“Should I do a juice cleanse?”
This is the most common question I get asked in the summer months. With the vacations, kickbacks, BBQs, drinks and delicious food that summer provides us, most people find their bodies screaming for a detox.
So is a juice cleanse the way to go?
It makes sense providing a one, three or five-day break from junk food to rest the digestive system, and hey, plants are healthy … right? Some people need the commitment level cleanses provide, otherwise they just can’t say no to unhealthy food. Or they don’t know what’s healthy, so a cleanse seems like the best option.
The problem is, not all juice cleanses are created equal. In any given city, you’ll find several different juicers — some organic, many not — and there’s no “standard” juice cleanse. You’d be hard-pressed to find one that’s physician or dietician formulated, and with hundreds of fruits and vegetables out there, you can imagine the variance in nutritional value!
So you want a juice cleanse, in order to detox? Well, the liver is already your detoxer 24/7, and actually just needs support so it can detox better. Livers get clogged up from processed food, sugar, prescription drugs, pesticides, chemicals, stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep and more. Basically, the liver is constantly picking up the slack for anything unhealthy in your life.
To support the liver, we need to:
- Remove the aforementioned inflammatory liver-loaders
- Add in nutrients
Sugar is the second-most inflammatory thing we can consume. Can you see where I’m going with this?
Your juice needs to be supporting your liver.
Meaning: low sugar, high nutrients, void of pesticides (organic). Otherwise, you’re still taxing the liver while expecting it to help you detox!
Juicing is amazing for leafy greens and herbs. It’s a super efficient way to get a large amount of nutrients without chewing through bundles of cilantro. But juicing tropical fruits is just a huge dose of sugar for a small amount vitamins.
Additionally, if you’re looking for fat loss as a bonus, a juice cleanse is a backwards way to go about it.
Drinking a steady drip of sugar all day keeps you hungry, in sugar-burning mode, and puts you on a blood sugar rollercoaster of energy and mood swings. Most importantly: if you’re in sugar-burning mode, it’s the farthest you could be from burning your own fat stores.
So, should you juice cleanse?
If you’ve found a cleanse that’s organic, low sugar and dense with herbs and greens — go for it! But just know that it’s not the only option if you want to help your body out.
Rather than dropping $200 on a juice cleanse, you could just focus on your liver and spend that dough on some REAL food. Unprocessed, organic, extra nutrients. Take a weeklong break from liver-loaders. Drink more water. Sweat a little. Take care of yourself — mind, body and spirit.
Love yourself, and love your liver!