With such proposed benefits, such as a reduction in high blood pressure and rapid weight loss, many are intrigued by the concept of a juice cleanse. However, what exactly does this process involve? Moreover, do you undergo a juice cleanse to maximize its benefits without experiencing harmful side effects?
Juice Cleansing – An Explanation
Before delving into the benefits, and recipes, of the most popular juice cleanses, it’s important to understand what a juice cleanse actually is. It’s only with this understanding can you move forward and find the ideal cleansing routine for your specific body type and health needs.
Juice cleansing, also referred to as juice fasting, is a controversial topic within many health and wellness circles. In the most fundamental level, a juice cleanse is when you consume nothing but freshly juiced fruits and vegetables in an effort to detoxify the body from harmful toxins. The duration of such fasts can last anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks.
There are many reasons why someone begins a juice cleanse. Many begin this specific type of fast as a means of detoxifying the body; however, the reasons for fasting are just as varied as the type of juices used throughout a program. Some set out on a juicing adventure to shed unwanted body fat while others do so to inhibit habitual behaviors, such as drinking soda, overeating or to as a means of smoking cessation.
Many proponents of juice cleansing believe this act can help treat – or even cure – various chronic conditions, such as depression, severe infections and even cancer; however, very few scientific studies have been conducted to support such uses.
Regardless of the reasons why you start a juice cleanse, many state similar benefits. Since the concept of a juice cleanse is to avoid solid foods for a specific duration, many find the lack of solids help eases the digestive process, which ideal for those with various digestive disorders. However, the true potential of any juice cleanse program is the ingredients used to create the juices.
By ingesting juices high in nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it’s believed the body is “super charged” to ward off toxins and treat the damage caused by free radicals. Because of this, many choose to perform a juice cleanse after an illness or a long spurt of unhealthy eating.
UNIVERSAL BENEFITS OF A JUICE CLEANSE
If you’ve spent any time reading forums or blog posts from juice cleanse proponents, then you’ve likely come across an ever-growing list of “benefits.” Unfortunately, many of these benefits are unique to the person and not typical for the average juicer. This being noted, there are several universal benefits believed to be applicable for all who embark on a juice cleanse journey. Of course, your results and benefits can be dramatically different.
While you may experience several common benefits, your body may react in a unique way, which results in one-of-a-kind benefits. The most important thing to remember before starting a juice cleanse is your body is unique. With its uniqueness comes unpredictable results. Keep a journal and use a juice cleanse as an opportunity to learn your body and its individual needs.
1# | Stomach Rest – Millions of Americans take stomach acid-suppressing supplements and drugs. Regardless of the reason why you take antacids, many find juice cleansing provides a much-needed relief from symptoms as the lack of solid foods eases the strain placed on stomach acids – and the digestive system as a whole. When you solely consume juice, the need for the various digestive enzymes, such as pepsin, acid and churning, are greatly lowered. This is especially beneficial for the elderly who are unable to produce ample stomach acid for standard digestion.
2# | Digestive System Ease – Throughout your life, you’ve likely consumed hundreds of pounds of foods filled with toxins. From the saturated fats to overly processed fast food ingredients, your digestive system is constantly bombarded with foreign bodies and toxins. Over time, this constant battle happening in your gut can stress the intestines and lead to a decrease in functionality.
Those taking medications add to the stress placed on the digestive system, which may cause such conditions as “leaky gut,” which is when actual holes and tears form along the intestinal barrier. By consuming antioxidant-rich juices filled with beneficial nutrients, you promote natural healing while giving your digestive system ample time to rest and rejuvenate.
Spinach and apple smoothie.
3# | Liver Support – Known as the primary detoxifying organ within your body, your liver is solely responsible for filtering toxins out of incoming food sources, and your blood. Since the majority of our food sources are filled with harmful compounds, the liver is among the most taxed organs in the human body.
When the liver becomes overworked, it’s unable to efficiently remove toxins from your body, which increases the number of circulating toxins. By eliminating solid foods and replacing them with nutrient-rich juices, the liver is not only tended to, but it’s given a much-needed rest period, which allows it to naturally rejuvenate and regenerate its cellular structures.
4# | Reduce Inflammation – Many physicians and Herbalism professionals proclaim the same message – inflammation is what’s killing our bodies. The body’s natural inflammatory response to external and internal toxins and stress can result in a myriad of dysfunctions and ailments. Many times, the food we eat and the lifestyle we support not only increases inflammation, but sustains an active level of inflammation.
By digesting antioxidant-rich compounds through all natural juicing, you directly influence the level of inflammation throughout your body. Over time, with regular juicing, you can eliminate harmful inflammation, which likely results in the healing of various conditions and ailments.
Pineapple juice with peppermint leaf.
5# | Healing on the Cellular Level – When our cells are constantly fighting free radicals and inflammation, they are unable to perform their duties in a complete and efficient manner. This can translate to a myriad of health ailments and chronic conditions. However, by eradicating toxins and free radicals from your body via a juice cleanse, you allow cellular mitochondria to cultivate energy. This may yield dramatic results, such as a reduced risk of certain kinds of cancers or DNA disturbances.
