Detox diets and cleanses are nothing more than pseudoscience charlatanry

Especially around the new year, everyone has a resolution, everyone’s back in the gym, and everyone wants to purify their body with some kind of interchangeable detox or cleanse. Unfortunately all of these, from the juices claiming to boost your immune system and help you lose weight, to the cleanses that claim to purify you of toxins, don’t hold any scientific weight.

The majority of green juices on the market which claim to be made with trendy kale and other ingredients, are mostly just sugar water. The popular Suja Juice’s Green Supreme has 42 grams of sugar, and little else. Be sure to read the ingredient labels on whatever supposedly magical cleansing juices you buy which promise to make you thinner and prettier — they may just give you diabetes and drain your wallet.

Pills and colon cleanses which claim to boost and cleanse your digestive system and remove toxins are equally useless.

From Cosmopolitan:

If you think you need a pill because these organs are not functioning properly, you don’t need to head to a spa or GNC. You need a physician. Symptoms of your digestive organs not working right include your skin turning yellow from jaundice or blood in your stool. Hint: These maladies are not treatable at a day spa or with an over-the-counter supplement (if they happen to you, see a doctor immediately). In fact, most supplements are pretty much bullsh*t.

Toxins are a major buzzword, and you can get a juice, a cleanse, or a pill at almost any drugstore or from any late night infomercial that promises to eliminate them.

The famous DIY cleanse, The Master Cleanse, involves drinking a combination of lemon water, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper to “purify your glands and cells.” All of the side effects listed on their website; dizziness, nausea, and passing gallstones, which they chalk up to toxins leaving your body, are coincidentally the symptoms of starvation. You are guaranteed to experience starvation when you have nothing but spicy lemon water for days.

If none of these cleanses, pills, or juices do the trick, then how are we supposed to stay healthy? Well, it turns out a balanced diet and regular exercise, sleep, and doctor’s appointments will do the trick far better than anything trendy.

If you’ve just been kind of tired lately, spending $10 on sugar water that claims to be organic and kale-infused will not fix it. If you truly have come into contact with something highly toxic, you can develop serious medical conditions, and should go to the hospital, rather than Rite Aid.


Isadora Teich

Isadora Teich is a freelance writer and digital nomad who has worked in web marketing, digital branding, entertainment, and news. When not writing or traveling she is probably doing yoga, learning Spanish, or experimenting in the kitchen.

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