SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Juice cleanses.
Some claim to boost your immune system, while others promise to help your organs run better.
On Tuesday night, KRON4 takes a closer look at cleanses–why some people praise them, while others take a more cautious view.
Bella Solari works in the fitness industry and says she felt compelled to try a cleanse.
“I think I tried it because I heard so much about it, and definitely a lot of people in my generation, social media, there is a lot of advertising around it, marketing,” Solari said. “So I tried it because I think I was influenced by that, and I wanted to see if it was worth it.“
After getting advice and pouring through the options, she settled on five-day treatment. The theory behind cleanses, such as one from the Juice Shop, a local Bay Area company, in their words, is to supply the body with live enzymes and nutrients so as to help the body reach its full functioning potential.
Cleanses have been gaining in popularity. Celebrities like healthy lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow and the Kardashians have long touted the benefits.
In addition to the actual cleanses, there are the countless elixirs said to boost your immune system and help your body run cleaner.
This mom swears by benefits.
“The immunity blend, my whole family takes one whenever we’re feeling run down, so I try to take one just as I’m feeling a scratchy throat like today,“ mother Shanta De La Cruz said.
“There is no one ingredient in your entire life that is going to fix whatever you want, cure-all,“ Stanford nutritionist Leah Groppo said.
Groppo is a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator at Stanford.
She says there are some important considerations when it comes to those detox systems or cleanses.
“So if you do a detox diet, for example, maybe three days, maybe seven days, how long to you plan to live, a lot more years than that,” Groppo said. “So, if you can take all of that effort you put into that and put into your lifetime of doing something small, maybe adding in a side salad with three meals a week over your lifetime, (that) is going to make a huge difference.”
And what about the claims that the body needs to detox, especially after splurging on something not so healthy?
“When you’re looking at things to just detox diets, for example, the body doesn’t exactly need to detox from the foods that you eat,” Groppo said. “The body is great at processing the macro nutrients and micro nutrients that you consume, but really if you want to make a lifestyle change, think about losing weight. Look at increasing your vegetables.”
But what about the claims of additives like turmeric that supposedly helps reduce inflammation?
“Adding a little bit of turmeric here may help a little bit with inflammation, but I would say overall, it’s just another additive,” Groppo said. “If you like the flavor of cinnamon, add it. If you don’t like the flavor of cinnamon, don’t add it. There’s really not one big thing.”
And she quickly adds this from an overall health viewpoint.
For Bella, the cleanse did not work out the way she was hoping.
“I started feeling sick after the fourth day,” Solari said. “I was getting headaches and being a little bit run down, so I stopped doing it midway through the fourth day.”
Experts say each body is different with different needs, and that’s why it is important to get educated, and lean on professionals for advice if contemplating a cleanse for your health.
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