What is a Juice Cleanse?
A juice cleanse is a “detox diet” in which a person consumes only fruits and vegetables (in liquid form) to obtain nutrition. The cleanse may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The liquids consumed during a juice cleanse are produced freshly and without additives – that is, not the ready-made commercial variety that one can pick up at a grocery store. Please note that juice cleanses are considered by many to be a controversial fasting method.
Why do people do it?
Reasons to undergo juice cleansing may include spiritual or religious reasons, the desire to lose weight, the desire to rid the body of toxicity, and/or the attempts to stop bad habits such as smoking, soda addictions, caffeine addiction, and the like. In general, some “juicers” may believe that juice cleansing will cure chronic pain, certain illnesses and/or diseases, while others believe that they can heal specific organs and systems.
The downside of juice cleansing
• Juicing is loaded with sugar.
• Juicing can cause constipation because fiber has been extracted from the fruits and vegetables used to cleanse.
• Fruits and vegetables lack the protein your body requires to be healthy and function efficiently.
• Juicing deprives the body of fats that it needs to function effectively.
• Juicing may cause sodium depletion. Sodium depletion can lead to a salt deficiency which may prevent the body from absorbing minerals from the juices.
• During the cleanse some people report feeling hungry, anxious, tired, headaches, sick, nauseous and/or weak. Any/all of these symptoms may be caused by not eating the proteins and fats your body requires.
My professional assessment on juice cleansing
• Juice cleanses can ultimately result in binge eating. The big problem after a juice cleanse is that most people resort to binge eating. Even after they have been instructed to slowly ease into solid foods such as salads and vegetables, most juicers find this hard to do. They recall their feelings of torture while they watched others eating during their juice fasting period. It’s very easy to give into this temptation..
• Juice cleanses can deprive your body of needed proteins. Protein is the building blocks of life. The body needs protein to repair and maintain itself. Every cell in the human body contains protein and it makes up the majority of the tissue in skin, muscles, organs, and glands. Depriving your body of protein may impair its ability to make and repair cells and may stunt its growth and development.
• Juice cleanses may result in an essential fatty acid deficiency. Fat is needed so your body can absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, S, E, K, and prevent deficiencies of these vitamins. Fats also help food to stay in the stomach longer, giving a greater sense of fullness and preventing hunger pangs. Fasting diets that are low in fat (less than 20 – 25% of total calories consumed), such as juice cleanses, may trigger intense food cravings.
The proper way of cleansing
Before embarking on a juice cleanse, keep in mind everything that we just discussed. Incorporate into your cleansing program other rich ingredients such as milk derived from raw nuts (such as almond milk). Raw-nut milk is loaded with healthy fats, protein and minerals. It will also keep you full for longer periods of time, thus reducing powerful food cravings. You should also add Himalayan Salt to your juice cleanse to help prevent dehydration and electrolyte deficiencies.
Please contact my office for help and guidance if you want to discuss any of these matters. Always remember to consult your doctor prior to starting any detoxification cleanse.
May you stay healthy and energetic!
Dr. Francis Gonzalez, ND