Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home.
It can be for your gut, too, by way of a cleanse. Juice cleanses and cleanses in general have been around for a while, popular amongst models and influencers but also those who want to detox and introduce more fruits and veggies into their diet.
We also know that there are pros and cons to a cleanse, especially when done incorrectly, for too long a period or for the wrong reasons, like extreme weight loss.
That’s why we chatted with registered dietitian Mia Syn, MS, RDN, to help explain the do’s and don’ts of a cleanse and how to detox responsibly.
Then, we listed some of our tops picks for you to try, going for a full cleanse or as a nice, refreshing addition to your diet for a boost of nutrients.
Read on for the full scoop, or choose a section to jump to:
What is a juice cleanse?
A juice cleanse can be all-in or gradual, but the base is typically fruit and vegetable juice blends, packed with leafy greens like kale and spinach and other nutrient-dense foods like carrots, beets, green apple, lemons and more.
The purpose for many is to “detox” the body by flushing out any processed foods, only introducing raw and organic fruits and veggies for the duration of the cleanse. In many cases, that is why you are permitted to snack on specific foods in non-juice form if you get hungry, which also helps if you have a need to chew.
The purpose of a cleanse should not be to lose weight, as this type of calorie deficit is not sustainable and can lead to poor nutrition and eating habits. That is also why it is only recommended to do a cleanse for a few days at most, following the proper before- and after-care listed below.
A juice cleanse can also be more gradual, with juices being consumed between small meals throughout the day. This type of eating helps give the body a boost of fruits and vegetables without depriving it (or you!) of other things like protein, carbs and healthy fats. This way of drinking juices is also less restrictive and easier to maintain, making it a great option to test the waters.
How should I prepare my body before a cleanse?
Even though you may miss your cheeseburgers for a bit, eating a huge meal before starting a cleanse isn’t a great idea.
“To make a cleanse less of a shock to the body, you can start easing in by adjusting
your diet accordingly. Eliminate or reduce stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol, foods high in sugar and fat as well as refined carbohydrates,” said Syn.
What should I do after the cleanse is over?
Similarly, ending a cleanse isn’t the end of your health journey either, should you want the feel-good effects to actually last. While continuing to avoid alcohol and caffeine, Syn listed some additional tips for coming out of the cleanse, too.
“After a cleanse, focus on nutritious whole foods such as the same fruits and vegetables
in their whole form, whole grains and lean proteins,” said Syn. “Avoid foods that are high in fat or added sugar. As you reintroduce foods, continue to stay hydrated.”
Are there any safety concerns in doing a juice cleanse?
As with any change to your diet or restrictive eating, the first thing to note is if you are physically and mentally healthy enough to participate. Those who aim to lose weight quickly or replace food entirely should not try a juice cleanse, as it can be a slippery slope to disordered eating. Also, for those of whom are pregnant, nursing, underweight or those with any health conditions, a trip to the doctor or nutritionist is advised before altering your diet.
“The low calorie and low protein content of juice can also cause low blood sugar leading to headaches and dizziness,” warned Syn. “Also, important to note — typically when the body is restricted of calories, they are regained, so a juice cleanse is not a sustainable eating pattern for someone seeking weight loss.”
Another concern is duration. Syn suggests no more than three days, and to make sure to listen to your body and eat whole foods when needed at any point.
The best juice cleanses and companies to try in 2022
For an array of tasty juices and cleanses to choose from, turn to Raw Generation. They use only 100% raw, plant-based ingredients you can see right on the label, with green juices, beets, carrot and more. They also offer the option to build your own box, choosing flavors and ingredients you love, that are then shipped directly to your door.
2. Suja Organic
Suja Organic specializes in cold-pressed, organic juices you can take on the go. Sold on Amazon, they sell both juices and shots, which are smaller and easier to add into any diet for a boost of nutrients.
Get a boost of greens, fruits and more with another cleanse company. Juice from the Raw is also sold on Amazon for easy purchasing, plus they offer a subscription model to make sure you never run out. Aside from juice and shots, they also sell detox tea, should you prefer the hot stuff.
4. Your Super
If you don’t have room in the fridge or freezer for a bunch of bottles, these drink mixes are a great alternative from Your Super. The Detox Bundle has a months supply of each powder, with five flavors and combinations to help get you feeling on top of your game.
5. Good Stuff Juices
We got the good stuff. Good Stuff Juices is also sold on Amazon, shipping to your door and ready to pop in the freezer until ready to drink. They sell both a three-day and a five-day cleanse package, but you can stock up and sip your juices whenever you feel the craving for cold-pressed and organic fruits and veggies.
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