Weekly Wellness: To juice cleanse or not?
It’s the time of year (the beginning) when a lot of folks are re-thinking their health.
This is proven by how many New Year’s Resolutions are centered around “losing weight” or “eating better” (in a study by Statista.com, 45% of persons surveyed stated that “losing weight or getting in shape” was their resolution for 2018). A lot of people trying to lose weight will turn to many methods (i.e. Weight Watchers, frozen meals, protein shakes, the Whole 30, etc.). And one method that will more than likely be contemplated is a juice cleanse.
So, what exactly is a juice cleanse? A juice cleanse is exactly how it sounds: you replace your usual meals with fresh-pressed juices consisting of fruits and vegetables.
As with any diet, there are pros and cons. Also, as with any diet, you should discuss your plan with your physician before you do anything – especially if you have any chronic conditions or illnesses. (Juice cleanses are contraindicated for anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease. Juice cleanses are not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.)
·There is some research that shows that giving your body and system a break from solid foods and, for a short period of time, relying on fresh-pressed juices gives your digestive tract a rest and a chance to reset while still providing the body with nutrients and antioxidants that are easily absorbed.
·Incorporating fresh-pressed vegetable juices into your diet is a great way to get needed nutrients.
·Juice cleanses can be very dehydrating and, in come cases, can lead to electrolyte imbalances. Dehydration is one of the reasons why people lose weight on short-term juice cleanses (and tend to gain it back after).
·Most cleanses are low in calories and can affect blood sugar stabilization which can result in poor concentration and mood swings.
There is no research that confirms that juice cleanses are better than subscribing to an overall healthy lifestyle with balanced eating patterns. With that said, if you are a healthy person and want to try a juice fast, here are some tips:
·Take caffeine out of your diet first (to avoid withdrawals).
·Fresh-pressed juices are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Opt for juices that contain lots of vegetables and leafy greens, rather than fruit-based.
·Keep protein in your plan with a high-quality protein powder.