you “fit.” Plus, followers often have strange side effects like stomach cramps as a result of the laxatives often found in these teas, and sleep deprivation from caffeinated teas.

It’s also important to know you might technically lose weight on the diet but not unhealthy body fat, according to Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. Teas can help you lose water weight, and even have a laxative effect that make you feel lighter, but this won’t change your actual lean-to-fat ratio.

Williams says there can be positives to drinking tea. If you’re someone who typically drinks a lot of soda or sweet tea, this can help cut down on your caloric intake.

But it’s not something she thinks should be a cleanser. “Your liver doesn’t really need help,” she says. “We can help our liver the most by not taking in toxins to begin with and eating a healthy diet so our liver has the nutrients to do its job.”

The Master Cleanse

The Master Cleanse (made famous by Beyonce) claims a person can live off of nothing but six to 12 glasses of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water over the course of 10 days—and drop 20 pounds the process.

The goal of the Master Cleanse, , is to help you “overcome the psychological need to eat.” The thing is, eating is more of a physiological need, given that you can’t survive without doing it.

To really drive home how unhealthy the Master Cleanse is, they even recommend popping a laxative before bed. That’s extra unhealthy given you’re not eating any solid food.

Though Williams says she understands the idea behind cayenne pepper as a weight loss promoter, going 10 days without food is absolutely not a healthy plan.

3 Cleanses to try:

If you’re looking for more long term diet plans, programs like Weight Watchers, and even Whole30 can work—though of course we think The Cooking Light Diet is one of the healthiest (and tastiest!).

But sometimes you just want a short-term reboot. When doing that, it’s important to focus on just eating real, unprocessed foods, Williams suggests.

She recommends following a meal plan that incorporates five pillars: Avoiding added sugars, eating whole foods, incorporating a lot of vegetables, choosing healthy carbohydrates, and avoiding alcohol.

And while we hate to toot our own horn, the cleanses that best meet those requisites are the Cooking Light 3-Day Cleanse, the 3-Day Holiday Pretox, and the 2018 Cooking Light Detox.

These plans help you stick to several days of nutrient dense foods and get you back on track without any gimmicks or expensive additions. They consist of meals that cut out junk from processed foods, added sugar, and alcohol and will leave you feeling energized and motivated. And that’s what you really want.

I Tried It: Cleanse Diet for Weight Loss

Cleanses have been around for centuries, but it was Beyonce Knowles’ dramatic 20-lb weight loss from using The Master Cleanse to prep for her role in Dream Girls that brought the therapy out of the “alternative” camp and firmly into popular culture.

With this new-found popularity, the number and type of cleanse diets has soared, from food-based “liver detoxes” to liquid-only fasts for several weeks and everything in between. While the extreme cleanses often get a bad rap-Beyonce confessed that drinking the maple syrup-lemon-cayenne pepper concoction made her “cranky”-many women swear by cleanse diets to lose weight, increase energy, and even help clear up acne.

Jeni S., a 31-year-old mom of two and group fitness instructor, first discovered cleanse diets after talking with a fellow fitness instructors. “I was complaining to her about my post-holiday bloat and she recommended I try a cleanse to ‘flush’ it all out and sort of reset everything.” On her friend’s recommendation, Jeni started with the Shakeology Jumpstart Cleanse-“a nutrient rich, calorie restrictive cleanse designed to help rid your body of undigested food and other toxins.” She adds, “The goal is to get as many nutrients with as few calories as possible.”

RELATED: Salads are the go-to for healthy eating. Swap your lettuce and spinach for this superfood that’s loaded with more vitamins and minerals.

For this particular cleanse, Jeni had to “drink three shakes (made with the proprietary Shakeology powder), drink 2 cups of green tea, and eat a salad for dinner with 3 to 4 servings of vegetables and only 4 ounces of lean poultry or fish. You can also have 1 to 2 pieces of fruit, and it it suggests you drink 2 to 4 liters of water a day.”

You do this regimen for three days and also eliminate sugar, dairy, caffeine, and as much sodium as possible, she adds.

While the idea of a cleanse may seem daunting-that’s a lot of foods to eliminate-Jeni says that in addition to the weight loss, about 4 pounds for her, it’s great because “after doing the cleanse I feel really motivated to continue to eat clean because I don’t want to undo the results.”

