Detox: A refreshed, renewed you

image of juice and fruits
Matt Hong/HIGHLANDER

Alas, 2015 has arrived. What do we have in store for this year? Perhaps a new gym regimen or healthy diet kick? If you’re anything like me, you might end up giving up before the end of the month (or maybe even the week). So before we get ahead of ourselves, why not try something refreshing and different like a juice or tea detox?

Turns out, plenty of UCR’s Highlanders have been doing so already. I conducted a poll on Facebook, which shows that about one in six of UC Riverside’s students who participated have tried or are currently taking detox cleanses. Detox cleanses are generally used after a period of unhealthy diet that may cause you to feel bloated or simply just uncomfortable. Methods range from increased water intake to only drinking juice or tea, all accompanied by healthy meal options, which may help your body naturally rid toxins due to the enhanced vitamins and nutrients.

Popular detox brands include BluePrint Cleanse, Skinny Fox Detox and Cooler Cleanse, which are cleansing teas and juices that advertise a healthier, purified body and lifestyle, but who can afford to squeeze out $60 to $80 per day on that?

“I’m pretty much a broke college kid, so I save money by pressing my own juices from the fresh produce that my dad gets,” current UCR student Catherine Hang says. She recommends everyone create their own juice cleanses as an affordable and easy way to get started. Catherine uses organic fruits and vegetables to follow a simple three-day cleansing juice recipe from Dr. Oz, which consists of drinking a juice five times a day followed by one meal with only fruits and vegetables. Detox plans can range from three to five, and even 10 days, if daily detox is too extreme. But what are the benefits of detoxing anyway?

“I don’t detox for weight loss, I believe it serves a better purpose by just eliminating toxins from my system,” business economics student Albert Luu states. Detox diets only help to lose water weight, so for many students, a detox plan is a major step in integrating healthier eating and getting rid of previous, harmful habits, not for the sole purpose of weight loss. Both juice and tea cleanses supposedly aid the body by neutralizing and disposing of damaging toxins that build up within our body fat. It is said that plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables contain the proper antioxidants and nutrients that are superior in detoxification. That’s where juice and tea detox programs can come in handy if you don’t already have a strong fruit and vegetable intake and would like to begin.

One might typically want to start a detox regimen when he or she is feeling extremely groggy, bloated, sluggish or even (and usually) a combination of all three. It’s safe to say that we have all felt similar to that at some point, so cleanses help reset your body system and allow you to feel more refreshed by eliminating those uncomfortable feelings. A few people who have tried a cleanse before have noted that detoxing is unnecessary, as our bodies are already equipped with detoxifiers. For others, detoxing may be considered a bit extreme as the benefits are the equivalent of those from maintaining a healthy diet. For those who have experienced a dramatic diet change, they may endure strong feelings of hunger. Student Sabrina Phung notes, “It was about time to have another juice every time I seemed to get hungry.”

Cleanses allow one’s body to feel restored after he or she has become too reliant on caffeine and junk food and have seen a negative change in complexion or mood. Many students have reported that their entire bodies feel better both internally and externally as a result of steering themselves away from habits like coffee, alcohol and fatty foods. Struggling in classes? Don’t fret: Students could notice a dramatic difference in their focus and energy and potentially be more prepared for their morning classes while cleansing. Detoxing is definitely an option to foster healthier habits for both your body and mind.

For those of you who would like to give your digestive system a much-needed break from working so hard to process all those large meals from the holidays, consider detox juices or simply adjusting poor eating habits if following a detox plan doesn’t interest you. Regardless, do what works for your body and keep in mind that the aftermath of an entire day of eating greasy food might not be worth it!

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