Experts weigh in on juice cleanses

FRESNO, Calif.

More people are turning to juice cleanses to rid their bodies of those toxins and unwanted pounds at the same time.

But can a juice do all that?

The cozy Revive cafe in Downtown Fresno is worlds away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood red carpets, but in both places people share a passion for juice cleanses.

"You start to feel good. You're like wow, this is great! So you're actually feeding your body to go about that repair work and that flushing work it should do," Tara Hamilton of Revive cafe said.

The vegan cafe owner and mother of six stocks up on organic dark leafy greens and brightly colored fruits and vegetables and turns them into nutrition-packed juice.

From kale to carrots, Hamilton creates customized 3-day juice cleanses for her customers for $150

"it works, I mean it helps you recover from surgeries faster, it helps you do so much stuff. It's invaluable. I mean, how much is your health worth?" Hamilton said.

Add to that the accompanying weight loss, and Hollywood is hooked.

Actresses Salma Hayek and Gwyneth Paltrow love juice cleanses so much each has put her money where her mouth is. Hayek started Cooler Cleanse, a home-delivery juicing program and Paltrow champions a similar system called Organic Avenue.

All of these vegetable and fruit juice cleanses, at a thousand to 12-hundred calories a day, are a kinder, gentler alternative to the extreme juice fast that started it all: the Master Cleanse.

The Master Cleanse is a 10-day diet of lemonade made from water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup.

It's so popular Action News spotted the key ingredients displayed together at a local supermarket in Northwest Fresno.

Jasminka Siracevska did the Master Cleanse and lost 17 pounds in ten days, consuming a mere 650 calories a day. You can see the change in her face in a series of photos she took.

"It was very hard in the beginning. The hardest part was not being able to chew anything," Siracevska said.

She experienced headaches, hunger, fatigue, and more than once almost gave up.

"I stuck to it because I did it with a friend. I would not have been able to finish," Siracevska said.

Her trainer, Rhonda Murphy, suggested it as a means to an end.

"It's in the mindset. If you want to make a change in your body, make a change of bad habits, it's a great way to get started," Murphy said.

Jasminka did get started working out and working on losing weight because she gradually gained back what she lost after the master cleanse.

"It's a lot of water loss. It's not necessarily fat loss, or the long-sustained kind of weight loss that people want to achieve," registered dietician Kim Tirapelle said.

Tirapelle points out that for most of us, our bodies already work to efficiently remove toxins from the body without needing any kind of detox diet.

"Our kidneys, our liver, and also our intestinal tract. That is the job of those organs," Tirapelle said.

Tirapelle recommends keeping any cleanse short and using it to kickstart healthy eating year round.

"They do make you feel good. Because you're drinking more water, you're eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, you're cutting out caffeine and alcohol," Tirapelle said.

Tirapelle also says you shouldn't forget to exercise.

Both Kim and Tara warn that when you're juicing you should use organic produce.

It defeats the purpose of a cleanse if consuming fruits and vegetables along with the pesticides.

Also, they say you should consult a doctor before starting any cleanse, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

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