Juice fasting, you have probably heard about it somewhere along the line or maybe you have even given it a go yourself! One thing is for sure… people tend to have a lot of questions when it comes to juice fasting (we know we did). Like what actually is juice fasting? How does it work? Is it homemade juice? Store bought juice? Is it specific fruits and vegetables? Or can we just have the yummy ones? And… what are the actual benefits? Well if you had some of the same questions we did, this is the article for you. Let’s break down juice fasting together.
What is Juice Fasting?
Juice fasting is a type of diet that involves consuming only juices from vegetables and fruits for a short period of time in an attempt to lose weight and detoxify the body. As these cleanses are restrictive in terms of food groups and calories, numerous people are skeptical about their potential benefits. An important aspect to note here is that juicing and blending are different (yeah… we didn’t know that either). Juicing is where you squeeze the juice from fruits and vegetables and separate them from the pulp. Blending mixes all of the edible parts of fruit and vegetables, including the pulp or fibrous portion.
There are numerous forms of juice fasting. Some consist of homemade juice made with fresh fruits and vegetables, while others required store-bought juices. Some programs allow you to have one or more smoothies per day to provide protein, fat and other nutrients for energy and to curb hunger, however, most do not.
The concept of undertaking a juice fast has been used through the ages. As fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins and minerals, and juicing extracts those nutrients making them easier to digest. Drinking juice is believed to flood the body with healing nourishment whilst also flushing away toxins and waste. Followers explain that a juice fast supports the body’s natural detox processes, clears the diet of sugars, caffeine, refines foods and other foods and substances that can deplete energy, and jumpstarts a more healthful way of eating.
So, what are the potential benefits of a juice fast?
Well, followers believe the fruit and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals therefore drinking juices could introduce extra nutrients into the body to boost overall health. Juices are also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that may boost the immune systems and help a person feel more energetic. The creators of many juicing plans market the ability of their juices to flush toxin from your body, although they rarely specify which toxins the juices remove. Juices could help improve digestion by introducing healthy enzymes that make the gut work more efficiently.
Are there risks?
The risks associated with a juice fast include harm to those with kidney disorders as certain types of juice contain oxalate, an acid that can contribute to kidney stones and other kidney problems. Juice fasts are low in calories, which may result in temporary weight loss, but this change is rarely long-lasting. If a person consumes juices that are unpasteurized or have not had another treatment to remove bacteria, they are at greater risk of illness. If the juice fast includes laxatives or other methods of bowel stimulation, a person could lose too many nutrients in their stool. And finally, consuming an insufficient number of calories can cause a person to experience symptoms relating to low blood sugar because the body does not have enough energy.
So now that you have majority of the information, let us explain how it actually works. A juice fast as three important stages: preparation, cleanse and after the fast. The preparation stage lasts for three to five days before the cleanse, you will gradually eliminate certain foods, such as coffee, refined sugar, meat, dairy products, wheat, alcohol, and nicotine to reduce headaches, cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. It’s also recommended to increase your intake of fresh vegetables, fruits and fluids during the pre-cleanse. The cleanse itself is for usually three days where you drink at least 32 ounces of juice with at least half being green vegetable juice. After the fast it is recommended to eat lightly for a few days, gradually adding foods back in over the course of several days.
So there you have it! All the information you need on juice fasting. This is a good short-term, very occasional option if you want to improve your health and aid digestion but it does not produce long-lasting weight loss and can lead to some serious issues with your liver, kidney and gallbladder if done too often or for too long at a time.
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