When you think of doing a juice detox or cleanse, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind?
For a lot of people, it’s carrots. And liquid. And being hungry. And lots of other kinds of fruits and veggies. After all, a juice detox is exactly what it sounds like – counting on juice instead of food. And that doesn’t sound very filling to us!
The other half of people think a detox or cleanse is great. A juice cleanse diet is what tons of people consider to be the healthiest way to get back on track. Some health gurus even use this as a way to detox their bodies (hence the term ‘juice detox diet‘).
And here’s a perk – taking part in a juice diet detox does a lot more than just get rid of the toxins that have built up in your body. It can do so much more.
But, like with most diets and health information, there are a few things to consider before you whip out your credit card and buy a juicer and all the stuff that goes along with it to start a juice detox cleanse.
First things first – let’s get into what an actual detox is.
Juice Detox: The Facts
Well, detox doesn’t exactly mean just one thing. It can mean one thing to one person and mean something completely different to another. So keep that in mind. What you may consider a detox might be too extreme (or not extreme enough) for someone else to call it a detox.
But overall, a diet that’s considered detox when it includes specific foods, teas, or juices designed to flush your body of toxins. And a detox might also rule out other types of food.
On the flipside, some detox diet plans consist of literally nothing. Aka you’re fasting.
Now we’ve already said that a detox is supposed to help your body get rid of toxins. But what is considered a toxin? Pretty sure we aren’t all going around, shoving toxic chemicals and various other things that aren’t supposed to be in our mouths into our…well, mouths.
Here’s what we mean by toxin – food. There are toxins in your food. It’s inevitable and you might not even know it. But it exists.
It’s near impossible to get rid of every single toxin, because just about everything we eat has some level of toxicity in it—especially foods with preservatives and excess sugars.
Juice Detox and Toxins
Some toxins are OK. In fact, some toxins might even be semi-healthy for us. So we don’t want to get rid of those.
But we do want to rid our bodies of the bad toxins.
So what are these toxins? Here are a few commonly ingested things that contain toxins.
Everyone’s favorite – alcohol. Alcohol is great, right? Whether you’re drinking socially or just enjoying a cocktail, alcohol is something that’s a huge presence in our culture today. It’s social, it’s business, it’s everything. And it’s everywhere. You should ask yourself which alcohol is the healthiest?
Most people drink in moderation. And yeah, there may be the occasionally holiday or absolutely-no-reason occasion where you drink a little too much. It’s alright, it happens to all of us.
We aren’t saying a glass of wine with dinner is going to do this. However, if you try drinking ten glasses of wine at dinner, yeah that could be a problem.
Why? Because the alcohol would cause blood-alcohol poisoning. And you could die.
Case in point: do not drink 10 glasses of wine in one sitting.
Alcohol might seem like a no-brainer. How about something like bok choy? It’s green and leafy. It’s healthy for you right?
Well… kind of.
Bok choy is bursting full of high levels of Vitamin A, which is great.
But it’s also full of glucosinolates. Not sure what that is? Those are enzymes that have been connected with issues with the thyroid.
The recommended dose of raw bok choy is about one cup per day. Not sure if anyone is actually sitting down and looking forward to eating their daily dose of a cup of bok choy, but you get the idea. Anyway, that’s a safe amount.
But if you push that amount up closer to ten cups or more, that’s when things start getting a little dangerous.
Your body isn’t able to metabolize all the glucosinolates from the bok choy. And odds are, you’d get hypothyroidism from the high levels. This would be considered toxic.
Let’s take a look at something like… cookies. Good old cookies. Nothing can be wrong with mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Well, except they’re considered a junk food. And what do a lot of junk foods have? A ton of sugar. Ask yourself is sugar good for you?
Eating a cookie a day keeps the doctor away (isn’t that how that saying goes?). But eating 30 cookies a day doesn’t keep the doctor away. In fact, it’ll probably make the doctor land right on your lap.
Eating a bunch of cookies shocks your body. Why? Because of the extremely high levels of sugar you’re putting into your body. Your blood sugars and triglycerides go through the roof!
We’re going to try a different angle now. How great is grilling in the summer? There’s nothing better than gathering at a friend’s house for a nice barbecue. And there’s certainly nothing like having hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Adding that smoky-sweet taste from the grill really just tops off whatever you’re cooking.
Well let’s think about all the elements that go along with the grill, like HCAs and PAHs. These things can cause cancer, even if you’re just eating a small piece of meat that has some char on it.
What happens if you eat charred meat every day? You’re talking about some serious build-up.
Finally, vitamins. There’s nothing that can go wrong with them, right? They’re prescribed by doctors, they’re in the healthy section at the store, and they do nothing but help you.
Sure, but did you ever hear the expression ‘too much of a good thing’? It exists. And it exists with vitamins.
