Raw juicing has garnered its own share of controversy, but experts and proponents say that they are generally safe, especially when done the right way. So, how do you know that you are doing the right thing? How can you make the most out of your detox drinks when you decide to go on a juice cleanse?
What Is A Juice Cleanse?
A juice cleanse or fast involves limiting your diet and drinking only liquid extracted from fresh fruit and vegetable few days up to a few weeks. This is a kind of fast that focuses on fresh and raw drinks, so your bottled OJ or cranberry juice from the nearby grocery store does not count.
Most people generally make their juices at home, but there are also many providers or manufacturers of fresh detox drinks that supply and deliver to local clients.
Why Do People Do It?
So, why do people actually go on juice cleanses? What compels them to ditch real food for several days and subsist on liquid meals instead? Here are some reasons:
It is an easy way to get your fill of fruits and vegetables. Dietary guidelines recommend that you get five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables each day. That’s somewhere around 2.5 to 6.5 cups of produce daily. Like most people, you may not consume enough of your daily greens. Juicing allows you to easily ingest cups of produce within a couple of gulps.
It can help you lose weight. One or two glasses of fresh juice can replace a full meal, without the added calories. Indeed, a juice meal can have just half or a third of the calories that you would otherwise consume if ate a real meal. A low calorie diet for three days can do wonders and help you lose a couple of pounds.
It allows your digestive system to rest. Taking detox drinks for several days allows your digestive system to get that much needed rest from digestion. The great thing about juices is that even though they are liquid meals, they do not deny your body of the essential nutrients that you would need to function well.
You get a wide range of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Detox diets allow you to get a wider range of produce in your diet. This is great especially if your meals are often limited to lettuce, carrots, peas and beans. Not all of us get enough of veggies like spinach, kale, turnips and beets. Juicing allows you to take in different vegetables and fruits, so you don’t just eat (or drink) the same things over and over again.
Getting fresh produce is healthier than cooked or processed foods. Raw produce is definitely better and more nutritious their cooked counterpart because cooking destroys many nutrients and enzymes that are beneficial for the body. Juicing raw produce preserves all these important and healthy goodies for the body to absorb and metabolize.
It improves your overall health. A quick detox cleanse can improve your overall health by doing the following:
- Balancing your blood sugar and pH levels
- Cleansing and regulating your colon
- Reducing toxin load
- Strengthening your immune system
- Improving mental clarity
- Improving liver function
- Reducing sugar cravings
- Improve cellular function
- Purifies blood, tissue and organs
- Increase energy levels
- Reduce allergies
How To Detox: What You Can Do
When you decide to go on a juice cleanse, you will need to do more than just pick bottles up from the nearest juice bar. To begin, you will have to consider (and do) a few things:
How long you need to detox – First things first. When deciding how to detox: you have to determine how long you want to do the fast. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you start slow. A full-day juice cleanse, or a modified version that includes eating solid produce would be ideal. If you have tried juicing before, you may want to do it for three days or go for a five-day challenge. Knowing how long you need to detox will help you prepare your menu for the whole duration of the diet
Creating your menu – Once you decide how many days you want your detox plan to be, you can start creating your menu. There are many guides that teach you how to detox as well as juice recipes which you can easily follow. At best, you should plan to have at least two glasses per meal, with vegetables making up at least 60% and fruits making up 40% of your ingredients. Feel free to experiment with your ingredients, but be sure to include some power-food choices like kale, lettuce, spinach, celery, beets, ginger and lemons.
Preparing your drinks – Juicing can be a very time-consuming process. Thus, you may want to prepare all your drinks in the morning and store them in the refrigerator. While it is recommended that you drink juice that’s fresh from the juicer, you can safely prepare your detox drinks and store them for 24 hours. It may lose a little bit of its nutritional content, but that’s better than getting no nutrition at all. To reduce oxidation, store the drinks immediately it in tightly closed glass containers and place them inside the refrigerator.
Getting your body ready – Juicing can be a shocking and new experience to the body, so it would also help if you prepared yourself for it. You can do so by easing in fresh produce and raw juices in your diet at least a week before your start date.
A Word Of Caution
While juicing is a great way to cleanse your body, get your fill of nutrients and kick-start your weight loss efforts, there are some things that you need to remember.
First, fresh fruit and vegetable detox drinks have very little fiber and protein, and virtually have no fat. Thus, relying on them alone for long periods of time would lead to an incomplete diet. Helpful tip: You can add some of the pulp back to your juice so you can get some fiber. Because of this, it is best to keep your fasting, diet or detoxification program to a maximum of seven days. Anything longer than that may compromise your nutritional intake and do more harm instead of good.
Next, it is important that you follow proper food safety procedures when you prepare your drinks. Make sure that all the produce have been properly washed, use clean utensils and store your drinks well. Safe food handling should always be followed, considering that you are preparing raw detox drinks.
One last thing that you should remember when you learn how to detox is the fact that it should be a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. Thus, you should start by juicing fruits and vegetables that you actually enjoy eating in their solid or real form. Listen to your body. You should feel good throughout the process, not nauseous or sick. If you feel anything off, stop juicing and return to a regular diet. Hopefully though, it does not have to come to that.
Happy juicing, and let me know all about your experience!