Juice cleanses have been around for a long time, and many people have heard about the benefits associated with them. Juice cleanses go back all the way to ancient times when
ancient peoples would mash together figs and pomegranates for health benefits
all the way back in 150 BC.
So just what are the benefits of a juice cleanse? Those who undergo a juice cleanse should see the following positive results:
- Possible weight loss
- An increase in the absorption of vital nutrients and minerals found in fruits and vegetables
- Detoxification of the body’s systems
- A healthier gut with better bowel movements and less indigestion
- Stabilized blood sugar
- A stronger immune response
The body is a complicated system, and the way that a juice cleanse interacts with it is medically complex.
Read on to find out more about how a juice cleanse can help provide
crucial health benefits.
Why Should You Do A Juice Cleanse?
A juice cleanse is an excellent choice for anyone who is attempting the following healthy changes in their lifestyle and diet:
- Weight loss: Maintaining an ideal weight is important for good health, as both obesity and being underweight can increase your chances of medical complications such as diabetes or malnutrition.
Going on a cleanse promotes weight loss by reducing the number of calories consumed and removing processed foods from the diet.
- Increase intake of vitamins and minerals: Juice cleanses are a good way for a person to drastically increase their intake of vitamins and minerals on a daily basis, especially if they were eating a bunch of processed food prior to their juice cleanse. These vitamins and minerals are used by the body to regenerate systems and detoxify.
- Increase intake of fruits and vegetables: The USDA recommends that people eat between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and due to the prevalence of processed foods, most people don’t get even remotely close to that. A juice cleanse ensures you get every bit of the fruits and vegetables in your diet that you need.
- Decrease intake of processed foods: During a juice cleanse, a person allows their body to be completely cleansed of all processed foods.
These processed foods contain all sorts of dyes, flavorings, pollutants, and preservatives that the body views as toxins and must take the energy to filter out. Giving the body a rest from this onslaught allows it to perform other maintenance tasks.
- Increased hydration: Taking a juice fast is a good way to increase the amount of liquids you drink in a day, and this, in turn, can increase your overall hydration, leading to better skin and stronger systems in the body overall.
Who Should Do A Juice Cleanse?
Juice cleanses can be beneficial for any adult that does not have a metabolic disease such as diabetes.
Children should not undertake any kind of a fast or cleanse due to
the speed at which their body is growing.
Before pursuing any kind of major dietary change, you should consult with your physician to ensure that you are in good health to engage in fasting activity. Some people may have
undiagnosed diseases which may be exacerbated by a cleanse.
Because it gives the body a steady source of calories and those calories are coming from a high-nutrient source, so the body is not being starved at any point, juice cleanses are
typically considered less harsh to the system than water fasts.
You should monitor your body carefully while performing a juice cleanse. While some negative symptoms are common, such as headaches or intense cravings for junk food, these are the result of withdrawals from sugar, caffeine, and excess fat, not from hunger.
If you are performing a juice cleanse correctly, you should be getting enough calories that you should not be hungry.
However, it is not saying that you are forbidden to bite on any food during a juice cleansing. If chosen carefully, some type of protein and nutrients are allowed during a cleansing (link to another article)
Juice Cleanses Support Weight Loss
One way that juice cleanses benefit someone is that they can help people lose weight. Some juices, such as pomegranate juice, even contain substances that act as a natural appetite suppressant.
Juice cleanses support weight loss in the following ways:
- Juice cleanses help to wean a person off sugary sodas and other processed foods.
Many people are legitimately addicted to junk food, and a juice cleanse can act as a detoxifying process while the addictive chemicals in these foods are flushed from the body, and the person in the cleanse goes through withdrawal from excess sugar and fat.
- Juice cleanses allow a person to control their caloric intake in a very specific way to avoid overindulging.
People who are overweight tend to have portioning issues at first before they learn to readjust their thinking about food, and easy-to-measure portions of juice make that process easier.
- Juice cleanses act as a detox period to lead into a new healthy eating lifestyle that involves whole fruits and vegetables along with other complex carbohydrates.
Cleanses are a good “trial by fire” activity that can jumpstart a healthy eating habit simply due to their restrictive nature.
