A juice cleanse’s goal is to detox your body and flush out your system. There are many schools of thought for how best to do a juice cleanse (also known as a juice fast), but the basic principles remain the same. Consume nothing but fruit and vegetable juice (plus water) over a fixed period of time.
But, are these kind of diets good for you? Will they help you achieve your objective, whether it’s weight loss, removing toxins for your body, or a general improvement in your vitality? And, if yes, should you buy juices or a kit designed for this purpose from a store or make homemade juice?
We’ve sorted through the often conflicting information. The below guide will help you maximize your juice cleanse should you decide that this is right for you. We even included several healthy and delicious juice recipes perfect for either a juice cleanse or as part of your typical health routine.
Commonly Asked Question About Juice Cleanses
Are Juice Cleanses Healthy?
I am wary of all diet trends. While some of the research supporting juice cleanses is compelling, I prefer to be conservative. My experience is that we, as humans, know less about health issues than we think we do, so question everything and assume nothing.
Harvard says “drinking fresh juice at home to squeeze more fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets since less than one-third of adult Americans eat the recommended nine servings a day.” But, they do not support juice cleanses. Instead, they state that there is insufficient evidence that juice cleanses are healthy.
In this same report, Harvard praises some juices’ health benefits:
- Kale juice, citrus-based juices, and carrot juice may reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Carrot juice may help with breast cancer
This may not sound like much, but this is fairly strong support for juice. So, yes to juice while noting Harvard’s insufficient evidence stance regarding juice cleanses.
All the reputable research I’ve found is similar. Yes, drinking fresh juice is healthy. And, no, juice cleanses will probably not improve your health.
What Is a Juice Cleanse?
A juice cleanse is a type of detox that focuses on consuming fruit and vegetable juices, typically for a fixed duration of typically one to three days.
You end up consuming large quantities of vitamins and minerals thanks to materially increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables. This happens while you are simultaneously flushing toxins out of your body, which is also caused by the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
You’re likely to lose some weight in this process, but you’ll probably gain it back if you go back to your old eating habits.
How To Do a Juice Cleanse
There are many different ways of doing juice cleanses. The most common method involves sticking to an all-liquid diet for one to three days, based on your requirements and your willpower.
Before you take on the juice cleanse itself, there are a few things you need to know that will help you make the most of your detox.
You will need to prep your body for the massive change it will experience well in advance so that you don’t feel any negative side effects during the actual cleanse. This preparatory process involves the gradual elimination of certain types of food about three to five days before you begin your cleanse.
Some of the foods that you should try to avoid during this period include refined sugars, dairy products, wheat, meats, alcohol, coffee, and nicotine.
These are all products that tend to be addictive for the body and mind, and slowly weaning yourself off these types of products will prevent you from experiencing any withdrawal symptoms during the actual cleanse.
If your body feels disconnected from its dependency on these addictive substances, it will be easier for you to follow through with the cleanse. You should complement the reduction of these types of foods with the gradual increase of fruits and vegetables in your diet during this period.
During the Cleanse
This is obviously the most challenging part of the detox, but it can be made easier by using a wide range of juice cleanse recipes to keep your taste buds constantly engaged.
It’s recommended that you consume at least 32 ounces of juice during each of your cleanse days. It’s also important that at least half of this constitutes green vegetable juices to balance out the sugars from fruits.
You should drink juice or smoothies every few hours during the day to compensate for the lack of solid food. A sample schedule might look like:
- Wake up: Drink water with some fresh lemon juice
- 8–9 a.m.: Juice, such as the The Breakfast Blend
- 10:30–11:30 a.m.: Smoothie or cleanse food
- 1–2 p.m.: Juice, such as Green Wonder Juice
- 3–4 p.m.: Juice: smoothie or cleanse food
- 5–6 p.m.: Juice, such as Sweet Potato Pie Juice
- 6–8 p.m.: Smoothie or almond or cashew nut milk
Once you’re done with your fast, you might be tempted to return to your normal diet immediately as your body may be craving anything other than fruit or vegetable juices.
However, try to ease your system back into its habits by eating lightly for a few days after the cleanse. You can gradually return to consuming all your previous food preferences, but make sure you introduce them in a steady progression.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Juice Cleanse?
Like every radical process that’s known to shake up our body, juicing has its own set of pros and cons attached to it.
- Consuming only fruits and vegetables means that your body will be exposed to a high vitamin and mineral diet, thereby allowing you to increase the overall health of your system.
- The use of certain vegetables such as beets in your cleanse will allow you to detox your liver and flush out any harmful toxins.
- This diet is known to improve your overall digestive process by boosting your gut microbiome and introducing healthier enzymes to your stomach.
- As a juice cleanse is a low-calorie affair, you will notice some weight loss. This change can be temporary if you don’t care for your body properly after you’re done with the cleanse.
- Consuming excessive amounts of juice has been known to be harmful to those who are dealing with kidney disorders. This is especially detrimental to people with kidney stones, as the oxalate in certain juices can add to the production of more stones in the body.
- If your cleanse is not properly balanced and you’re using lots of ingredients with laxative properties, you face the threat of losing too many nutrients through your bowel movements — thereby negating one of the major benefits of juice cleansing.
- Those with low blood sugar may find this diet challenging as the lack of calories can cause a drop in energy levels.
What Does a Juice Cleanse Do to Your Body?
In one study, a group of participants consumed six bottles of different juices for a period of three days. The majority experienced health benefits that lasted nearly two weeks. The scientists measured material increases in the microbiome, which they believe improved the participants gut health.
