What Is a Juice Cleanse?
A juice cleanse is a popular and typically healthy detox diet that provides a wide range of benefits. It involves consuming only fruit and vegetable juice for a short period of time. Also known as a juice fast or detox, most juice cleanses last for 1–10 days, though some may last longer.
The motivation for following a juice cleanse can vary from person to person. Some people cleanse to detoxify their body, while others are looking to lose weight or get back on track after a period of unhealthy eating. Regardless of the intention, juice cleansing has become increasingly popular today.
Not only will a juice cleanse help reset your body and mind, but it can help you kickstart a weight loss regime or even just reestablish your relationship with food. Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, a juice detox might just be exactly what you need.
How Do You Follow a Juice Cleanse?
During a juice detox, you consume fruit or vegetable juice for the duration of the cleanse. Most juice-only diets also suggest spacing out each juice by a couple of hours as well as drinking lots of water to keep your body hydrated. Water also helps you feel full, which is a common complaint of people during a juice cleanse.
In preparation for your cleanse, you’ll gradually eliminate certain foods such as coffee, added sugar, dairy products, meat, alcohol, and other caffeine and nicotine products. Additionally, you’ll want to increase your intake of fruits and veggies to prep your body for the cleanse.
Although the duration of juice cleanses can vary, most cleanses last for 1–10 days. During this period, consume only fruit or vegetable juice, spacing each one out by a few hours.
After you’ve completed your cleanse, it’s recommended to slowly introduce solid foods back into your diet. Gradually add solid foods back in over the course of a few days to give your body time to readjust.
Why is Juicing Becoming So Popular?
Supporters of juice cleanses advocate that nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals are more easily digested and absorbed by the body when in liquid form. As such, the idea behind juicing is to allow your body to soak up all the nutrients in fruits and vegetables while helping rid your body of any toxins or chemicals.
Here are some of the benefits you might experience on a juice cleanse:
- Improved health: The typical American diet doesn’t contain enough fruits and vegetables. By only consuming fruits and veggies for a period of time, you’re getting a ton of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will help fight against diseases.
- Increased focus or energy: Some people report feeling increased energy or focus during or after a juice cleanse.
- Detox the body: Most processed foods today contain added sugars, chemicals, and other harmful ingredients. By eliminating these from the diet for a few days, your body is better able to remove these harmful substances.
- Improved digestion: Raw juice contains enzymes that can improve digestion.
- Weight loss: Many people use juicing as a method to lose weight. While it may work temporarily, sustaining this calorie deficit is difficult and unhealthy over the long-term.
The Challenges of a Juice Cleanse
Juice cleansing has become increasingly popular. Despite the thousands of loyal followers, there are some challenges and concerns to be aware of when following a juice-only diet.
- Kidney stones: According to a study done at The American Journal of Medicine, dark leafy greens and beets contain high amounts of oxalate, which may cause kidney stones and other problems.
- Fatigue: The typical American diet does not include many meals comprised solely of juice. Going a few days without solid foods may cause fatigue or lightheadedness.
- Low blood sugar: Juice cleansing is low in calories and can potentially cause low blood sugar. This can be dangerous for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
Concerns About Detoxing
One important thing to keep in mind is that a juice cleanse is a short-term nutrition strategy. Instead, most medical experts recommend a balanced, healthy diet for lasting, long-term results. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a way to get back on track or kickstart your new healthy eating habit, a juice cleanse may work for you.
Before starting any new juice cleanse, speak with your doctor to ensure there aren’t any health concerns or modifications that may need to be made.
Resources About Detoxing
A juice cleanse is one of the most popular styles of detoxing with many benefits to show. There are thousands of free resources that will help you learn more, get started, and even share healthy juice recipes.