Cleansing your body is a very popular practise for thousands of people. The health benefits may be numerous, but there are some important things to know BEFORE you start.
How it works
Generally speaking, there are two popular reasons we juice... lose weight and/or detoxify our bodies. Let's face it, a cleanse diet can be a real struggle with its restrictive food and lowered calorie counts. Before you go down the path of a cleanse, let's quickly look at a few things to ensure we're on the same page.
It's important to know the difference.
Juicing and blending are two different things! Juicing takes ONLY the juice from fruits and vegetables and separates them from the pulp. Blending pretty much takes the entire fruit and/or vegetable and mixes it all together, including the pulp or fibrous portion.
The most common way of juicing is to consume ONLY juice for a certain amount of time. That amount of time can vary depending on the individuals physiology but typically ranges from three to 10 days.
The juice composition can be from fruits, vegetables or a combination of the two.
Before you start a juice cleanse it is typically a great idea to see your family doctor and let them know what you want to do so they can identify any potential issues that relate specifically to you. However, we have listed some of the potential risks that doctors have identified:
If you have a kidney disorder, large quantities of juice could potentially be harmful. There are certain types of juices that contain "oxalate", an acid that can contribute to the formulation of kidney stones
Since a cleansing diet typically has significantly lowered caloric intake, this may contribute to temporary weight loss but is rarely long-lasting. Low calorie intake can also potentially lower your blood sugar which may cause you to feel faint, hungry, weak and dehydrated.
Are you including laxatives in your juice cleanse? If so, be extra careful! With the added bowel stimulation you may lose a much larger amount of nutrients than a typical cleanse. This can lead to all sorts of issues including, but not limited to, dehydration and imbalanced electrolytes.
If you are consuming juices that are unpasteurized or haven't been treated to remove bacteria you may be exposing yourself to a higher risk for illness. In addition, if you have a weak immune system you will be at added risk.
If done carefully and with doctor oversight, a juice cleanse can be a useful tool to help "re-set" your system and help you remove some of the toxicity found within your body. Although many of the benefits are somewhat anecdotal, the bottom line is, if you feel better after a juice cleanse... you win!