When former model Yolanda Foster of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” goes on a juice cleanse – using lemons from her own personal orchard, naturally – it’s tempting to gather up your own lemons and follow suit.
Foster – who credits cleansing in part for her recovery from Lyme disease – says she tries to do a cleanse once a year as a way to detox, and mixes the juice from her lemons with sea salt, maple syrup and cayenne pepper.
It allows her to take a fresh look at her diet, so afterwards she’s more likely to make smarter choices about the food she does eat.
And she’s not alone.
“After doing a juice cleanse, I’m motivated to eat healthier and not emotionally. Cleansing is like my meditation. It makes me stop, focus and think about what I’m putting into my body. I’m making a commitment to my health and hitting the reset button,” says actress Salma Hayek.
Experts say that juice cleanses are safe as long as they last only three days, and can help kick-start a diet plan and reboot your body’s operating system.
“Many people turn to cleanses because they feel off – they’re bloated and sluggish, dependent on caffeine and junk food cravings, breaking out,” according to NYC-based dietician Stephanie Middleberg. “When you eliminate toxins from your system, your entire body feels better and reacts both internally and externally.”
Juicing: The Pros
Not only is juicing a great way to help eliminate toxins, it’s also an easy way for the Jay Leno’s of the world – the longtime talk show host once said he hadn’t eaten a vegetable since 1969, and didn’t until First Lady Michelle Obama cajoled him into it – to get more nutrients into their diets.
If you were to attempt to eat a bunch of kale, apples, pomegranates, kiwifruit, spinach and carrots in a single sitting, chances are, even in salad form, you’d have a hard time.
But toss it all into a juicer and you can take in all the nutrients these fresh fruits and veggies have to offer, feeding your body in a healthy way while filling up a space that might otherwise have been taken up by junk food.
Juicing: The Cons
Juicing has become big business, and a good juicer can set you back as much as $400.
Also, using a wide range of fruits and vegetables to create a juice blend is more expensive than choosing one or two varieties for the dinner table, even if you scavenge the farmer’s market for your favorites.
And while juicing (instead of blending) is a great way to take in extra nutrients because of the added variety, you’re still missing out on the majority of important fiber that whole fruits and vegetables offer.
And fiber is not the only thing that juicing – juice cleanses, especially – can be lacking in.
“The reason people do cleanses is that they want to get a jump-start on weight loss or they want to rid their body of toxins,” said nutritionist Dr. Caroline Cederquist in an interview with U.S. News and World Report. “But most cleanses have people severely restricting their calories by drinking only juice. These types of cleanses are neither effective nor safe.”
Because juice cleanses offer little protein, there’s a risk of nutritional deficiencies during the duration of the cleanse.
That’s why most experts suggest putting a three-day maximum on a juice cleanse, or following our lead at Xtend-Life by doing a juice detox once a day at lunch.
That way, you’ll be taking in plenty of nutrients, but won’t be restricting your caloric intake enough to alter your metabolism or send your body into starvation mode, which puts you at risk of weight gain even if you restrict your calories.
If you can, we recommend that you buy organic fruits and veggies and wash them well to avoid contaminants such as pesticides that can erase the benefits.
To Juice… or Not to Juice
If you eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables – and take a quality supplement such as our Total Balance – juicing is not a necessary addition to your diet plan.
But if you don’t have a large backyard garden or make regular visits to a farmer’s market, you’re probably missing out on lots of essential nutrients that can fuel your body so it functions at its best.
Also, if you’re looking to drop a few extra pounds, a short juice fast can be successful, especially because it creates an environment where you become more mindful of what your body needs to feel good.
If you’re planning a juice cleanse, make sure to consider our new Zupafood supplements, which are packed with added nutrients including apple fiber and can be added to your juice to provide a big boost to the nutritional benefits.
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