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What Is the Cayenne Pepper Diet?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 June 2014
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The cayenne pepper diet is a detox-based fasting plan also called the lemonade or maple syrup diet or the master cleanse. Typically recommended by proponents as a fast weight-loss plan, the cayenne pepper diet is based around periods of fasting while consuming a drink heavily saturated with cayenne pepper. According to proponents, cayenne pepper may help stimulate blood circulation and improve immunity. Many health experts argue that the cayenne pepper diet does not rely on medically proved theories and may adversely affect health.

The cayenne pepper diet is a cleanse, which means that for several days the dieter fasts while drinking large quantities of the cayenne beverage as well as a salt water or laxative drink to promote increased waste expulsion. The beverage itself is composed of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and ground cayenne pepper. Typically, proponents recommend fasting for at least seven to ten days to achieve desired results. Most programs that promote the cayenne pepper diet insist that a carefully followed plan will result in improved health, possible weight loss, and increased immune capacities.

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According to supporters of the cayenne pepper diet, the ingredients of the beverage work together to maintain health while detoxifying the body and resulting in weight loss. Proponents admit that sticking to the diet is quite difficult, and often recommended preceding and following the fasting phase with at least two days of a liquid-only diet to prevent serious stomach discomfort. After the fast is completed, foods are gradually added back into daily consumption, beginning with fruit juices and vegetable-based soups.

Detox symptoms, such as headaches, stomachache, dizziness, exhaustion, and changes to sleeping patterns, are common with the cayenne pepper diet or any prolonged fast. In some cases, these symptoms can be severe or even lead to life-threatening conditions in some people. Even proponents of the diet often recommend a medical consultation before beginning this or any fasting program. A history of diabetes or eating disorders or any type of heart problem may be a good indication that fasting diets should be avoided due to the possible complications to overall health.

While many doctors agree that fasting for more than a week will definitely lead to some weight loss, the medical community has expressed serious concern about the use and effectiveness of the cayenne pepper diet. Some argue that the majority of weight lost is fluids, which will be regained very quickly upon returning to a regular diet. Others suggest that the diet can lead to severe dehydration, vomiting, and a decline in general health.

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