Juice detox “converts” who embark on cleanses which can last anything from 1 -7 days, wax lyrical about how it helps you lose weight, clears your skin, increases your energy and improves your mood Pass of Exile. But are they really safe?
Juicing: A Lasting Trend
Fresh juices and smoothies have been trending for a long time, and when you use berries and full-cream dairy, they even score points on the LCHF eating plan. Juice cleanses are different though, and not any old juice will do. It needs to be cold-pressed with all the fibre removed.
Are Cleanses Backed By Science?
Popularity aside, there’s not a lot of research to back up many of the health claims that juice cleanse companies (and converts) make. One German study did find a small decrease in cholesterol levels in men after an 8 day juice cleanse, but the effects didn’t last long, and cholesterol levels returned to normal within a week.
Juicing: The “Good”
Some juice-cleanse companies claim that without the fibre, your body’s able to absorb nutrients faster, and it gives your digestive system a break. Having said that, they also don’t recommend permanently replacing whole fruits and vegetables with juices, as whole fruits are much better when it comes to preventing diabetes, satisfying hunger, and delivering your daily dose of fibre.
Juicing: The “Bad”
There’s no evidence to suggest you need to detox your body, especially as it already does a very good job of it – thanks to your kidneys and liver which process everything you put into your body.
And while a 1 or 2 day juice cleanse probably won’t do you any harm, extended detoxes and cleanses can cause your body to start feeding off its own vital fat reserves, which isn’t good.
What’s the bottom line?
If you’re pregnant, taking prescription medication or suffer from a chronic disease, then juice cleanses aren’t for you. If you’re not sure – speak to your doctor first.
If you’re otherwise healthy, try a 1 or 2 day juice cleanse, but if you start feeling very weak or ill, then stop and return to your normal healthy diet.
Have you ever tried a juice cleanse? What was your experience?