The popularity of all kinds of fancy eating regimens and diets has been growing at a rapid pace for several years now, some of which include vegan, organic, gluten-free and paleo, to name a few. A big one that I have been reading about lately, as well as hearing about from many people that I know is the Juice Cleanse.
Juicing has become a very controversial subject on the topic of health and dieting. On the one hand, if done right, a juice cleanse can have several health benefits that include ridding the body of toxins that stick around from the frequent consumption of things like caffeine and alcohol. On the other hand, if used as an excuse not to eat for a few days and [hopefully] drop a few pounds, juice cleansing can actually lead to weight gain, loss of energy, and a slower, less active metabolism.
Really, a juice cleanse just further encourages what our parents and doctors have been telling us our whole lives: to eat more fruits and veggies! A positive middle-ground would be to substitute one of your later-in-the-day, smaller meals or snacks with a nutritional juice. One (or two) a day is a good way to regularly consume more produce, especially if you don’t incorporate as much fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet as you’d like. If you add juicing regimens to an already healthy diet, you will see productive side effects on your skin, energy and focus levels, and an overall cleaner, healthier interior and exterior.
Now, like everything, this is circumstantial. I have a friend who suffers from unstable Crohn’s and Colitis, and she completes a juice cleanse once in a while in order to flush out her system and help her feel rejuvenated from the inside out. Juice cleanses have been said by doctors to have positive side effects on people with stomach and intestinal medical conditions, because their organs lack the ability to naturally detoxify as regularly as the rest of us. In this case, it is beneficial to one’s health to only drink these types of juices for two to three days. Many people will undergo this challenge in the hopes of losing weight…and yes, you may feel lighter and weigh less throughout the process. But just know that the results of a juice cleanse used for losing weight are like any other “yo-yo” diet; you will most likely gain all of the pounds you shed back when you start eating solid foods again, and sometimes even more. You can also do permanent damage on your metabolism when you shock your system by not eating.
On another note, if you are going to start adding freshly made juices into your diet, I highly recommend taking the time to look up good recipes and making them yourself – unless you’re prepared to practically empty out your wallet (*the average individual juice costs min. $13 a bottle, and buying into a 3-day juice cleanse can be up to $300).
If you are interested in these juices, whether store bought or homemade, the best way to go is by adding them into your regular eating routine as opposed to using them as supplements. If you have tried a juice cleanse or are thinking about it, I would love to hear about your opinions and experiences!
*image courtesy of blisstree.com