In the past few years, juice bars have been popping up in cities all over and it seems there is no stopping the fad. Promising detoxification, weight loss, disease prevention, and natural cures, it is no wonder why so many are turning to juice cleanses as a step towards improving their health. The process of juicing can range from one day to a few weeks. In this time, a person consumes strictly unpasteurized and pressed juices made with a combination of fruits and vegetables – just barely enough to obtain the nutrition they need. Consuming your usual grocery store fruit juice would not count as detoxing, as it is loaded with sugars.
Many people insist that juicing improves their overall health, mood, and appearance. The scientific community, however, is less than keen about the cleanse. With the rising popularity of the trend, we find ourselves asking; are juice cleanses as safe as promised? Know the facts before deciding if this method of “detox” is right for you.
First, juicing is not a magic cure for illness. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. The juices are loaded with vitamins and minerals that could benefit our health, but by eliminating food from the diet and decreasing the total calorie consumption, you are depriving your body of essential nutrients it needs, and as a result, you could be doing more harm than good. An important thing to remember is that many fruits and vegetables lose some of their nutrients in the juicing process, and so it is recommended that you obtain these nutrients through healthy, well-balanced meals. Juice cleanses are not recommended for patients undergoing chemotherapy or other treatments for cancer and kidney disease.
So you want to cleanse your body of toxic substances? You might be pleased to know that your body naturally does that. Our excretory system functions to remove waste through sweat, urine, and bowel movements. And while the idea of a juice detox sounds appealing, it does very little to help with the body’s natural function. If you wish to rid your body of harmful substances, start by limiting your consumption of saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and decrease alcohol consumption.
Juicing should not be used as a weight loss method. Many have turned to juice cleanses as a means to lose weight, unfortunately, often times this can be counterproductive – especially in instances of prolonged cleanses. Juicing for extended periods can be considered a crash diet. Your digestive system needs to work consistently to break down nutrients; otherwise, your metabolism will likely come to a halt – conserving what little calories and nutrients it receives. Whatever weight you might happen to lose during the process of “detox” will be easily gained shortly after. If you are truly committed to losing weight, make a plan and work steadily to achieve lasting results.
If you are working towards bettering your health, remember that it’s best to develop a plan and create habits that are going to benefit you in the years to come. Short-lived diets will do nothing to establish a healthy lifestyle. And while we may not recommend committing to the cleanse long-term, there is no harm in incorporating the juices in a healthy diet as additional nourishment.