Juice Cleanse: The Pros And Cons Of A Juicing Diet | Juicing Vs. Smoothies

Juice Cleanse: The Pros And Cons Of A Juicing Diet | Juicing Vs. Smoothies

From boutique juice shops popping up on every corner to social media stars broadcasting their juice cleanse before and after photos across the internet, there is no doubt that juicing is one of the newest crazes to hit the health world.

While we’re all familiar with store-bought juices, doing your own juice cleanse at home hasn’t always been as popular. These days, however, the trend has started steadily gaining traction, as proponents claim it can help fire up fat loss, heal disease and amp up energy levels. But is juicing really as good for you as its fans seem to think?

There are definitely benefits to juicing, but there are some serious risks and side effects that need to be considered as well. Keep reading for everything you need to know before you embark on your juice cleanse, including some simple strategies you can use to enjoy juicing as part of a balanced diet.

What Is A Juice Cleanse?

So what is a juice cleanse exactly? Typically, a juice cleanse is a type of detox diet that involves drinking juices made from fruits and vegetables for a specific window of time. In some cases, this can be as simple as sipping on a glass of celery juice each morning. In other instances, it may involve nixing all other foods from your diet and consuming only juice for a short period.

There are many ways to do a juice cleanse, including buying store-bought juices or doing a homemade juice cleanse with fruits and veggies that you have prepared yourself.

Proponents of the popular juice cleanse plan often claim that it can help increase weight loss, promote detoxification, enhance skin health and boost energy levels. However, critics are quick to point out that juice cleanses can also be incredibly expensive and are typically lacking fiber and other essential nutrients.

Types

There are lots of different juice cleanse options. Buying store-bought juices and following a pre-made plan from companies such as Suja Juice Cleanse is one of the most popular ways to lose weight.

Alternatively, many opt to do their own raw juice cleanse at home by using a juicer and purchasing a variety of fruits and vegetables. This offers a bit more flexibility and allows you to select your own ingredients targeted to your specific needs by doing a liver cleanse or detox juice cleanse.

Some types of cleanse require you to consume juices only for the duration of the cleanse, while others require you to add a few juices to your meals.

The duration of your cleanse can range from a few days to several weeks at a time. It is important to make sure that you are meeting your nutrition needs and enjoying a variety of healthy whole foods in addition to juicing.

Benefits

1. Provides a Burst of Micronutrients

How many of us actually eat the seven servings of fruit — and especially vegetables — daily that are recommended to promote better health and prevent chronic disease?

It can be difficult to sneak in a few extra veggies with each meal or snack, but juicing makes it much easier. Practically any fruit or vegetable can be juiced, which means you can get a lot of vitamins and minerals.

You can get more adventurous with the produce you consume. Most of us purchase the same few fruits and veggies we used to eat at home. Juicing gives you the freedom to try new things without having to worry about whether the rest of the family will like them or not. If you slip it into the juicer, it will be ready for drinking.

2. Enhances Nutrient Absorption

Drinking a juice is like taking a shot of instant nutrition goodness. Because all the insoluble fiber has been removed through the juicing process, digestion becomes a lot easier on the body.

Drinking juice enables the body to better absorb the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that juice has to offer. In fact, juicing is like taking a healthy multivitamin that actually tastes good.

3. Reduces Produce Waste

A shriveled carrot or sad-looking cucumber might not make for an appealing addition to dinner, but either is excellent in juice cleanse recipes — and a great way to stop tossing out produce that’s a bit past its prime. Because 30 percent to 40 percent of food in America goes to waste, juicing is a savvy way to eliminate waste in your household while also saving you some extra cash.

Risks

1. You Probably Won’t Lose Weight

If you’re planning on going on a juice cleanse for weight loss, take note that you might find yourself feeling hungry a lot more often. It’s not just your imagination — it’s been proven that eating solid foods helps you reach satiety and feel more full than drinking meals.

If you drink juices frequently, you might find yourself eating more food and drinking more calories to feel better.

Juices have very little to no meat in them. If you want to build lean muscle, a juicing diet is not a good idea because it will cause your body to break down muscle mass instead of getting it from what you eat. It’s hard to lose weight in the long run when your metabolism goes down once you start losing muscle.

2. May Spike Blood Sugar Levels

Even when they’re homemade, juices contain quite a bit of natural sugar, and much more than if you ate the food whole rather than juicing it. When you eat an apple as a snack, for example, you consume about 10 grams of sugar. However, making apple juice requires a whole lot more than just one piece of the fruit. Multiply that 10 grams with however many apples it takes to fill a glass, and you’re looking at a potential sugar spike.