Healthy juicing is also known to have a tremendous effect on the kidney health of individuals. The presence of oxalate in a large number of juices helps regulate and flush the toxins from your liver, thereby improving the overall functioning of a vital center in your body.
Is a Juice Cleanse Good for Weight Loss?
Yes, you should notice some weight loss when you’re doing a juice fast, but this is often only a temporary change due to a system flush. If you want to sustain the weight loss after the cleanse, it’s important to pay close attention to your diet for a couple of weeks after the cleanse.
Can You Drink Water on a Juice Cleanse?
Yes, it’s very important to consume water during your juice cleanse. You should try and take in 16 ounces of water between each juice when you’re on a cleanse.
Six Juice Recipes
At least half of your juice cleanse recipes need to feature green vegetable juices as they are low in sugar and high in nutrients.
Green Wonder is an easy recipe to kick start your juice fast, and it perfectly balances its various fruits and vegetables that result in a delectable drink. Kale, cucumber, and celery bring various vitamins and minerals to the table, while the use of apples adds a sweetening effect to the taste.
Green apples are also highly nutritious, and they are a great source of vitamin C and polyphenols.
Give it a go!
There are numerous recipes for juices that you can apply during your cleanse, but some recipes work best at certain points during the day. This recipe, for example, is an excellent option to help begin your day.
Using beets in this recipe acts as a liver cleanser, allowing all toxins to exit your system before you leave home for work. This leaves you feeling light and energetic almost instantly.
The beets also act as an excellent source of folate, potassium, iron, vitamin C, and manganese, thereby allowing you to accumulate a vast profile of vital nutrients in a single sitting.
Lemons, carrots, and apples also have an excellent nutritional profile, while these four ingredients used in unison can also have a profound effect on your taste buds.
This is an incredibly simple blend that has a wide range of positive side effects on your body. We discussed some of the benefits of including apples in your cleanse in the previous recipe, but did you know that lemons are one of the best and most effective ingredients to use in a detox?
They are known to work on your body fat and lead to weight loss over time, along with working on your insulin reduction through caloric restriction. The cucumbers in the mix are also nutritionally rich, featuring high levels of vitamin K that balances the vitamin C from the apples and lemons.
The worst thing you can do when you take on a juice cleanse is to overwhelm your senses with tastes that your mind and body can’t handle. If you’re a picky eater, then it’s best to start off your cleanse with a blend that doesn’t challenge your taste buds too much but offers you the right nutritional value to keep the exchange meaningful.
This is why we have featured a recipe known as the Safety Blend, featuring three simple, non-conflicting ingredients that work extremely well with one another. This is one of the cleanse juicing recipes that’s hard to dislike.
An excellent choice for novice juicers, this recipe allows you to stick to your diet when it seems most challenging. The carrots featured in this cleansing juice are an excellent source of nutrition, allowing you to lose some weight, lower your cholesterol levels, and improve your eye health in the process.
This is an excellent drink to make if you want to soothe your stomach or if you’re looking to settle down your body after a long day’s work. The use of ginger in this juice works wonders on the stomach, even helping with issues like nausea and morning sickness.
The flavor profile of this recipe is highly delicious as well, working its magic on your taste buds before it focuses its effects on your stomach and eventually, the fat in your midsection.
You can make this juice by first juicing the apples, celery, and spinach until they are evenly blended. You can now add the cucumber, ginger, and lime to the mix to flavor it according to your preferences.
Citrus fruits are one of the most nutritious groups, offering a multitude of benefits to your mind and body. It would be remiss of us not to include a recipe that derives its flavors from the king of all citrus fruits — oranges.
There are a wide range of benefits that can be derived from consuming orange juice regularly. This includes fortifying your immune system, lowering the risk of cancer, assisting in weight loss, improving digestive health, cleansing your skin, and preventing kidney diseases, among others.
While not officially part of the recipe, you can add pear to the juice. Pears are also delicious and nutritious, acting as a reliable source of vitamin K, vitamin C, copper, and potassium. You can either use these to substitute for the apples or keep them both in the mix. I prefer just apples. Celery adds a quite a kick to the juice and, of course, is quite healthy.
You can use this recipe to boost your energy levels at the midway mark or as a refreshment at the end of a hard day. All you need to do to make this juice is to blitz the apples, orange, celery, and pears first until the liquid is even. You can then add some sweet potato to the mix to improve the flavor and introduce some healthy carbs to the mix.
Recommended Tools to Help With a Juice Cleanse
To make juice at home you will need either a blender or a juicer. A blender has whirling blades that essentially pulverize or chop everything into a smoothie you can drink. If your juice consists of water-rich fruits and vegetables, then this smoothie will be very liquidy; think orange juice with all the pulp. The other option is a juicer, which essentially squeezes the liquid out so you only consume that. A blender is more versatile. A juicer is better at, well, juicing. We have noted which recipes require a juicer.
If you want a blender, then our top-rated budget pick was the NutriBullet Combo. You can read the full review in The Best Juicer Blender of 2020 guide. Whereas, if you prefer a juicer, then we recommend the
Breville Juice Fountain Compact.
Conclusion: Juice is Healthy
We all want to live healthier lives. That’s why you’re reading this. We want to do it for ourselves. And, we want to do it for our kids.
Drinking juice is healthy. Everyone agrees on this. The above six recipes will help you get more of this goodness in you in a manner that will delight your taste buds.
Juice cleanses or juice fasts are controversial. It is possible that their primary benefit is that you eat more fruits and vegetables. If so, then you might be able to get most of the benefit without without the fasting part.
Others, many of whom are medical experts, swear by juice cleanses. If you’re up for it, then we hope it serves you well and that our juice recipes help you become leaner and cleaner!