Juicing, juice cleanses, juice diets, The ‘Miracle’ Juice Cleanse and their many other incarnations are one of the latest crazes to be taking the world by storm. Sales of juicing products are sky high and the internet is filled with people who believe it is the magical answer to your weight loss problems. As with detoxing, we’re sceptical of anything which promises to rid your body of toxins or purifies your body, however we do believe in Juicing Recipes to Support, Not Replace Your Healthy Lifestyle. Are there any benefits to juicing? What does it really do to your body? We explore in more detail below.
There have been many studies which have looked into the effects of juicing – and in terms of boosting your health, there aren’t that many. The chief of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently told Buzzfeed that “I don’t know why someone would do a juice cleanse, there’s very little evidence that it does anything good for you”.
One of the biggest money making lies purported by juicing manufactures is that a cleanse will rid your body of toxins. Knowing that that evidence is completely false and all just a marketing ploy, there are concerns about the other lies that you’re being fed by juice companies.
Whilst juicing may not have the miracle cleaning effect you’re being sold, a juice cleanse won’t do you much harm either. Fruits and vegetables after all are packed with nutrients and vitamins so some fruit juice or a smoothie is an easy way to get these elements into your body.
One of the negative effects of a juice diet however, is the amount of sugar you are putting into your body, especially if you’re going to be putting a lot into it in a short amount of time. The increased sugar levels can put a lot of pressure on your pancreas, increase your blood sugar levels and slow down your digestion thanks to the essential protein and fibre that your body is missing. Whilst not a guaranteed side-effect, it is something you may wish to consider.
By living solely on fruit and vegetable juice, you will struggle to get the carbohydrates that your body needs to function which can deplete your energy levels and cause other side-effects such as feeling lightheaded or even drunk. You will also be lacking the fibre which makes you feel full and therefore will crave other foods that aren’t good for you. Your cleanse will probably be lacking in the recommended daily calories to keep your body functioning, which will leave you feeling miserable and tired (hangry anyone?) and a general misery to those around you.
There’s nothing wrong with having a fruit juice or a smoothie once in a while, especially as a good way to get some of your 5 a day. As with any diet, be sensible and know what you need to keep your body functioning – depriving yourself of anything, be it carbs, protein or fibre will have an effect in some way, so always do your research before you start anything.