There are some downsides, however. As she explains, “By day two you may as well have all your calls forwarded to the toilet because you will be spending a lot of time in the bathroom. The first time I did the cleanse, I was out with my kids at the mall when all of a sudden I needed a bathroom, stat! It was a nightmare, trying to pack everyone up and find the restroom. I learned the mall is not the place you want to be when your body starts trying to eliminate toxins.”

RELATED: The right drink can cure anything. Discover the best juice for bad skin, low energy, and more!

In addition Jeni says she has to avoid strenuous weight lifting or cardio workouts for those three days. “I end up stopping half-way through because I feel dizzy or weak and nauseous,” she says.

All the sacrifice is worth it for her, though. “It definitely works, and I will continue to do the cleanse every 3 months as they recommend or after a long weekend or holiday!”

  • By Charlotte Hilton Andersen

Detoxing your life of bad habits, toxic relationships and unhealthy environments may be a great idea, but what about detoxing your body?

A popular way to detox the body is by doing a juice cleanse, which has been around for more than 10 years — brought into the spotlight thanks to Beyonce.

Queen Bey famously followed a juice diet, the Master Cleanse, to lose weight for her 2006 role in “Dreamgirls,” which she told Oprah helped her lose 20 pounds in two weeks. The cleanse, also referred to as the lemonade diet, is a juice fast that people do for 10 days, where they avoid eating any solid foods.

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But just because Beyonce has done it, doesn’t necessarily mean you should jump on the bandwagon, too. The benefits of juice cleanses and the results may not be as positive as you might’ve hoped.

What is a juice cleanse?

A juice cleanse is the same as a juice detox, which is the same as a juice fast.

It’s when people drink nothing but fresh-pressed juices made from vegetables, fruit and sometimes spices for several days, usually from three to 10, for the purpose of detoxing their body — resetting after a bad-eating binge and ridding the body of toxins — and losing weight

© PAUL HAWTHORNE, AP Beyonce Knowles arrives to the premiere of “Dreamgirls” Dec. 4, 2006, in New York. She told Oprah she lost 20 pounds on the Master Cleanse diet for the film.

Many companies like Pressed Juicery offer juice-cleanse kits that provide a package of juices and advice on which ones to drink on which days. Juices can also be made at home.

The Beyonce-famous Master Cleanse is one that can easily be done on your own. The nexus of the diet revolves around a drink that includes water, cayenne pepper, pure maple syrup and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Most pre-made juices list the ingredients on the bottle, so you can also make your own mix at home.

What are the benefits and pitfalls of a juice cleanse?

Juice cleanses are hailed by some for their nutritional benefits, including weight loss, helping with digestion and providing essential nutrients.

But, Audrey Heist, a registered dietitian and director of health engagement at Atlanticare health system in New Jersey says that any benefits from juice cleanses are not directly related to the juice itself.

“Any perceived benefit that people experience on a multi-day juice cleanse will likely be short-lived,” Heist told USA TODAY in an email. “Some people may report feeling better (such as better skin, more energy) but this is likely due to a reduction in processed foods, which tend to be high in unhealthy fats and added sugars vs. any actual true cleansing properties of the juice.”

Ysabel Montemayor, a registered dietitian and nutritional director at Fresh n’ Lean meal-delivery service, believes that these detoxes are actually causing more harm than good.

“Drinking (juices) solely will put participants at risk of nutritional deficiencies, and to put simply, starvation,” said Montemayor. “Most ‘cleanses’ typically lack protein, fiber and healthy fats and are high in sugar.”

Do juice cleanses work?

Will a juice cleanse help you lose weight? Yes. Should you do it to lose weight? No, because you’ll likely gain the weight right back.

Although these juices contain healthy ingredients such as ginger, spinach, apples and carrots among other vegetables and fruits that naturally offer vital nutrients, it’s important to note that when juicing, most of the healthy fiber is lost.

Dietitians don’t think juice detoxes are sustainable and that any weight loss dieters experience is only temporary.

“Because the beverages are typically low-calorie, quick weight-loss claims are likely true but short-lived. The weight loss is expected because the juices don’t provide enough energy,” said Montemayor. “Once a ‘cleanse’ is completed, participants typically go back to their usual eating habits and regain the weight.”

So unless you’re willing to be on a forever juice cleanse diet, which isn’t recommended, be prepared to gain back the weight you lost.

