There are plenty of ways to detox and rid your body of toxins, but juice fasting (also known as “juice cleansing”) has made its way into the spotlight as one of the most popular ways to do so. And it’s for a good reason–when juice fasting, your body is still getting the calories and nutrients it needs to function properly while at the same time removing excess waste and cleansing your insides.

Committing to a juice fast, however, is not the easiest thing in the world to do. During your first cleanse, your mind may begin to crave solid foods even though your body is still being fueled. In that case, we’re here to help. Here’s a quick guide to get you started with juice fasting, along with some links to yummy recipes for tasty and healthful concoctions.

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Why juice fast?

The benefits of juice fasting are numerous. It’s one of the better ways to cleanse because the body takes a break from digesting, so the juice will pass right through your system and clean it out entirely within a few days. You may also lose some weight, but it will most likely be just water weight (juice fasting is not the ideal way to lose weight though, so if you’re looking to do that, you’re better off sticking to a well-balanced, healthy diet and exercise plan). Juicing also allows for different combinations of healthy foods that will fortify your body with all sorts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. You’ll consume more fruits and veggies than you probably ever have in your entire life, and that’s never a bad thing.

It’s important to note though that juices can be high in sugar, depending on the ingredients that are used. Juices that are mostly fruit will be more sugary than those that are heavy on the veggies, so make sure you’re getting a balanced variety–which means more vegetables than fruit. Learn more about juices and how they differ from smoothies here!

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Juicing at Home vs. Buying from the Store

It’s easy to make your own juices–just buy a juicer, fruits and vegetables and some mason jars for storage, and you’re all set. But isn’t it easier to just buy a bunch of juices from the store, or through a cleansing program online? Sure it is, but it’s a lot pricier, and sometimes not always the healthiest route to go. Many bottled juices sold in grocery stores have extremely high sugar contents and artificial additives that almost cancel out their healthfulness entirely. If it’s freshly juiced at the store though, then it’s most likely pure juice with nothing else added. Just be sure to check the ingredients and double check with someone who works there.

If you opt to juice at home, why not try this recipe for Glowing Green Juice or these seven juice recipes?

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Timing

Juice cleanses can last as long as you’d like them to. But if you’re just starting out, you might want to limit your first fast to four juices a day for two or three days so your body and mind have time to adjust. After all, it’ll probably be the first time you live off of liquids for a long period of time. And if you choose to do a second juice fast in the future, extending it to one week wouldn’t hurt.

But listen to your body. If you feel faint, constantly hungry or nauseous, you may want to consult a doctor to find out if juice cleansing is right for you.

Here are five juice recipes to jumpstart your first or next juice cleanse!

Image source: Breville USA/Flickr