The Pros and Cons of a Juice Cleanse
As we enter spring, more fresh fruit and vegetables will become available, which means the season of the juice cleanse is upon us. The idea is simple; drink your meals. What that actually means varies from diet to diet. Sometimes you can replace one meal a day with a juice concoction or you replace every meal for a week or more. The juice itself is squeezed from various vegetables or fruits, often without the pulp. The type of food used can be restrictive depending on the cleanse, as can the amount you can drink at a time. The main goal of a cleanse is to "detox" the body and lose weight.
Like most quick fixes, there is little evidence that going on a juice cleanse is beneficial in the long run. Weight lost during the cleanse is mostly due to a lower intake in calories and water weight. Once off the cleanse, your body will naturally start to store more fat and quickly replace the pounds lost. Thinking you can circumvent this with a longer juice cleanse? Think again. Long-term cleanses can have damaging effects on your liver due to a molecule called oxalate, which is found in most plants. When consumed in large amounts, it can permanently damage your liver. In a cruel case of irony, the organ that helps detox the body is the one that is hurt the most by it.
One of the most common anecdote upsides of a juice cleanse is people say they experience a spike in their energy levels. There hasn't been much scientific research devoted to this; it could also be that cutting back on unhealthy food is leading to more energy as your diet becomes more balanced. The main issue with juice cleanses is that they lack nutrients that you would find in other foods, such as fiber, which is vital to a healthy gut.
The important thing to remember is juicing isn't sustainable. You need to add more vitamins and nutrients to your diet if you are feeling low on energy consistently or not feeling well in general. In the end, juice cleanses are not a healthy way to start a lifestyle change. There isn't enough scientific data to support juice cleanses are good for you and anecdotal accounts are unreliable and varying in their results. There are no quick fixes in life and this is no exception. A proper diet and healthy lifestyle is the only sustainable way to obtain more energy and feel better overall.