Eat a plant-based diet to improve your health
Raw-foodists believe that consuming a diet of mostly raw foods - and the enzymes they contain - is the key to preventing poor heath. Let me say for the record that of course I am in favor of consuming a variety of raw fruits and vegetables. Totally healthy. But eating an entirely raw food diet can leave you deficient in certain essential nutrients. Like most fad diets, scientifically this one holds no ground.
Raw foodism goes hand in hand with naturopathic medicine. So, it's no surprise that many patrons at Cilantro also took part in various cleanses and detoxes, which are important components to naturopathic treatment. Certainly, detoxes and cleanses are nothing new to us. Even if you're not a raw foodist, you've probably heard of them or even tried one. I was always fascinated by the types of detoxes people were on -- there was the lemon juice, water, cayenne pepper and maple syrup cleanse. There was the juice cleanse....oh, and the coconut water cleanse. The list goes on. Detox diets can last up to several weeks, many claiming to rid the body of toxins and help drop unwanted pounds.
The reality is that detox diets and cleanses are more of a marketing scam than anything else. Most are not tested for safety or effectiveness and may pose serious health risks for people taking medications, who are pregnant, nursing, older adults or growing children. Thankfully, our well-designed bodies do a fabulous job of eliminating toxins from our system - no lemon juice or cayenne pepper required!
So, yeah. I don't recommend anyone do a cleanse. Instead, to promote a healthy body, focus on eating a mostly plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Exercise regularly and achieve a healthy weight, if you are overweight. That's the best, and most well-tested, advice around. I know, it's not quite as exciting as a 5 day detox promising to make you drop 20lbs. But thankfully, healthy eating and exercise are safe and work every time!
You can read more about my take on holistic cleanses and detox diets here.