Many people have opinions about Juice Cleanses. Most of the negative comments can be summed up as follows: its too extreme, there are too many sugars, there isn’t any fiber, your body naturally detoxes, do you really get all the nutrients, and it’s just another fad! I’d like to address these comments as I’ve heard them myself from doctors, friends, family, customers, and articles I’ve read.
- Too Extreme – this would be correct if you drank juice all day long, every day, but a juice cleanse is meant to be temporary. You consume nothing but fresh juice and clean water so your body can spend little energy digesting and more energy rejuvinating, healing, & detoxing. Also, since the juice is fresh not pasteruized (can’t sit on a shelve refrigerated for days), there are live enzymes that further help your body process & quickly distribute the nutrients.
Too Many Sugars – albeit, the sugars are natural, there are sugars, particularly in fruit. My own doctor was skeptical of me doing a juice cleanse, particularly since I am a type 2 Diabetic. However, in every instance my glucose went down after a cleanse and remained so unless I engaged in harmful eating practices (donut, candy bar, alcohol). We have many juices that consist of vegetables and low sugar fruits that are perfect for anyone. I generally drink a Good Greens (made with lime, lemon, green apple, basil, celery and kale). Very alkalizing and delicious and it works. I drink one daily and haven’t had allergy issues in 5 years (since we opened) while before that I had allergies 2x a year leading to more serious illnesses requiring antibiotics. Calories matter but the quality & origin of the calories are what is really important.
No Fiber – While technically this is not true, I understand the point. You are not getting insoluable fiber which is beneficial and necessary to your good health, however, you are consuming soluable fiber which does help with cleansing, particularly the colon. Again, the juice cleanse is meant to be temporary and thus 3-5 days without insoluable fiber will be fine (for most people).
Your Body Naturally Detoxes, No Need for a Juice Cleanse – I hear this all the time and I believe the experts just keep repeating the old line without ever really delving into the reality of our current food system. The truth is most of us are not getting the nutrients we need for our bodies to perform at an average level, let alone optimum level due to the foods we consume. Even when eating lots of vegetables, fruit, and fiber. Foods today are deficient in nutrients due to the way they are grown, processed, and packaged. Specifically, conventional foods are grown in dead soils, devoid of nutrients. Conventional foods are grown with modified seeds, using massive amounts of chemicals. and are picked too early, stored too long and shipped too far losing much of what your body needs. Any food that is hightly processed and full of chemical additives (so it lasts, looks and taste the same 6 months from now) is devoid of nutrients and full of harmful chemicals. We may eat many calories of healthy looking food but get very little nutient value for our efforts. Our food system is not what it used to be.
Do You Really Get all the Nutrients – I can’t answer that as an expert but I can tell you what I know about produce and juicing. First, the best juice is freshly prepared juice using local organic produce recently picked and processed. The quality of nutrients that enter your body after consuming juice depends on how it was grown and in what type of soil, when it was picked, when it was cut and when it was juiced. The closer you are in time to all of these, the more nutrients you will obtain. The fresher the produce, the more healthy the soils, the less chemicals and the sooner you consume it after cutting the produce, the higher the quality and quantity of nutrients. What are things that reduce nutrients:
* Time – the more time that transpires between picking the produce and consuming it, the lower the nutrient content. Like picking oranges, juicing them and then leaving them in vats for 6 months or longer. Not much natural vitamin C left if any. Further, any juice that sits on a shelf for any length of time 3 days, 1 month, etc. is not going to have the nutrients, even if it is cold processed or has preservatives added to the juice or the packaging (but who really wants chemicals). Some manufacturers add back vitamins but does your body use them in the same way it does natural nutrients from fresh produce.
*Processing – higher heat processing (pasteurization), machine heat processing (cold press manufacturing all day long, same machine), centrifical vs auger juicing (oxygen introduced) all of these have some negatives. Again, I would say the best juice is a juice made fresh from fresh, recently processed produce, that doesn’t involve heat and provides the least amount of oxidation. Again, time is of the essence as oxidation occurs as soon as you cut open an orange. So processing a bunch of oranges and then cold pressing juice all day, will likey result in more oxidation than a juice prepared in a centrical juicer using freshly processed fruit . Just remember, heat & time & light are nutrient enemies.
IT’s A FAD – yes I hear that a lot. I can only tell you what I know personally and from research I’ve read. Fresh juice made from fresh, clean (or homegrown) produce provides you with nutrients you may be missing if eating highly processed, pasteurized, conventionally grown foods. More and more research is showing that products grown with organic, natural methods in healthy living soils are more nutritious, particularly with respect to minerals (which we all are lacking). Most people are deficient in nutrients (vitamins/minerals) and if you take medication, your nutrient absorption may be reduced significantly. So do yourself a favor, trust your gut/instincts and have a fresh juice once a day (veggie and fruit).
If you would like to know more about a true juice cleanse, we have brochures at the juice joint and I would be happy to talk to you or your organization or group. It’s great to get a group together for a 3 day cleanse – you can really support each other (the first day is tough but worth it). Lisa Bradway