Vegetable and fruit juice used in a juice cleanse are huge in the nutrition industry today. The popular ones are the green smoothie, a concoction of kale, spinach, celery, lettuce, cucumber and green apple, and the red cocktail made from beets, carrot, ginger, apple and lemon. Drinking these beverages is not bad. It is a viable option for people who do not always have access to or time to integrate vegetables and fruits in their daily meals.
Proponents of juice cleanse promote it as a way to rid the body of toxins, to rejuvenate the body and to help shed pounds, but many nutrition experts agree that this is an overkill and maintain that eating vegetables and fresh fruits is better because of its abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber, especially found in the skin and pulp. So which is which? Let’s find out.
- Juice cleanse detoxifies for a healthy body.
Detox has become as ever-present as the anti-microbial soap. But the body has a natural state of self-cleaning rendering a liquid detox diet like juice cleanse needless. The body’s own detoxification system is made up of different systems and organs. The most primary filter is the liver, which metabolizes nutrients and neutralizes and eliminates harmful substances from medicines or chemicals and other toxins. The kidneys filter out waste substances from the fluid in our system and move them out of the body as urine, no wonder it’s used for basic health screening. The gastrointestinal tract filters out parasites prior to absorbing nutrients into the blood via the colon and excretes excess waste as feces. The immune system’s intricate network of cells fights off foreign substances. Lastly, the skin protects the whole body from harmful physical and environmental factors, although toxins are not removed through sweat.
- Juice cleanse restores the body’s energy.
The body needs a healthy and balanced diet to have enough energy for daily living. Juice cleanse is inadequate in protein, fatty acids, and essential nutrients. The low-carbohydrate intake produces low calories, which translate to low energy. The laxative effect can cause dehydration and electrolyte depletion, especially when done long-term. It can also interfere with the intestinal flora responsible for digestion. Going on a juice cleanse repeatedly may increase the risk of accumulating too much acidity in the blood and in severe cases can result to coma or death. In 2013, The American Journal of Medicine reported a juicing-induced damage where the patient developed oxalate nephropathy requiring temporary hemodialysis due to 6 weeks of a juicing cleanse.
- Juice cleanse is good for weight loss.
The specific effects of juice cleanse in weight loss is still not medically established. But numerous researches have revealed that fasting and extremely low-calorie dieting decrease the body’s basal metabolic rate in its effort to save energy. The juice cleanse-induced weight loss is primarily due to fluid loss from extremely low-carbohydrate intake and recurrent bowel movements. Once normal eating and drinking is resumed, the lost weight is rapidly regained.
So, is juice cleanse good? Gulping down 16 ounces of vegetable and/or fruit juice every couple of hours plus unlimited water and skipping normal food intake for 5 days or more is not a great idea. To date, no strong scientific evidence that echoes the advantages of juice cleanse over vegetables and fruits exists.
Many people are led to believe that they should limit or focus on specific food groups, but this isn’t the case. A healthy individual should pay close attention to providing the body what it needs to keep its self-detoxification running. This includes a healthy diet, sufficient fluid intake, constant exercise and adequate sleep. If something in the body doesn’t feel right, visit the doctor rather than immediately beginning a juice cleanse.