do cleanses actually work?
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Ask the Dietitian: Do Cleanses Actually Work?

Kroger dietitian and nutrition instructor Molly Hembree, R.D., L.D., talks cleanses.

By Molly Hembree, R.D., L.D.

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Do cleanses actually work? If so, what’s a healthy approach?

Considered a way to “purify” our body’s natural detoxification system, dietary cleanses promise to press some untold refresh button on our physiology. Although this Marie Kondo style of decluttering our body chemistry sounds credible, in reality, our liver, intestines and kidneys, if otherwise healthy, are already doing a fine job of filtering excess waste and toxins from our diet.

Instead of a cleanse, focus on a regular bowel pattern from adequate daily fiber (25 grams for adult women, 38 grams for adult men) and fluid (11.5 cups for adult women, 15.5 cups for adult men). Also regularly consume fruits, like pomegranate and berries, and vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, onions and Brussels sprouts. This combination should do all the gentle cleansing you need.

Speak with your doctor if you have digestive problems that need to be addressed.

Have a nutrition- or diet-related question? Send it to [email protected].

A registered dietitian with Kroger, Molly provides private nutrition-counseling services, and has been a public speaker, radio talk-show guest, blog author and TV news presenter for Kroger. She enjoys helping customers simplify the confusing world of nutrition labels, dietary intolerances, weight management or plant-based nutrition. When she’s not at work, you can find her at a hip-hop dance class, snuggling with her cats or working on her food-photography skills.

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