The changing lifestyle of modern times poses new health challenges every day. Survival on junk food, paired with the lack of regular physical exercise only contributes to higher risks of numerous diseases. It is, therefore, necessary to detoxify your body every once in a while to keep it fit and going.
What is a Juice Cleanse?
Juice cleanse is a process of detoxification of the body via the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Juice cleanse involves abstinence from solid food, thereby saving the body from having to digest fats, additives, and countless other toxins. Juice cleanse, in particular, started in the 1940s, with the “master cleanse” By Peter Glickman and has gained tremendous popularity in the past few years.
Juice cleanses are safe to practice, however it is advisable to contact your doctor before starting one. Beginners are advised to start with a day of juice cleanse a week, which is then raised to 3 days per week. Post the body getting accustomed to a liquid diet, juice cleanses can be practiced for up to 21 days a month.
Signs that your body needs detoxification:
• Weight gain
Most toxins are lipophilic, implying that they get stored in the form of fat. The body thus generated more fat cells to store more toxins, which eventually leads to weight gain. If our weight is continuously on the rise, despite regular exercise, it might be a call for detoxification.
• Frequent Breakouts:
An increase in toxin levels of the body overloads the liver. The liver detoxifies and excretes these toxins via different excretory fluids. Since skin is one of the main excretory organs, removing wastes along with sweat, an increase in toxin levels causes acne and rashes.
• Constant fatigue:
Toxins like aspartame and monosodium glutamate affect the brain directly, causing headaches. Frequent headaches can thus be a sign that your body is in need of a detox.
A lack of antioxidants cause the toxins to build up in the blood, which leads to irregular bowel movements and constipation.
How to start a juice cleanse
Juice cleanses can be performed at home on one’s own or can be done under medical supervision. A pre-cleanse is advisable before going on a juice cleanse in order to avoid “healing crisis”, which is the sudden release of endotoxins in the bloodstream, leading to headache, nausea, and fever. The duration of a pre-cleanse depends upon the eating habits. a 2-day pre-cleanse works enough for Individuals who normally eat healthy, whereas people having higher junk intakes are advised a five to seven-day pre-cleanse.
Performing a pre-cleanse
• Drink more water:
drinking enough water is the most important part of a pre-cleanse diet as it responsible for the transportation of nutrients around the body. More water intake implies a quicker transfer of nutrients, resulting in healthier tissues. Moreover, dehydration is often mistaken as hunger by the brain, so proper water intake helps you in keeping a check on your diet.
• Avoid caffeinated products:
Reduce the consumption of caffeinated products including coffee, soda, and soft drinks. Cutting down on caffeine helps in dealing with headaches during the juice cleanse.
•Eat more fruits and vegetables:
A healthy diet increases the levels of enzymes in the body, which helps in better detoxification during the juice cleanse. Eating fruits and vegetables also help in adapting the body and making it ready for the upcoming juice cleanse.
• Say no to animal products:
Animal products, including dairy, require more extensive digestion and should, therefore, be avoided. The best way is to start easing the burden on your digestive system so that it doesn’t struggle during the juice cleanse.
Diet post a Juice Cleanse
After the juice cleanse is over, one should first start with raw or lightly steamed vegetables, gradually switching to cooked vegetables and dairy. This is very similar to the pre-cleanse diet routine. Animal products and dairy are usually tested via consumption in small amounts before incorporating them back in the regular schedule.
The benefits of Juice Cleanse
1. More nutrients
Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients. A juice cleanse increases the amount of nutrient intake by the body and thus promotes healthier tissues. Moreover, a glass of juice is usually made from 2-3 fruits, and therefore contains more nutrients than a raw piece of fruit. This also aids in the increase in nutrient intake.
Water is the chief fluid behind the removal of toxins from the body. Regular consumption of caffeinated drinks and beverages leads to an increase in the toxins, which are not effectively removed if the body is not hydrated enough. Juices rehydrate the body and thus help in the effective removal of toxins.
3. Healthier skin
Juice cleanses can initially lead to breakouts in certain cases, but that is just another process by which the body gets rid of toxins. In the long run, the nutrients provide for shinier, smoother and healthier skin. Coconut water and almond milk which form an integral part of any juice cleanse, provide for vitamin E, which helps in nourishing the skin and clearing up pores, making it healthier.
4. Improved digestion
juice cleanse helps in improving digestion as the body is introduced to new enzymes that make the gut function more effectively.
Our body has automated detoxifying systems that work all the time. Methods like juice cleanse help in enhancing this process. Abstinence from solid food gives the brain a rest from performing digestion, which causes the system to promote the removal of toxins instead. Our body stores toxins in fat tissues. When these tissues burn to release energy, they simultaneously release the toxins in the bloodstream, which is then eliminated via excretion.
6. Boosts energy
Laziness is usually a result of increased levels of toxins in the blood. Detoxification helps in removing these toxins from the bloodstream, making you feel fresh and energetic.
7. Rapid Weight loss
Juicing leads to a decrease in the water mass of the body which in turn reduces weight. This reduction in weight is only due to less intake of calories and is therefore short-lived. Long term weight loss can only be achieved via a healthier lifestyle. It is important to understand that juice cleanses should be seen as the first step towards adopting a regular healthy lifestyle, and not as a make-up for consuming junk.
8. Stronger immunity
Fruits and vegetables are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds which help in building immunity. Moreover, the juices used in juice cleanse, or most juices, in general, are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene. These help in providing protection against oxidative damaging diseases such as heart diseases and cancer.
9. Healthier hair
While there are juice cleanses that specifically target hair loss, general juicing also contains minerals like silica which help in promoting hair growth. In the case of males, the vegetable juices help in inhibiting the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT, the hormone responsible for baldness.
10. Cleanses liver
The liver is the main organ behind the detoxification of the body. The toxins are secreted under the action of enzymes via sweat, urine and other excretory fluids. Detoxification in the liver occurs in three phases. Phase one and two involve the conversion of fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble substances. These are then excreted in phase three of the detoxification cycle. Consumption of products that contain fewer toxins helps in resting the liver, rejuvenating its health.
11. Helps in discovering food intolerance:
It is generally advised to test food before incorporating them back in the normal schedule post a juice cleanse. This serves as an effective method to test intolerance towards dairy, animal products or specific minerals.
12. Heals body cells
Juicing reduces free radicals and makes it easier for mitochondria to generate more energy. This helps in faster replacement of dead and aging cells. Juicing also helps promote proper DNA functioning.
13. Reduces inflammation
Juicing helps in reducing inflammation by killing free radicals in the blood. Juicing supports the liver’s detoxification process, which also helps in reducing inflammation. Moreover, there is abstinence from gluten, dairy, and alcohol, which further helps in reducing inflammations.
14. Slower aging
Toxins cause oxidation, which damages body cells. This, in turn, leads to faster aging. Detoxification reduces the oxidation effect, which slows down aging.
15. Balances body pH
The pH of a healthy human is slightly alkaline and lies between 7 to 8. This pH changes depending upon the diet. It is, therefore, necessary to consume products that help the body in maintaining the required alkaline pH. Most vegetables and fruits are alkaline-forming foods and help in increasing the pH levels of the body. This in turns helps the body to function better, keeping it healthy.
Juicing is one of the easiest methods of detoxification. It is easily accessible as most of the juices can be freshly prepared at home. Accompanied by various other benefits, a juice cleanse is worth giving a try!