Every year around swim suit time, the idea of a juice cleanse can become more popular. The terms juicing or juice cleanse usually refer to a period of three to 10 days, when a person’s diet consists mainly of fruit and vegetable juices. If you are interested in juicing this spring, there may be both advantages and disadvantages to your health.
1. Juices are high in antioxidants
More and more evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of chronic disease including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and asthma. Antioxidants found in fruit are also associated with reducing inflammation.
2. A juice diet avoids dairy, wheat, and gluten
If you are sensitive to some of the more common allergenic foods, a juice cleanse may give your body a much-needed break. Reintroducing potential problem foods slowly could also be very informative.
3. A juice cleanse can promote weight loss
Eliminating overly processed or fatty foods for a short period of time can help reset your thought process on food choices. After eliminating bad foods for a period, you might be more thoughtful about choosing bad foods when the cleanse is complete, putting you on a path to healthier eating.
1. Juices can contain added sugars
Not all juices are created equal. The sugar content of the juices you plan to consume during the cleanse should be considered. Too much sugar can lead to higher calories and spikes and dips in mood.
2. Detoxification related to juicing is a myth
Most agree that there is little evidence to support the idea that a juice cleanse will detoxify your organs. The liver detoxifies itself so there is no need to detoxify it further. The gut is full of both good and bad bacteria, so detoxifying all bacteria in the gut would not be a good idea.
3. Compromised kidneys may not tolerate a juice cleanse
If you have kidney problems, you should consult with your doctor before undertaking a juice cleanse. Juice consumption enhances oxalate consumption, which can be risky for those with kidney problems.
Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.