ASU's Freshii juice cleanses don't 'detox,' but you should try it anyway

Cleansing the mind, spirit and body is nearly impossible in the day and age of cold brew, Four Peaks and the break room’s omnipresent box of doughnut holes. Don’t worry, though, all hope is not lost for the cleanliness of your insides.

The people at Freshii in Tempe’s McCord Hall will sell you a made-on-site juice cleanse. A one-day cleanse is $30 and includes four juices and a salad — if you were to make this yourself, it would cost much more than that.

Satiria Clayton, a nutritionist for Aramark and Sun Devil Dining, said juicing offers the double benefit of cleansing the body of toxins and pollutants while naturally increasing daily fruit and vegetable consumption.

“A Freshii juice cleanse (daily detox) is designed for the average person who is looking to give their digestive system a break from all of the work it has to do to break down and eliminate the food we consume and pollutants we’re exposed to on a daily basis,” she wrote in an email.

The benefits of juicing can be felt physically and psychologically, Clayton added. Along with aiding in weight loss, decreasing bloating and rejuvenating complexions, juice cleanses can also increase energy and improve quality of sleep.

Stated benefits aside, Clayton said the best cleanse is simply a clean, well-balanced diet of whole grains, protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Claudia Thompson-Felty, a registered dietitian and physical activity, nutrition and wellness graduate student, said juice cleanses don't provide measurable detoxification of the body.

“Juice cleanses will often make false claims about the health benefits," she wrote in an email. "The liver and kidneys work daily to detoxify our bodies, and a juice cleanse is not necessary."

She warned against using juicing as a substitute for regular amounts of whole fruits and vegetables, whose pulp provides necessary fiber that is lost during the juicing process.

“If an individual wants to incorporate juice into their lifestyle, a juice made up of mostly vegetables is preferred,” she suggested. “This lowers the impact on blood sugar and provides vitamins and phytochemicals.”

For people looking to ease themselves into a juice cleanse, Freshii is a good way to go because it incorporates a solid step into a traditionally all-liquid experience.

“The salad included in the Freshii juice cleanse not only includes fresh vegetables and fruit, but also contains protein and healthy fats to balance blood sugar and reduce cravings while on the cleanse,” Lydia Mercer, a Freshii field consultant, wrote in an email.

If you're still hesitant about taking the first step, we sampled the whole shebang so you don't have to.

Beginning the cleanse is a Green Refresher, consisting of green vegetables like kale and cucumber. This is a lighter juice, with less sharp edges to begin. It smells like leaves. With the first sip of this juice, there is no turning back.

OK, well, during the cleanse you should drink eight to ten glasses of water, green tea if you can’t go without caffeine and, if you’re starving, you should eat raw nuts, seeds, or raw fruits and vegetables.

The second juice is the Carrot Zinger with carrot, apple and ginger. It’s aesthetically pleasing and smooth as silk.

The third juice in this cleanse is the Mighty Detox with pineapple, cucumber, celery, apple and ginger. Be careful around this one because it’s a doozy, living up to its name in leafy-smelling goodness.

The fourth and final juice is the Red Power, with beet, carrot, lemon and ginger. This juice tasted like Tucson after a desert rain, with the root vegetables imbibing the drink with an earthy aroma.

We finished our cleanse with the “Metaboost Salad,” which includes everything but the kitchen sink — field greens, spinach, kale, carrots, mango, edamame, almonds, goat cheese and was lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.

A Freshii FAQ says to limit the intake of toxin-laden food and drink such as red meat, alcohol, refined sugars and the like in order to prepare for your cleanse. In the days following, the FAQ notes, it is important to limit these so that you don’t take one step forward and two steps back.

Three-day and five-day cleanses are also available for $80 and $120, respectively. Each day of the cleanse is exactly the same no matter how many days you complete.

Despite not being scientifically proven to do much of anything, a Freshii juice cleanse is a reset button for your body, marking what could be the start of a new you. 

Related Links:

Kaleidoscope Juice promotes health and happiness

Juice, smoothie bar The Well opens on ASU Tempe campus

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