Juice cleanse, detox trend hits Eastern North Carolina

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The trend of juice cleaning and detoxing has made it’s way to Eastern North Carolina through various juice bars which have popped up across the East.

“It helps to detox, energize, boost the immune system,” said Jessica Albea.

Albea is an operating partner of Juice Vibes in Greenville. Albea says the all-natural ingredients lead to a body rejuvenation and reboot.

“If you’re feeling like you’re craving the bad foods, a juice cleanse will help get your body on track for fueling it with lots of vitamins and minerals and helping your body feel good,” said Albea.

She says juice cleanses are fit for several types of levels including introductory and usually last from three to seven days.

The concept of detoxing dates back thousands of years in many different cultures. Cleanses are all the rage right now among many Hollywood stars. As with most fasting diets, it is controversial.

“There also may be some potentially, at least potentially detrimental impacts of going on the juice diet,” said Dr. Roman Pawlak, an associate professor at East Carolina University’s Department of Nutrition Science.

Dr. Pawlak is skeptical. He says while each drink is full of vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t meet the recommended amount of calories, it’s not a balanced meal, and your body isn’t doing what it is supposed to be doing.

“The body is designed and is very efficient in receiving solid or semi solid foods,” said Dr. Pawlak.

Instead, he suggests doing a multi-day cleanse to replace meals, try a low-sugar smoothie, an acai bowl, or a wheatgrass shot.

Lisa Ellis has been buying wheatgrass shots since last year for her dad who has cancer.

“I actually heard it would help fight some of the cancer cells that were in there,” said Ellis.

She says it helped, so she gets a daily wheatgrass shot too and the occasional smoothie.

“I have a lot more energy,” said Ellis. “Not as much caffeine intake as I was having and with allergies it’s helped a ton.”

Ellis hasn’t done a juice cleanse but would consider after talking to Juice Vibes about the power of superfoods.

“You just feel so much better,” said Albea. “When you eat good you feel good. And it gives you the inspiration to keep going on your healthy track.”

While cleanses may not be something everyone agrees on, it’s a business which keeps growing its customer base. In turn, that’s fueling some green in the local economy.

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