Dietitians also believe that these cleanses aren’t actually necessary — especially if you’re doing them solely for the purpose of detoxing.

“In general, our bodies are well-equipped to remove toxins via our kidneys and liver,” said Heist.

She added that if people are interested in supporting the body’s natural detoxification process, there are healthier ways to do so, including eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, getting enough fiber (25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men if you’re aged 50 and younger) and drinking enough water.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Beyonce lost 20 pounds with a juice cleanse. Here are the pros and cons of the crash detox

5 Natural Detox Drink Recipes


By: E.C. LaMeaux

If you’re looking to revive yourself from within while increasing your energy level and your overall well-being, a body detox may be in order. Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxic substances from your body. Before beginning any detox diet, it’s always good to check with your doctor, especially if there are any health concerns.

In their book 7-Day Detox Miracle, Sara Faye, Stephen Barrie, N.D., and Peter Bennett, N.D., explain that detoxing with a whole-body cleanse can enhance the body’s systems. According to the authors, detox drink recipes can assist in ridding your body of toxins and bringing it back into healthy balance.

Lemonade cleanse

Lemon contains ascorbic acid, assisting in the cleansing process. Known also as the staple beverage of Stanley Burroughs’ Master Cleanse, this detox drink is easy to make. Mix 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of purified water. Proponents of the Master Cleanse recommend you drink 6-8 glasses of this lemonade drink and eat nothing each day of your cleanse. Despite its popularity, nutritionists warn against the lack of essential nutrients in this drink.

Green detox drink

This vegetable detox drink is made up primarily of green vegetables, providing an effective natural body cleanse of the digestive system.

In her book The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-Step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss, certified clinical nutritionist Natalia Rose discusses the importance of vegetables at length. For this detox drink, you will need:

  • 3 carrots
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 beets
  • 1 turnip
  • ½ bunch of spinach
  • ½ cabbage
  • ½ bunch of parsley
  • ½ onion
  • 2 garlic cloves

Mix all ingredients with water and puree in a blender.

Detox dandelion tea

According to classical homeopathic practitioner Sonya McLeod, B.A., D.C.H., dandelions are a great source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, and calcium. According to McLeod, dandelion detox tea is a diuretic that will eliminate bodily toxins through your liver and kidneys. She recommends brewing 6 tablespoons of 1-year-old dried dandelion root and 12 tablespoons of fresh dandelion leaves in 4 cups of purified, boiling water. Other recipes call for simply adding 2 teaspoons of crushed dandelion leaves to a cup of boiling water and allowing it to brew for about 10 minutes.

Fresh cranberry juice

According to Mayo Clinic, there is some evidence to suggest that drinking cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections and ulcers in healthy individuals. Cranberry juice also contains vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants. Though not advocated by any authoritative body, cranberry juice has become a popular detox drink, and according to Mayo Clinic, two 16-oz. glasses of full-strength juice can be safely consumed on a daily basis by healthy adults. To make this detox drink, dilute one part cranberry juice in four parts water. Then, add 1 tablespoon each of apple pectin and psyllium fiber to stimulate gentle intestinal elimination.

Fruit detox drink

Because fruit is high in fiber and packed with essential vitamins and minerals, it’s a wonderful natural detox for the body. This recipe incorporates fruit, along with flax oil and lecithin, to provide essential fatty acids while you detox. In your blender, combine:

  • 8 oz. of orange juice
  • 4 oz. of purified water
  • ½ cup banana
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ½-inch slice of ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon flax oil
  • 1 tablespoon lecithin granules
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon of protein powder or spirulina powder

As January commences, let today mark the first check-in with your efforts for a “new year, new me.” Feeling the urge to help things along is only natural, which is why a next-level culture of cleansing is rising to meet the demand in 2019. Is the otherworldly wellness movement of the moment found inside a neon-lit, warm wooden booth or at the bottom of a pill jar of probiotics? Can a colon cleanse detoxify your body to its purist form? Is it really time to put down the juice?

Here, a cheater’s guide to pressing reset.

Pair Probiotics With a Healthy Diet
The recent uptick of the term “probiotic” in the world of wellness is the result of evidence suggesting that a balanced gut is the route to better skin, better mood, weight reduction (and regulation), and an all-around cleaner bill of health. Probiotics are meant to encourage diversity in the microbiota populating the intestine, which helps to process the nutrients in food. The healthier the diet, the healthier the microbiota, in other words, and the better the digestive system can function.

