Are Juicers Worth It | What Is a Juice Cleanse?
Are juicers worth it? Will they really get rid of toxins or flush your savings instead? Continue reading to discover all the juicy details.
Are Juicers Worth It? The Juicy Details on Juicing
What Is a Juice Cleanse?
Juice cleanses or juicing is a fad diet that many believe may help with weight loss and detoxification.
How does it work?
A juice cleanse is a restrictive diet, allowing you to only drink fruit or vegetable juices for days at a time. You can mix a variety of fruits into your juice, including:
- kale, berries, bananas
- bananas, apple, spinach
- avocados, bananas, kale, apples
What Are the Medical Benefits of Juicing?
1. May Introduce Fruits and Vegetables into Your Diet
Are you a fan of junk food and instant meals? Do you rarely have fruits and vegetables on your plate?
You may benefit from a short-term juice cleanse if it's a means to get some vitamins and minerals into your system.
Replace fast food with a green lifestyle juice, and you might see a difference in your waist circumference and energy level. But this may be because you are replacing unhealthy food with a better alternative. It may not be a direct result of the juice cleanse.
2. May Result in Short-Term Weight Loss
One 2017 study found that a 3-day juice cleanse may improve your gut microbiota and assist with weight loss.
The subjects drank six fruit juices daily for three days, followed by two weeks of a regular diet. At the end of the study, the subjects had improved gut microbiota, which could have contributed to weight loss.
However, it is important to note that this was a short-term study. It is difficult to say if it has adverse effects in the long run.
Many followers of the diet claim that juicing helped them lose weight and improved their overall health. However, these are purely anecdotal, and there is no long-term study and evidence to back up the claims.
3. May Promote Hydration
If you're not a fan of drinking water, then a sweet beverage may entice you.
RELATED: 7 Surprising Cucumber Juice Benefits
What Are the Risks of Juice Cleanses?
1. May Lead To the Development of Eating Disorders
One study found that the attitude associated with juice cleanses may lead to the development of purging disorder and orthorexia Nervosa.
Orthorexia Nervosa is classified as an eating disorder associated with an obsession or addiction to consuming healthy foods.
The study followed subjects in two Hungarian juice cleanse camps. The camp involved consuming solely juices with no solid foods, plenty of exercise, and very low-calorie intake.
The idea behind detoxification and juice cleanse may have good intentions but could be misunderstood and abused. Discuss what diet suits you best with a registered dietitian.
2. May Lead To Obesity, Liver Injury, Metabolic Syndrome
Fruit juices are deceptively packed with tons of sugar.
Drinking too much fruit juice is linked to a higher risk of obesity. And studies show that consuming sucrose (sugar) without fiber could lead to liver injury, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of symptoms that could lead to a heart attack, including:
- high blood sugar
- low levels of good cholesterol
- high levels of triglycerides
- a large waist
- high blood pressure
3. May Impair Kidney Function
Oxalate is a compound that is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is a known nephrotoxin, a substance that damages kidney tissues.
One case report found that a patient with chronic kidney disease that followed a juice cleanse diet suffered acute renal failure.
While a juice cleanse may not necessarily cause kidney damage in healthy individuals, it's important to keep track of what you put into your body. Maintain a balanced diet, and don't forget to hit your daily calcium requirements.
Drinking juices alone does not get you all the macronutrients and minerals you need.
Doctors are more likely to promote drinking enough water, getting your fill of fiber, and eating healthful food to detoxify your body.
It is important to know that your body already comes with a high-performing detox factory. And it does not require any more assistance from a juice cleanse.
In fact, a “detoxifying” juice cleanse might actually be bad for your body's detox center—your kidneys.
Fruits and vegetables are undoubtedly healthy, but a juice cleanse may not be the best way to get them in your body.
Which Is Better? Juicing vs Eating Vegetables and Fruits?
Juicers get rid of the pulp, fiber, and some healthy compounds in your fruits and juices.
And without fiber, you may not feel satisfied with your juice blends.
Enjoying fruits and vegetables is still the gold standard in getting vitamins and minerals into your body.
Also, explore using blenders instead of juices. Blenders and smoothies do a much better job of keeping all the healthful compounds and fibers in fruits and vegetables intact.
How Do You Start a Juice Cleanse Diet?
If you want to look into a juice cleanse to introduce fruits and vegetables into your diet, are not diabetic, and do not have any chronic kidney diseases, then here's how to start your diet.
Before anything, discuss your intentions with a dietitian and a physician. Make sure that your goals and objectives are aligned with the potential benefits of a juice cleanse.
Your dietitian may prescribe an even better diet for you. On the other hand, your doctor may raise some concerns that may deter you from this diet.
A juice cleanse diet may last anywhere between 3-10 days. Keep your diet duration short to lower your risk of malnutrition.
Again, consider buying a blender instead of a juicer. There are blenders in the market that blend straight into a ready-to-go tumbler. You'll only need to wash the dishes once, and you only blend what you can drink.
Because fruits already contain sugar, you don't need to add any more sugar to your juice or smoothie. Make your own recipes or research some tried and tested ones.
Start with these delicious recipes:
- Strawberry smoothie
- Peanut butter banana smoothie
- Razzy blue smoothie
- Almond berry smoothie
- Kale banana smoothie
Juicing, when done right and with good intentions, may boost your health.
Discuss the pros and cons with your doctor and dietitian before buying a juicer. The risks may outweigh the benefits of a juice cleanse.
It's great that you're taking matters into your own hands and are looking into diets that help you get more fruits and vegetables in your diet. But know that juicing is not the only way to do that.
A healthy diet and active lifestyle are the best ways to care for your kidneys and detox your body.
Are you convinced of the therapeutic powers of a juice cleanse? Or are you investing in a blender instead? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!
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