2014 was the year of the cleanse diet. Celebrities swear by them and more and more people have been getting in on the action, whether it's to detox diet, brighten skin, lose weight, or get a fresh start. And nowhere is that more evident than in Yahoo's Year in Review, where different health cleanses consistently topped the site's most popular stories lists. Here, the year's top 10 most popular cleanses:
1. A Colon Cleanse. Our colons have the important, albeit kind of icky, job of taking digested food from our stomachs, pulling the nutrients out, and excreting waste. While for most of us, our colons perform their duties just fine, every once in a while you might feel like giving a helping hand, er, enema. Colon cleanses come in many different types, methods, and prices, but the main idea is to use water, fiber, and/or supplements to flush all the gunk out of your intestines so you can start fresh. Considering a colonic? Read our expert's take first.
2. A Liver Cleanse. Just like our colons, our livers play an important role in ridding our bodies of unwanted toxins. The three-pound organ sits just under your ribs and is responsible for cleaning your blood. Some people believe that eating certain foods or taking certain supplements can help your liver perform better—or help it when it's overwhelmed by too many trips through the drive-thru. However, experts caution that most liver detox products don't work as advertised. Some can actually cause harm to your liver as the organ is responsible for metabolizing any drugs, medications, or herbals supplements. In fact, diet supplements are the number two cause for hospitalizations for liver damage—and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning against these types of detoxes. There are some healthy ways to support your liver in its important detox work, however. Check out this list ofseven sane steps to help your liver cleanse itself.
3. The Master Cleanse. While the Master Cleanse has been around for decades, it wasBeyonce who made it mainstream. She used the diet to drop some serious weight for her role in Dreamgirls. To do it, you drink a concoction of lemon water, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, along with an herbal detox tea, daily for at least 10 days—and nothing else. While it may work in the short term, experts say it isn't safe long-term. And even Miss B said it was awful and made her cranky. Before you try it, get the facts about the Master Cleanse and what it entails.
4. The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. Pictures of green smoothies have probably been all over your Facebook feed for months as this popular cleanse has spread through social media. Participants say they drop up to 15 pounds by drinking only smoothies made of blended fruits and veggies for 10 days, as outlined by J.J. Smith's popular book. While the diet is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, it lacks other important nutrients, like protein. To reap all the benefits of a green smoothie cleanse while still eating a balanced diet, check out our Clean Green Food and Drink Plan.
5. A Juice Cleanse. Juicing has long been used as a way to get lots of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables without having to, well, eat all those fruits and vegetables. So juice cleanses, of which there are many different types, take advantage of this vitamin mega-dose by having people replace all (or part) of their solid food with specially formulated juices. While the cleanses can be a great way to get your daily produce in, experts warn that many juices are high in sugar and lack the fiber that whole fruit has. Try our Non-Juice Detox for all the health benefits of juicing without the blood sugar spikes.
6. Detox Cleanse. Detoxing—or removing unhealthy toxins from the body—is one of the main reasons people give for wanting to do a cleanse. Toxic overload can make you feel sluggish, lead to acne, and can cause allergic reactions—among a host of other ills. But most experts warn against pill- or drink-based detox cleanses. The body's own mechanisms for cleansing using the liver, kidneys, and colon are sufficient to rid your body of most toxins, they say. Thankfully, there are lots of healthy changes you can make to support your body while it does all the tough detox work. Try our post-weekend detox plan to get back on track after a long weekend of office parties and holiday goodies.
7. Slendera Garcinia and Natural Cleanse. Garcinia Cambogia is a supplement made from the tropical fruit that bears its name (also known as tamarind). It's high in fiber and boosts serotonin levels in your brain, possibly helping you feel full faster and longer. Slendera is one brand name of a garcinia cambogia supplement that is often combined with a larger cleansing plan involving natural laxatives and diuretics. Most experts advise steering clear of laxatives and diuretics, natural or otherwise, unless your doctor advises you to take them for a specific reason. Long-term use can be very harmful to your body. However, garcinia cambogia extracts may offer a small boost for dieters.
8. Dherbs Full Body Cleanse. Dherbs is a company that makes a line of proprietary supplements that claim to cure a range of illnesses and health problems. The Full Body Cleanse is a system of pills or liquid supplements you take on a daily basis for 20 days in addition to following a suggested raw-food diet. Proponents say they have lost nearly a pound a day and feel more energized. However, because of the limited information available on the company's site, not much is known about what exactly is in the supplements—or how they work. Still interested? You should note they're pretty pricey and the company has a no-refund policy after the bottle is opened. If you'd like a natural way to boost your health and start weight loss, check out these four scientifically proven vitamins.
9. Blueprint Cleanse. A celebrity favorite and 2012 diet of the year, the Blueprint Cleanse is a pre-packaged juice cleanse in which you are sent six bottles of vegan juices made from fruits, vegetables, and spices, customized to your health goals. You drink the juices—and nothing else—for periods ranging from three days to two weeks. The company says their plans range from 860 to 1,040 calories per day. While this is not specifically billed as a weight-loss cleanse, you probably will drop some pounds. Interested in a DIY juice cleanse? Try theserecipes for matching ingredients to what your body needs.
10. Isagenix Cleanse for Life. Isagenix is a multi-level marketing company that specializes in wellness supplements, liquids and powders, along with some snack and meal-replacement products. The Cleanse for Life is a specific supplement that comes in either powder or liquid form which the company recommends be used as part of one of their larger cleansing systems. Proponents say it helps drop weight, increase energy and cure many ailments.