For the last few years, every time we opened a health and beauty magazine, read the “Lifestyle” section of the newspaper, or even saw a banner ad on the edge of a website, it felt like it was impossible to avoid the latest juice cleanse. Everyone from doctors to celebrities were recommending their own version of this process and many were cashing in on strategies, programs, and products that were linked to their unique take on how a juice cleanse could purify a body and kick start a weight loss effort.
However, science has slowly been proving that juice cleanses aren’t nearly what they were cracked up to be. Juicing, as a whole, has been going out of fashion as it has been shown to be less healthful than had previously been thought, due to the lack of fiber being provided by the liquid. As the juicers start to make their way into the back of cupboards everywhere, a new type of cleanse has started to make its way into our kitchens. Soup cleanses.
Soup cleanses, like those based on juices, will typically last between one and three days and claim that you will be able to give your body a fresh start as you detoxify yourself from all of the gluten, dairy, sugars, pesticides, preservatives, and other “evils” that you have been loading into your body for goodness knows how long. They usually take the form of vegetable soups that are supposed to give the digestive system a bit of help after having been suffering for a while.
Companies, celebrities, and other product makers have been claiming that benefits to juice cleanses include a clearer complexion, more energy, a reduced risk of depression, better sleep and, of course, an improved ability to lose weight.
While it does look as though a good quality, low sodium, healthy soup made of fresh vegetables can be very good for you, particularly when eaten as a part of a balanced diet, the entire concept of cleansing is not actually as good for you as the producers of these diets and products would have you believe.
In many cases, switching exclusively to soup cleanses, juices, or any other single type of primarily liquid food is actually quite stressful for the body. This is particularly true when consuming products that contain additional herbal ingredients that can act as laxatives or diuretics, despite the fact that they look friendly and natural.
It is very important to discuss this type of strategy with a doctor before getting started. The odds are that you will actually be much healthier if you just eat a balanced, healthy, nutritious diet for a week or two, than you would be if you went to the extreme level of eating only specific soups for two to three days. Bottom line – soup cleanses should really be out too.