From the Master Cleanse to many other 3-day cleanses, green juice seems like the new “it.” It was trendy drinking a Starbucks macchiato…but it is now “in” to drink your green juice. Of course, when you see advertisements of models with bright eyes and perfect white teeth sipping green juice promising you youth and vitality, you want a piece of that! Perhaps that $299.99+ monthly detox plan can help you lose that extra 10 pounds and get John or Jane to go out on a date with you (really?).
You may be thinking:
- “Do I really need to go on a juice cleanse to detox after a weekend of debauchery?”
- “Does starving myself and just drinking that bitter green juice really give me energy?!”
- “Am I unhealthy not drinking juice?”
- “So, are juice cleanses a marketing gimmick or a lasting health regime?”
Last time around, we talked about the pros and cons of detoxification in general.
This time, we’re going to dive deeper and explore if juicing is a fad or if it is a lasting health regime that is here to stay. Let’s jump right into it.
First, the Cons of Juice Cleanses
Companies may be overstating benefits of their juice. For instance, take a recent case as an example. A federal administrative judge ruled that POM Wonderful used deceptive advertising and insufficient evidence to back claims that its products could treat or prevent serious diseases.
Juicing alone does NOT provide sufficient nutrients. Juicing vegetables will often strip away their fibers and nutritional value. According to Dr. Michael Greger M.D, whole fruits provide more vitamins and minerals than their juice. Take an apple as an example; apple skin contains most of the phytonutrients called quercetin that may combat diabetes.When you juice apples, you lose the valuable phytonutrients apple skin provides. And you may be drinking a lot of fructose straight into your blood stream, increasing blood sugar levels. There is also a study showing that cancer-fighting properties and antioxidant capacity of fruit are slashed after the fruit is pressed for juice. Perhaps it is cheaper and more nutritious to eat your whole fruit and vegetables instead. And make sure you eat your fruit ripe because it is more alkalizing to your body.
Some cleanses are marketed as quick fixes designed to erase “damage” from weekend indulgences and binge drinking. Juice cleanses may not help much if you continue your unhealthy habits. Of course, going on a 3-day cleanse after an indulgent weekend is better than nothing and can potentially reset and clear your system. However, if you continue your unhealthy habits after the cleanse, you will be accumulating junk all over again. You can go back to a detox program and start all over again. But is this healthy to your body?
Rather than doing the above, why not change your eating habits gradually by cutting out processed food, drinking less alcohol, and incorporating more whole fruits and vegetables in your diet? And this can be very delicious!
Your body can naturally cleanse your toxins. Your kidney, liver, and lungs can naturally eliminate toxins. We are detoxing 24/7. If you’re healthy, you may not need a cleanse to detox.
Now, the Benefits of Juice Cleanses
A juice cleanse may enhance your digestive system especially if you have too many unhealthy habits. As you accumulate junk in your system drinking and eating processed foods, your digestive system may be taking on more than it can handle.
A juice cleanse may help your system restore its balance, and enhance your natural detox system by accelerating the elimination of your system (i.e. helps you poop).
A juice cleanse may reset your taste buds, especially if you have certain addictions and unhealthy habits. Naturally, we can listen to our body and distinguish the types of foods that are good for us. However, our system gets messed up when we eat too much processed foods and artificial ingredients. As a result, we may have lost touch with what our body needs and crave unhealthy food such as salty and fatty junk. Juicing may allow us to get in touch with our body and eliminate unhealthy addictions.
A regular cleanse may help you clear out excess toxins you ingest daily, even if you’re healthy. We regularly, unknowingly, ingest toxins through water, air, and food. This may come from air pollution, second hand smoke, pesticides from food you eat at restaurants, or even unclean water you drink.
You may try to be as healthy as you possibly can, but you may not be able to avoid such toxins so long as you are interacting in this world. As a result, you maybe taking in more toxins than your body can handle. A cleanse can give our system a break and help you detox.
A juice cleanse may rehydrate you and “alkalize” your body (preventing accelerated aging)…especially if you don’t like to eat vegetables. Some of you carnivores may not like the taste of vegetables, or find chewing vegetables hard work. But digesting meat is acidifying to your body. Metabolic acidosis might contribute to progressive shrinking of lean muscle mass as we age. Furthermore, if your body is too acidic, you may age faster. Most vegetables are alkalizing. Juicing can give you the nutrients you need from plants, rehydrate you, and alkalize your body, restoring your natural pH balance. The added water content can also help you flush the excess acid out of your body.
Some vegetables and fruit are better drunk than eaten. Vegetables and fruit like tomatoes actually offer more nutrients when they are juiced. Tomato juice has twice the antioxidant powder and five times the phytonutrient lycopene than the whole fruit!
Then, consider the mind-body connection: You may think you’re healthier because you went on a juice cleanse. And just that alone can make you healthier. Yes, there’s often a mind-body connection, given the placebo effect.
The Final Verdict: Are Juice Cleanses Just a Fad… or are they a Lasting Health Regime?
I’d say juice cleanses are here to stay and can be a health regime. I would not call cleanses a fad given the benefits of juicing. I would do a cleanse from time to time especially if you want to reset your system.
And yes, a juice cleanse can still give you minerals and vitamins, while giving your digestive system a rest. Rather than a pure water cleanse/fast, a juice cleanse is still manageable, if you have never been on a cleanse before. However, you do not need to drink green juices or cleanses to be healthy. As a matter of fact, it may be healthier to eat whole fruits and vegetable, because you will get more fiber, more nutrients, and feel fuller. If you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to chew, blend the vegetables so you can eat the fiber and pulp! And yes, there are dangers to juice cleanses, so please consult your healthcare provider or physician before going on one!
What is your experience with juice cleanses? Did you feel better after a cleanse? Let us know by leaving a comment!
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