Cleansed or Conned?

By Hilary Achauer

In Nutrition

October 17, 2014

PDF Article

A look inside the juice-cleanse trend.

Teresa Godfrey (not her real name) wanted a break.

She’d spent the last few months eating too much and drinking more than usual, and she was feeling the effects of that excess. And she really wanted to lose 5 lb.

To jumpstart her healthy habits and drop some pounds, Godfrey decided to do something drastic. Each day for three days, she would drink six brightly colored, attractively designed bottles of juice filled with things such as spinach, kale, agave nectar, cashew milk, cayenne extract and lemon. Each bottle, delivered to her apartment by BluePrint Cleanse, cost about US$11, for a total of $65 a day.

Before she started, Godfrey shared her plan with some of her coworkers in her Manhattan office. A few of them wanted in. Unprepared for the experience of consuming only strange-tasting liquids for three days, many found the experiment was over before it really started. One of the women in Godfrey’s group discovered she hated how the juice tasted.

The popularity of juice cleanses has taken off in recent years. BluePrint Cleanse juices can be found in Whole Foods, and many people are buying juicers and whipping up their own concoctions at home.

Proponents say cleanses rid your body of toxins, clear your mind, rest your gut, and, of course, help shed pounds. Doctors and nutritionists point out that no studies support these claims, and they say the body has its own effective method for removing toxins.

We all like to be clean. But can we scrub our body of toxins the same way we’d clean out our car?

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