What is a juice cleanse and why would you do it? The answer to the first is easy. It’s a period of a day to three days when the person doing the cleanse eats nothing but drinks only fruit juice, vegetable juice and water. Most people do it for three days several times just once, then start a healthy diet. The reasons vary. Some people believe it helps detox the body and rids the body of harmful toxins. Others think it’s a good way to get the body ready for a weight loss diet.
There are a few rules to follow, but in most cases, you create your own rules.
The most important rule is to make sure you make the juice fresh and it’s made from organic fruits and vegetables. Some people suggest using distilled water, while other juice cleanses don’t require it, but suggest bottled water if your tap water tastes of chemicals. With some juice cleanses, a drink to cleanse the colon is completed the night before the juice cleanse.
Many of the proponents of juice cleanses say it resets the organs and helps them to function better.
A juice cleanse is supposed to cleanse the body of toxins and improve the functioning of kidneys, the colon, the liver and other organs. The National Institute of Health notes that there isn’t any evidence that backs the cleansing claim. Drinking juice from organic fresh fruits and vegetables provides many minerals and vitamins. Many types of fruit and vegetable juices also contain digestive enzymes that can improve future digestion. What juice cleanses are missing, and why they shouldn’t be maintained longer than a day, is fiber and protein.
You’ll be disappointed if you expect miracle weight loss to occur.
Sure, you’ll lose quite a bit of weight on three days of a juice cleanse, but that weight will return quickly when you go back to normal eating patterns. The only way it can help is if you truly change your dietary habits and start eating healthy, which you can do without a juice cleanse. There are studies that show the juice cleanse may help you stick with a healthy diet once you complete it and another study found it did boost a healthy gut microbiome because of eliminating added sugar.
- While a juice cleanse drink isn’t a smoothie, switching to smoothies for a few days could prove just as beneficial. You can get the benefits of the juice, plus fiber. If you add milk, nuts or seeds, you also have a source of protein, which can provide a healthy diet.
- Never prolong a juice cleanse beyond a few days as prolonged cleansing has been shown to damage the kidneys. Always talk with your health care professional before starting any dietary change or exercise program.
- If your cleanse includes primarily fruit and few vegetables, you’ll experience spikes in your blood sugar levels from the sugar in the fruit. Anyone who is prediabetic or diabetic should consider smoothies.
- An option that many find better than a juice cleanse is intermittent fasting. It has many benefits not found in juice cleanses and the mildest form, fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window, is easy to do.
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