Once a person has undergone a few juice cleanses, they are unlikely to see swapping to healthy whole food choices as quite so daunting.
- Juice cleanses teach a person who undergoes them dietary discipline and how to monitor their own dietary intake without having to adhere to complicated meal plans. Many people with weight to lose
- Juice cleanses are a less restrictive form of intermittent fasting, which promotes a smaller appetite.
Reduction of appetite is extremely helpful in trying to lose weight, as it also reduces cravings for high-calorie and processed foods.
- Making healthy choices, such as increasing one’s intake of fruits and vegetables via a juice fast, can lead to more healthy decisions, because willpower is a finite resource and making smart decisions at the beginning of a lifestyle change makes it psychologically easy to make smart decisions later
(Ex. If you do a week-long juice cleanse, you’ll be unwilling to go straight back to unhealthy eating afterwards because of your time and willpower invested.)
Juice Cleanses Increase Absorption of Vital Nutrients
Along with promoting weight loss and a shift into a healthy eating lifestyle, juice cleansing is
also a way to mainline vital nutrients into the body’s systems in an
This is especially important for anyone who has been living on the average first world diet, which is woefully deficient in nutritional value. A juice cleanse is one way to inject yourself with instant nutrition.
It is recommended that people eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day for optimal nutrition, but many people do not find whole fruits and vegetables palatable enough to eat that many of them in a day.
Many of these whole foods are very fibrous as well, making them feeling and difficult to eat enough servings of daily.
But when juiced into an easy-to-transport form, people are
more likely to eat their full amount of fruits and vegetables for the
Juice Cleanses Detoxify the Body’s Systems
Juice cleanses help detoxify the body’s systems in a variety of ways, such as the following:
- Juice cleanses help flush the body of foreign contaminants such as chemicals, pollutants, artificial food colorings/flavorings, and toxins
- Juice cleanses keep a person nutritionally sound while they are withdrawing from the absorption of chemicals as well as excess sugar and fats
- The juices formed from fruits and vegetables are chock-full of antioxidants, which are chemicals that help scour free radicals and other toxins from the body.
- Juices support the function of the liver and kidneys, which are responsible for detoxifying the body.
Cranberries, in particular, have been noted for their positive correlation with kidney health. Meanwhile, blueberries, grapefruit, and beet juice can support liver health.
- When diluted with water or in addition to water, a juice cleanse can help dramatically increase hydration levels.
With optimal hydration, the body is able to much more easily flush toxins and other pollutants from the body.
While the bulk of detoxifying in the body is performed by the liver and kidneys, a juice cleanse aids those organs by creating a sort of embargo against incoming toxins.
With fewer incoming toxins to filter out, the kidneys and liver can do some deep-cleaning of the body instead of just trying to keep up with incoming trash.
Juice Cleanses Rest and Stabilize the Digestive System
One of the benefits of a juice cleanse is that by abstaining from solid food for a period of several days, the person performing the juice fast is able to reset their digestive
system to a large degree.
Since they don’t have to work at digesting solid food, the stomach and intestines are allowed to rest and regenerate themselves.
If you think about it, the stomach and intestines are very hard-working organs that require a relatively large amount of energy to run and maintain.
Fasting the stomach by avoiding solid foods for a period can give beneficial bacteria in the gut a boost, and these microbiomes influence the human body in various ways, from triggering hunger to stimulating our metabolism.
Juice Cleanses Help Stabilize Blood Sugar
Some people will tell you that taking a juice cleanse can cause your blood sugar to rapidly spike and crash in the short term as the result of a juice cleanse, and this can
sometimes be the case, which is why diabetics should consult a physician
However, using a juice cleanse to wean off of sodas and other sugary drinks that really wreak damage on the body’s blood sugar levels can ultimately lead to more stable
blood sugar levels when a person finishes their juice cleanse by eating whole
healthy foods such as whole fruits and vegetables instead of the junk food they
were eating before the cleanse.
While juice cleanses can cause some temporary blood sugar fluctuations during the fast itself, by spearheading a major lifestyle change, performing a juice cleanse
semi-regularly can change someone’s overall eating habits and lead to them
having lower blood sugar in general.