Blood sugar swings are best avoided for people with diabetes because they don’t produce as muchinsulin. Changes in blood sugar can cause energy levels to go down even for people without diabetes.

Furthermore, fructose, the type of sugar found in most fruits, is processed by the liver. If you’re on an all-juice diet or juice cleanse, the organ can become overwhelmed and convert the sugar to fat instead, making you more susceptible to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes or heart disease over time.

3. Your Body Doesn’t Need a Juice Cleanse or Detox

The body has a natural way of ridding itself of toxins. Your lungs expel carbon dioxide, your skin pushes out sweat, your intestines excrete waste products, and your liver filters out toxins.

If you eat healthy most of the time, there is no need for a juice cleanse or cleanse. A juice-only cleanse can cause side effects like low energy levels and can actually wind up doing more harm than good.

4. It Can Get Expensive

Juicing is not cheap. If you are making your own juice cleanse, you need double or triple the amount of ingredients to make one juice compared to if you just ate the food whole. If you buy fresh, organic produce, those numbers start to add up quickly, particularly if the entire family is enjoying juices as well.

Buying pre-made juices can be expensive. A bottle of raw-pressed juice from a popular brand can cost up to $8. If you enjoy sipping on one juice a day, that will cost you over $200 a month.

A proper juicer can cost hundreds of dollars, and most families don’t have it on hand. It’s another cost to factor in to your juicing decision, and it may be a worthwhile investment for some.

5. It’s Low in Fiber

Although removing the insoluble fiber when juicing does make the drink easier to digest, fiber is an important nutrient that we need in our diets. In fact, the fiber content of fruits and veggies is one of the big reasons why they’re so good for us.

Insoluble fiber is very important to health. This type of fiber scrubs the bicyle and gets rid of plaque and trapped toxins.

Fiber also helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the blood to help prevent those sugar spikes that juices are notorious for. When you go on a juice cleanse, you effectively eliminate high-fiber foods from your diet, which can come with more negative effects on digestive health than it’s worth.

The pros and cons of a juice cleanse - Dr. Axe

Recipes

A juice-only diet is not a healthy option for most people. juices can be a part of a balanced diet. Here are a few things you can do to make the most out of your juices.

  • juices should be a part of your meal. If you want to stay full, make sure you drink a juice with some yogurt or a smaller serving size alongside your breakfast.
  • Light up the fruit and heavy on the vegetables. If you want to keep that excess sugar down, stick to a 4:1 vegetable-to- fruit ratio.
  • If you replace a meal with juice, limit it to a few times a week to make sure your body gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs.
  • Are you trying to get rid of toxins? If you want to start removing processed foods and alcohol from your diet, you need to start with sugar. Adding a glass of juice will add an extra dose of vitamins to your diet.

Are you ready to start consuming juice? There are a few simple juice cleanse recipes.

Juicing vs. Smoothies

People confuse juices with smoothies a lot. Smoothies are drinks made by combining whole foods, including fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts and liquids like milk or coconut water. You still consume the food in its entirety, even though it is blended. You are still eating the entire thing even though it might look strange.

When you juice, all of the fiber is removed from fruits or vegetables. What’s left are all the micronutrients and sugar in a liquid form; the rest is discarded. This remaining liquid is the stuff that juicing proponents consider “liquid gold.”

While the proliferation of juices bars and cold-pressed drinks is currently at an all-time high, juicing has been around for quite some time. A collection of juicing recipes was published in the 1930s by Norman Walker. The version of the Norwalk juicer that is still available today was invented by him.

Most have also heard of the Master Cleanse, the infamous juice cleanse that first hit the scene in the 1940s which consists of a sugary lemonade mix made from maple syrup, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and water and was created by a man convicted of practicing medicine without a license.

A diet consisting of mostly maple syrup and cayenne pepper is not ideal, but juicing is still a popular option. Is it the right thing for you? Juicing can be a healthy addition to a more balanced diet.

Final Thoughts

  • A juice cleanse is a type of diet that involves drinking juices made from fruits and vegetables for a period of time, which can range from a few days to a few weeks.
  • There are a lot of different variations of a juice cleanse which are based on the duration and ingredients used as well as whether or not whole foods are consumed as well.
  • Reduced waste, increased fruit and vegetable consumption, and enhanced absorption are some of the potential benefits of a juice cleanse.
  • juice cleanse are high in sugar and lacking in fiber and can be expensive and useless.
  • If you want to keep your sugar consumption under control, fill your juices with mostly veggies, rather than fruit, and pair it with a good source of lean meat to help keep you feeling full for longer.
  • The best juice cleanse involves making juices part of the meal rather than the main course to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need to support better health.

Leave a Reply