I get a lot of questions about juice cleanses. Should we do them? For most people, the answer is no. Here’s why:
1. They are exorbitantly expensive. I’ve seen juice “cleanses” for up to $100 a day. Are you kidding me??? I can buy enough ORGANIC fruits and vegetables to last a MONTH for $100.
2. They are not as nutritious as you think. Most of the nutrition in fruits and vegetables, in fact about 50%, is found in the skin or very close to the skin. Removing the skin removes 50% of the nutrition. Also, there is evidence that juices need to be consumed fresh minutes after juicing for full nutritional and antioxidant benefits. Something that has been pre-packaged and sitting on a shelf somewhere is not “fresh-squeezed”.
3. Where’s the fiber? Most of us are painfully deficient in fiber due to overconsumption of processed foods and not enough consumption of whole fruits and vegetables. Also, sugar is digested slower in the presence of fiber, preventing rapid increases in blood sugar. That’s why we need to eat the whole fruit and not just the juice. Here is the really ironic thing about fiber…your body needs fiber to remove bile produced in the liver after it has traveled and accumulated toxins in the body. When the diet is high in fiber, this fiber binds to the bile and takes it out of the body as waste. Without fiber, the “dirty” bile full of toxins recirculates through the body and back to the liver rather than the liver making new bile. This is the exact OPPOSITE of the effect you are trying to achieve by doing a “cleanse” in the first place. How ironic is that? Take away the fiber and you are taking away one of the most beneficial aspects of eating fruits and vegetables as well as your body’s natural cleansing ability.
4. They don’t result in weight loss. As juice cleanses have become more trendy, it was only a matter of time before they would be promoted for weight loss. There is no science to back up weight loss claims of juice cleanses. It’s 100% marketing hype.
5. If you continue to drink alcohol and eat processed foods, “cleansing” is pointless. The first question I ask someone when I hear they are doing a juice cleanse is….have you given up alcohol? If the answer is no, then why you doing a cleanse when you are still putting toxins in simultaneously? The best favor you can do your body so it will naturally “cleanse” itself for FREE is give up alcohol and processed foods, both of which your body views as direct toxins.
There is one instance in which juicing by a specific method and consumed within minutes of the juicing process and on a completely empty stomach has been shown to deliver maximum nutrition to a population that otherwise can’t absorb enough nutrients. This is in the case of extreme late stage cancer patients who have undergone toxic chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This small segment of the population can actually benefit nutritionally from juicing over eating whole fruits and vegetables, when done correctly.
As is the case often in our society, some of us have been lured by slick marketing, packaging, and the promise of a quick fix that will detox our whole body and restore us to good health, just by drinking so and so’s $100 a day juice and without having to change our own unhealthy behaviors. It doesn’t work that way and never has. Sorry to burst the bubble, but the juice cleanse trend needs to go.