Juice Cleanses Increase Immune Response
Juice cleanses are beneficial to the body’s immune system because the immune system requires many different kinds of vitamins and trace minerals to function correctly.
One of the major components of juice cleanses that bolsters your immune system is Vitamin C, which is abundant in many fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C is crucial in the immune system because it reinforces the following immunological responses:
- Chemotaxis (movement of white blood cells)
- Phagocytosis (ingestion of bacteria by white blood cells)
- Generation of reactive oxygen species (useable oxygen generation)
- Microbial killing (immune system’s ability to fight off and kill foreign microbes)
A juice cleanse that includes tomato juice will increase your intake of folates, which in turn decreases your risk of bacterial infection and help the body to repair its own DNA.
There are many other minerals and nutrients in fruit and vegetable juices that support immune system health, and a lack of these nutrients in the average first world diet is one of
the reasons that many people are malnourished and suffer from dozens of common
diseases related to malnutrition, such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
By committing to a juice cleanse, you’re not just dramatically increasing your intake of these nutrients, but you’re also cutting out other less healthy foods that would actually suppress your immune system such as fast food, alcohol, and caffeine.
How Long to Do a Juice Cleanse? How Hard is It?
Juice cleanses are typically undertaken from 3-10 days. During this time period, only the juices of fruits and vegetables are consumed.
The person consuming the juice has to be careful to make sure that they meet their minimum caloric intake for the day, or if they are trying to lose weight, approximately 10% less than their basal metabolic rate.
The difficulty of a juice cleanse varies in how the cleanse is performed, how long it lasts, and what the person’s diet was like before they began the fast.
Someone who has been living on cheeseburgers and sodas for years may have a more difficult detox period than someone who generally eats healthy to begin with.
It is also easier to perform a juice cleanse if you incorporate a wide variety of different juices and juice combinations. This prevents boredom towards eating and reduces the urge to cheat.
During a juice cleanse, it is smart to also drink water in between servings of juice. Not only does this provide additional hydration, but it will also increase the rate at which your
body flushes toxins, helping speed up any withdrawals you may have over junk food.
What Juices to Use in a Juice Cleanse
Juice cleanses are performed using both fruit and vegetable juices, and it is recommended to
incorporate both in order to get a full spectrum of nutrients, and the full benefit of the juice cleanse.
The taste of vegetable juices is often hidden easily under sweeter fruit juices such as pineapple or orange, which makes it easy to incorporate vegetable juices into a juice with a stronger fruit base.
For a more savory option, vegetable juices mixed with a bit of tomato juice can break up the constant onslaught of sweet flavors from other juice combinations.
Here are some of the best vegetables to incorporate into your juice cleanse:
Likewise, here are some of the best fruits to incorporate into your juice cleanse:
These juices can be combined with each other for a variety of different flavors or–in the case of the fruit juices–diluted in water and used as a flavoring for water sipped on between servings of stronger juice.
Here are a number of popular flavor combinations:
- Carrot and ginger
- Grapefruit and mint
- Apple, pineapple, and celery
- Pineapple and orange
- Lemon and lime
Whether or not you’re trying to correct some kind of issue with your eating habits, a juice cleanse can be a beneficial way to kick off a new healthier lifestyle or to intermittently recommit to good eating habits.
A juice cleanse can also be a good way for someone to rest their system after a period of overindulgences, such as the holidays, or a period of stress eating. A deliberate return to a more austere dietary lifestyle can be just the thing for a bout of fatigue or depression, especially when paired with a light increase in exercise.
Because of its strict nature, a cleanse or fast is not only good for your body’s physical health, but it also helps to build dietary discipline and willpower. It allows a person to
look past food as a leisure activity and instead perceive it as a (tasty) fuel.
Try Juice Cleansing to Enjoy the Benefit of Good Health
When we have an unhealthy relationship with food or are trying to purge our body of accumulated toxins, it can be helpful to perform a radical change such as a cleanse rather than try to instill gradual change.
By making a strong commitment to a dietary change, people who perform a juice cleanse end up having fewer problems making other healthy choices when they return to eating solid foods. This allows that person to enjoy the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle.