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Healthy Eating: A Guest Blog by Maria Dellanina, RDN

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Juice Cleanses: Over-Hyped or Worth the ‘Shot?’

The popularity of juice cleanses have not lost steam in recent years, despite many dietitians and doctors agreeing that they have little to no health benefits.

Why do they get so much hype? They’re thought to:

● “reset” our system

● give our digestive system “a break”

● “Cleanse our liver”

● Help aid digestion and toxin-removal process

The truth is:

● Our body doesn’t need a reset. The best reset we can provide our body with is ample sleep.

● Our digestive system doesn’t need a break. The best break we can provide our body with is ample sleep.

● Our liver and kidneys are efficient on their own and are rock stars at removing toxins. We can help by consuming little to no alcohol, illicit drugs, and reducing our reliance on medications (only where medically indicated and where possible through lifestyle intervention).

● Our digestive system is also efficient on its own. The best thing we can do for it is to eat consistent, well-balanced meals throughout the day and to avoid overeating to the point of uncomfortable fullness, as much as possible.

Every now and then, a juice is fine and healthy! They provide many vitamins and minerals. However, they do not provide fiber, protein, or fat, which are each components that make up a well-balanced meal/snack. So, when we go on a juice cleanse where this is all we consume for many days, it is absolutely not the best way we can support our body.

When given the option of a juice or a smoothie, I opt for a smoothie every time. Well-made smoothies can contain protein, fiber, fat, and vitamins/minerals.

Here’s a simple, well-balanced smoothie recipe to try this week:

● ½ c. to 1 c. frozen mango (fiber)

● Large handful spinach (fiber)

● 1 ½ c. soy milk or more if needed (protein, fiber, healthy fat)

● ½ c. Greek yogurt (protein, fat)

● 1 scoop Protein powder, if desired

● Flax or chia seeds, if desired (fat, fiber, bit of protein)

● Few shakes of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, turmeric, black pepper (aids in turmeric absorption), and small dash of cayenne pepper for a sweet + heat combo (works great with the mango!)


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