Going over the recommended dose can lead to problems with your liver functions and even neurological damage. You can literally turn these vitamins toxic.
So most of the toxicity lies in your hands.
At some level, just about everything can become toxic.
How do we live, then? Because your body is able to cleanse itself.
Some of your really important organs, like the kidneys, lungs, digestive tract, skin and liver serve more than one purpose. They can all help you detoxify.
How do they do it? In ways that happen every day – going to the bathroom, breathing, and even sweating. This is your body doing its own cleanse.
So…what’s the point?
Detox Juice Cleanse
We get now you’re probably asking what the point of a self-inflicted detox juice cleanse is.
Well, the reason we do it is because we can actually mess up our own body’s cleaning.
Sometimes, we just keep putting stuff in our body and we don’t give it a chance to go into autopilot cleaning, because we do things like…
– Slack off on exercise
– Not get enough sleep
– Drink too much
– Abuse medications and vitamins
– Use way too much chemicals on your skin
– Not eating a properly balanced diet
So now the detox comes into play, because you can change these nasty habits and help your body when it gets ready to clean.
This can also help you lose weight! But will it last?
Think about your body on a detox. The only thing you’re getting rid of is water and possibly some carbs that have built up.
So what happens after the juice detox cleanse comes to a close? It all comes back. Everything.
But there is still a critical connection between the toxins in your body and the amount of body fat you have.
Fat cells don’t just host a home for fat. They also provide toxins with their own personal storage unit.
Basically, the better in shape you are, the less square footage you have free for toxins to hunker down and stick around.
We’ll make it a little bit clearer. The above statement is why a ton of people don’t feel the best when they’re trying to lose a lot of weight – and fast.
Juice Cleanse Diet Worth the Squeeze?
Because these toxins are in the fat cells, when the fat begins to break down, the chemicals are released into your body. So they go straight into your bloodstream and cause symptoms like tiredness, soreness in your muscles and can even make you feel sick to your stomach.
But despite all this, there are still a ton of perks to doing a detox.
Firstly – the foods and drinks are the generally associated with detox diets are usually what we consider the “super foods” of the world. Basically, they’re packed full of vitamins and nutrients.
Each one of these seriously helps the body deal with toxins it’s fighting.
Added bonus: Putting yourself on a detox diet is a great way to weed out any food sensitivities you might have (and not yet know about).
You’ve just got to make sure you stick with the detox long enough to weed out a specific food.
Now, we’re going to point out just a few things to consider before you start detoxing….
The Downside of Detoxing
Like most diets, it’s going to take some time to get organized and plan ahead for meals. If you’re short on time (or money) then juice detox cleansing may cause some issues for you. Obviously, juicing cuts back majorly on calories. A lot of people report feeling weak or dizzy.
Don’t overload yourself with juices! Give your body time to catch up. You don’t want to go into overdrive by suddenly switching over to juices completely. Juice detox cleansing is only part of the story!
So when it comes to clearing your body of excess toxins, there’s more to it than what popular juice detox cleanses take into account. Here’s how we suggest you detox safely:
- Keep things real. When you overindulge, you’re going to suffer in more ways than one. Just slow your roll and set limits for yourself. If you have to have a cookie or a piece of chocolate after dinner, keep it that way – just “a” piece. Don’t dive into the bag headfirst and eat your way out.
- Build a smart plate. That means have more veggies and protein than you do carbs. And when you can, try to eat organic. If you eat something on a daily basis, make that something organic. But if you only eat a banana once or twice in a week, you don’t really need to buy organic bananas. However, if you eat grapes every day, you should buy organic. Having a diet that’s rich with fruits and veggies can help your body break up the chemicals coming into it.
- Stay healthy and fit. Like we said, the leaner you are, the less room there is in your fat cells for toxins.
- Drink tons of water and tea. Because the kidneys take part in the elimination of toxins, it’s important to keep them functioning and clean.
- Give yourself some time between dinner and breakfast the next time. If you like to eat later, like around 7 or 8 pm, don’t eat breakfast at 4 in the morning. Try to give your body a 12-hour long break from food. Plus, it might even help your sleep cycle!
- Get outside when you can. There’s a reason why the expression “getting some fresh air” is used for relaxing. Give your body some clean air, not office air! Plus, the vitamin D will help your body and make you feel good.
- Sweating and exercise go hand-in-hand. So get it done!
- Be smart with your supplements. Just because you’re taking 12 supplements a day doesn’t mean that’s a healthy choice. In fact, it could do more harm than good. If you don’t know this by now, stop right this second and reread the article. Make sure every supplement you put into your body has a reason to be there.
So despite the trends around juice detox cleansing, there’s a bit more to it than many people realize. Still, not that bad, right? Probably not the direction you were expecting this to take. But if you can tweak a detox diet to make it suitable (and doable) for your lifestyle, you’ll be amazed at how great you feel after!
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