6# | Essential Information for a Successful Juice Cleanse
Before delving into a juice cleanse, it’s important to clear the air regarding the best way to go about a cleanse. Perhaps the most important element of a juice cleanse is where you obtain your ingredients.
7# | Use Only Organic Ingredients – Do not purchase fruits or vegetables that were grown using chemical fertilizers or harmful pesticides. The goal of a juice cleanse is to ward off the harm caused by these – and other – substances, not increase their concentration. The best places to find locally grown ingredients is at your local farmer’s market. If you do not have access to such a retail environment, visit your local health food store. While organic ingredients can be more expensive, the cost is well worth the benefits.
8# | Do Not Only Use Fruits – One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to performing a juice cleanse is to only use fruit juices. While fruit plays a vital role in many juice cleanse recipes, they are far from the only ingredients. In fact, if you use too much fruit you may experience adverse health reactions due to its high sugar and carbohydrate content. As with anything in life, too much of a good thing is never good.
Variety of smoothies in vintage bottles.
9# | Don’t Forget to Chew – There are many wonderful responses when your jaw chews on food. Various hormones are released that stimulate digestive enzymes and chemicals in your brain begin to work to determine when you’re actually full. When you embark on a juice cleanse, you must always remember to lightly “chew” the juice as you drink it. This supports the healthy secretion of digestive enzymes necessary for maximum cleansing benefits.
10# | Skip the Gym – Many people who start a juice cleanse to shed unwanted pounds feel adding a bit of cardiovascular exercise or strength training is an excellent idea. Unfortunately, this is the downfall for many on a juice cleanse. Do not exercise while juicing. Doing so can cause many unwanted side effects, such as dizziness, headaches, irregular heartbeat and fainting spells. Use this time to focus on your internal body.
THE MOST 5 EFFECTIVE JUICE CLEANSE RECIPES
While there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of juice cleanse recipes out there, the following are noted as being the most beneficial due to their high nutritional content. This being noted, use your creativity and imagination when creating juice cleanse recipes. Research various vegetables and fruits, and combine those with the highest nutrients.
1# | Green to Clean – The Ultimate Green Juice Recipe
Loaded with potassium, magnesium, folic acid, phosphorus, essential amino acids, iron and a host of antioxidants, this green juice recipe is potent and capable of eliminating toxins throughout your entire body while simultaneously introducing essential compounds for full-body health. Combine the following ingredients into a juicing machine, or a blender, and drink every morning.
- 1 bunch of Celery
- 5 Kale Leaves
- 1 Green Apple (Whole)
- 1 Handful of Parsley Leaves
- 1 Whole Lime (Juiced)
- 1 Whole Lemon (Juiced)
- 1 Inch of Freshly Chopped Ginger Root
- 1 Tablespoon of Organic Coconut Oil
2# | Blackberry, Apple and Beet Power Detox Juice
Blackberry and apple smoothie.
Filled with Vitamin C, manganese potassium, folate and a myriad of antioxidant, this juicing recipe is not only delicious, but beneficial for those seeking to expedite the elimination of harmful free radicals.
- 3 Whole Beets
- 3 Apples (Choose Your Favorite)
- 8 Ounces of Blackberries
- ½ Inch of Freshly Chopped Ginger Root
Blend these ingredients together and consume at least once a day for 7 days.
3# | Spicy Juice for Heated Detoxification
The ingredients used in this juicing recipe stimulate your metabolism, which helps aid in the removal of body fat while simultaneously providing your body with much-needed energy. The antioxidant count in these ingredients are extremely high, which makes it an essential juice for total body detoxification.
- 1 Quarter of a Fresh Pineapple
- 1 Whole Orange (Juiced)
- ½ Handful of Cilantro
- ½ Jalapeno (keep the seeds for an extra jolt of spice)
Combine these ingredients and blend in a juicer or in a blender. Drink in the afternoon for an excellent boost in energy and mental clarity.
4# | The Ultimate Detoxification Juice
If you’re searching for a juice that’s able to aid in detoxification while supporting the natural function of all your bodily organs, then you’ll want to add this recipe to your daily juicing habits. Each ingredient was chosen for its ability to actively push out toxins and provide nutritional balance, which is imperative during a juice cleanse. Many find this juice to be their ideal choice when hunger strikes.
- ½ Cup of Pineapple
- 2 Large Cucumbers
- 1 Bunch of Kale (Remove the stems)
- ½ Lemon (Juice)
- ¼ Inch of Freshly Chopped Ginger
- ½ Cup of Freshly Chopped Mint
Combine these ingredients into a blender – or juicer – and consume whenever you need a quick pick-me-up. Add 1 tablespoon of raw honey for taste, if desired.
5# | Ward Off Bacteria and Promote Digestive Health – Lemon & Flaxseed Recipe
Lemon juice in a can.
In Indian medicine, which is also referred to as Ayurveda medicine, the juice of a lemon is believed to hold powerful antibacterial properties. This is a fact that’s quickly being supported by modern science. This unique detox drink supports whole body detoxification while also supporting healthy digestive function. Drink in the morning for all-day digestive support and for a potent immune-system jolt!
- 1 Cup of Hot Water
- ½ Lemon (Juiced)
- 1 Teaspoon of Ground Flaxseed
Combine these ingredients into a glass and vigorously stir. Immediately consume and repeat each morning or afternoon.