The Juice Cleanse: An Up-Close Look at This Trending Detox Solution
Temperatures are warming, the days are getting longer, and the smell of spring is almost here. It’s a great time to refresh and re-energize. After a winter season that for many includes holiday overeating and a less-than-fresh produce selection, it’s time to add more nutrients to life. One trending solution to instantly boost your vitamins and minerals is a juice cleanse.
Try a Detox Cleanse
In an article titled Detox Diets: Cleansing the Body, Jeanie Lerche Davis quoted Linda Page, Ph.D. and author of the book Detoxification. “Spring cleansing means detoxifying your body…. It’s a way to recharge, rejuvenate, and renew … The body is coming out of what might be called hibernation. It’s a way you can jump-start your body for a more active life, a healthier life.”
That’s why many people turn to cleanses this time of year. After existing mostly indoors during the cold winter months, we are ready to shed the heaviness of inactivity, breathe some fresh air, and begin anew. And many experts are recommending a detox cleanse as a way to revive your springtime vitality.
“We’re exposed to harmful substances all the time; they’re in our diet (pesticides, microbes, and mercury, to name a few) and the very air we breathe (think disinfectants, deodorizers, and the gasses released by fresh paint). Fortunately, we have an excellent system in place to handle those toxins: Enzymes throughout the body are continuously breaking them down and helping to flush them out,” taught Dr. Mehmet Oz in his article titled “Two-Day Wonder Cleanse.”
“A whole lot of juice…pushes everything else out of your system,”
As we are exposed to environmental chemicals, those toxins build up in the body over time causing inflammation and weakening our immune system. “This may make us more susceptible to chronic illness, such as headaches, arthritis, and asthma, not to mention heart disease and cancer,” stated Susan Blum, M.D., the founder and director of the Blum Center for Health, in an article written by Kate Parham.
And while our body is designed to filter these toxins, many people believe a detox cleanse can help your liver, kidneys, and colon function even better. So just what does a detox cleanse entail?
“It means drinking juice—a whole lot of juice and little else—which pushes everything else out of your system,” Page said. “You’re going to be drinking something every 90 minutes to two hours, so you won’t feel deprived or hungry.”
Recommending a weekend cleanse for starters, Page explained, “As your body gets lighter and lighter through the weekend, you can feel what’s going on. You’re getting rid of toxins accumulated during the winter.”
Taking time to relax is also important during a cleanse. Page suggests relaxation techniques like massage therapy, sauna, aromatherapy, deep breathing exercises, and walking to “round out” your experience.
Most experts agree that cleanses should be short-term. The “restrictive nature of a cleanse can cause carbohydrate and sugar cravings, making it easy to spiral back into not-so-great eating habits once you complete it,” wrote Parham.
“You’re going to be drinking something every 90 minutes to two hours, so you won’t feel deprived or hungry.”
It’s also a good idea to plan ahead when you commit to a detox cleanse. Understand that you may feel tired and/or hungry at times. Those on blood sugar or diabetes medication could feel dizzy when on a cleanse, so working with a doctor is recommended before beginning. Parham also cautioned against women who are pregnant or breast-feeding participating in a cleanse.
Adopt Clean Eating
Another excellent detox option is “clean” eating. This approach is for the long run and involves incorporating more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein in your diet daily. Combined with regular exercise, this is the practice most likely to give you results that last.
According to WebMD, clean eating means going “without a lot of the foods you usually eat. Detox diets are typically very rigid and involve eating the same few things over and over.” However, this can also be a boon to your grocery shopping and cooking schedule. “You won’t have a long shopping list and prep work should be minimal.”
You see, whole fruits and vegetables “act like a scrub brush for your digestive tract,” explained Parham. While a detox cleanse may be a great way to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle change, it should be followed by a commitment to better eating in general.
“For good health, we need to not only reduce our exposure to toxins but also supply the body with the nutrients it requires … It’s fine if you want to jump on the juice bandwagon: Juices can be an easy way to get in your greens, for instance, without having to eat fistfuls of kale. But juices should be just one part of a balanced diet that includes minimally processed foods, good-quality lean protein, and plenty of whole fruits and vegetables—which, ironically, are the real cleansers,” taught Blum.