With the popularity of the Vitamix blender and other similar devices, many people have begun to supplement their diet with juicing. It can be a quick, effective, and delicious way to get nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Taking down a glass of juice can be much easier than eating a plate of these foods when you’re in a pinch.
However, it should not be misconstrued that you only juicing would be good for you. Unfortunately, there is a “juice diet” whereby the dieter consumes nothing but juices for weeks at a time. Sadly, the results can be pretty dire, as one woman recently found out the hard way.
Woman Suffers Brain Damage from Juice Diet
This story came to my attention with this article from The Sun, which relays the story of a woman who went on a juicing diet after a consultation with an “alternative therapist” in Tel Aviv, Israel. As you can tell by the headline, it did not lead to better health. Instead, she found herself rushed to the hospital with irreversible brain damage after three weeks of this diet.
Under the guidelines of this diet, she was only allowed to drink water and fruit juice, with no other food or beverage consumption. While the purpose of the diet was to detoxify her body, what ended up happening was intoxication from the water consumption. In what is called water intoxication (or hyponatremia), the body has an imbalance of salt due to low levels of sodium in the blood.
Salt is absolutely crucial to the body as it regulates the fluid levels inside and outside of the cells in the body. If there is too little sodium in the cells, the permeable membrane of the cell allows more fluid to enter to try to reach a balance. However, this causes the cells to swell up. When this occurs in brain cells, the damage from the excess fluid can lead to seizures, brain damage, a coma, and potentially be fatal.
Stay Away From “Detox” Diets
The key takeaway from this article is to avoid these kinds of detox diets at all costs. They will not detoxify your body – our bodies do a well enough job of that on their own with proper kidney and liver function. Beyond just the risk of sodium imbalance (and the tremendous amount of sugar in a juice-only diet), any diet that restricts you to one particular food or another runs the risk of missing out on other key nutrients from other food sources.
A healthy diet consists of well-rounded meals of proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and nutrients from all food types. To pigeonhole yourself into only one particular food, you are missing out on the essential health benefits from the nutrients found in other food types.
If you are wanting to be healthier and lose weight, it takes a long-term commitment to healthier lifestyle choices. Solely drinking juice for a few weeks will not be a quick fix. Instead, any benefit gained will disappear when you resume your normal diet, and the consequences in the meantime could be deadly.