According to Dr. David A. Relman, MD, professor of medicine and microbiology at Stanford and chief of infectious diseases at the VA Palo Alto, generally speaking, an over-the-counter pill is not guaranteed to improve your digestive tract alone. “The organisms that you and I have were selected and have adapted over many generations of being passed from your ancestors down to you, and my ancestors down to me,” explains Relman of the thumbprint-like individuality of microorganisms that are further tailored by what you most often eat. “We know that diet affects the kind of organisms in your gut,” which is to say that a personal food pyramid of pizza and fro-yo could create an unhealthy microbiome that won’t know what to do when encountered with, say, a stalk of raw broccoli.

Probiotics are a good idea, continues Relman, but because they’re not personally tailored to each individual’s unique microbiome, lasting results reside in coupling them with a consistent change in diet and behavior. And while nutritional needs vary person to person, as a general rule of thumb, Relman’s prescription is this: “Seriously diminish sugar and fat and increase fiber. Those are things that we believe are almost always good.”

Soup Is the New Juice
Usually low in its glycemic index, soup—the heartier and much warmer alternative to juicing—has garnered the attention of the cleansing community, getting everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Kate Hudson on board. Leaving cold-pressed fruit in the past, soup offers a savory take on fiber-rich vegetable and bone-broth-based recipes for light, nutritionally impactful meals. Companies including Soupelina and Splendid Spoon have gained so much attention that even juice companies like Juice Press are now stocking their own versions of soup cleanses. Among the standouts: The Los Angeles–based organic Soupure offers a seven-day regimen that includes the Metabolic Reset, featuring vegetable and bone-broth formulas spiked with healing herbs and spices designed by Dr. Nada Milosavljevic, director and founder of the Integrative Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.

This Is The Best Way to Detox Your Body

If you associate a “detox” with a 7-day juice fast, it’s time to make over your notion of a cleanse. Detoxing doesn’t require you to make extreme diet choices, since our bodies are made to flush out toxins on their own. Cleansing can be as easy as eating foods that help filter gunk out of your gut and drinking enough H2O to keep digestion in check so it releases unwanted leftovers from your system. Want to learn more? In this video, we’re serving up six healthy habits that will help you detox your body naturally, no deprivation required.

Eat anti-inflammatory: Whole foods packed with nutrients are your best bet when it comes to keeping your insides clean. Fiber-rich fare like fruit, veggies, and beans, as well as nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean protein, and probiotics can aid gut and liver function so any unwanted buildup gets out of your system stat. Try to cut out processed, fried, and sugary foods along with red meat for even better flat-belly results.

RELATED: Here’s Why You Really Don’t Need to Do a Juice Cleanse This Month—or Ever

Drink more of the right stuff: Sorry to say it, but alcohol is a detox nono. Stick to sipping on water instead—hydrating will help your kidneys flush out toxins. Feel free to add lemon to your H2O for a hit of electrolytes. The citrus signals the liver produce more enzymes, which keep digestion moving smoothly. Sick of plain water? Switch things up with tea. Green tea has been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer, while milk thistle may boost liver function. Drink up!

Get moving: Sweating actually helps you detox by boosting circulation throughout the body. What’s more, exercise is known to help you feel less stressed, happier, and more energized. Talk about a win-win.

RELATED: 14 Best and Worst Foods for Digestion

Eat smaller portions—and slowly: Big meals bring on bloating, which forces the digestive system to work overtime. Opt for smaller, more frequent meals and eat slowly to stop yourself from gulping air while you wolf down food. All that oxygen can make you feel more full.

Treat your skin right: Practice smart skincare by dry-brushing skin with a soft brush before your bath or shower. The gentle exfoliation boosts circulation and promotes new cell growth too. Adding Epsom salt to your bath can also help you cleanse inside and out, since your skin will absorb its minerals like magnesium, which can get things moving in the colon. Ah…

RELATED: 9 Ways to Detox Your Home

Get good sleep: Logging adequate snooze time is key for keeping your health on track. Create a sleep haven by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, quiet, and free of screens. Stick to a standard bedtime that allows you to get at least seven hours of sleep nightly. Sufficient rest will help reduce stress and inflammation so your body can function its best. Yes, please.

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