Cranberry Juice Detox Diet: Is It Right For You?

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The Detox Aim of Cranberries

Toxin flush. Detoxification. And cranberries? These items don’t seem to really go hand in hand, but the cranberry juice detox diet is a healthy and safe way to detoxify one’s system. With so many options in the world today of detox programs, detox pills, and detox diet regimens, it truly is beneficial to know the ins and outs of any plan in order to know what is the best fit for an individual.

Detox is a ‘hot’ word in the world of diets and healthy lifestyles, but what is meant by detox? The body’s organs and systems already have a natural detoxification mechanism. Whenever the body ingests or inhales products (food additives, cigarette smoke, etc) or the by products of digestion (chemicals reactions of breaking down protein produces ammonia and the body naturally detoxifies itself), a natural detoxification begins to take place. So, when a detox diet is mentioned, the aim of the detox is to aid the natural process of detoxification in the body. [1]

The cranberry juice detox diet aims to minimize the toxins found in the kidneys, lymph nodes, and the intestines. By aiming the detox at these major organ systems, the diet attempts to aid the body in better digestion and elimination of non-usable materials in the body. As the body better digests and eliminates food matter, the individual will begin to feel better (less fatigued) and better able to engage a diet plan.


The “How To” of the Cranberry Juice Detox Diet

Though there are several versions of the recipe and procedure of the cranberry juice detox diet, they all provide a similar recipe and method. The following recipe is the most natural and least expensive: unsweetened cranberry juice, water, and psyllium fiber. The cranberry juice must be unsweetened to avoid the food additives that add more toxins to the body. The ratio of juice to water is 1:4. Therefore, 3 ounces of cranberry juice, 12 ounces of water, and 1-2 teaspoons of psyllium fiber (for example, Metamucil fiber is a psyllium fiber). The fiber aids the digestion of the intestines as well as creates a ‘fuller’ feeling when eating so that a person will eat less food and less often.

The plan is to drink the 15-ounce drink on an empty stomach before each meal (so typically three times a day). After consuming the beverage, it is best to wait about 10 minutes in order for the stomach to send the signals to the brain that it has nutrients and the person can be more aware of true hunger signals. For the first week, the only food consumption is natural (unprocessed), and preferably organic, fruits and veggies as well as whole grains. One must avoid all proteins, dairy, and processed foods. On the second week, the person can remove the fiber additives. And finally, other foods can slowly be added back into one’s diet while still drinking the cranberry elixir. As the other foods are reintroduced, the person can taper on the amount of cranberry juice to one glass a day.

A quick disclaimer: though most call for other natural herbs to aide in this process, it is more cost effective and more natural to allow the body to enhance its own detoxification process. The goal of the detox is to safely aid the body in the process, not to create a reliance on outside products to continue its natural process. Some of the suggested supplements are natural diuretics and those should always be used with caution in order to avoid dehydration.

However natural and helpful this detox diet may be, it still has its limitations. No detox diet is meant to be long term. It does not provide a sustaining lifestyle to weight loss or healthy weight management and, in reality, no detox program can truly provide such a lifestyle. [2] The reality is, a detox diet is best used as a temporary jump start for healthier eating and a healthier lifestyle. It provides a short term boost in the body’s natural attempts to detoxify the body. If this detox is attempted, one should only use it for a short term boost and not as a long stand meal plan.