Juice fasting has become very popular over the last years, following the studies revealing the fasted state benefits. When books like “Reboot with Joe-juice diet” by Joe Cross have become international bestsellers and documentaries about it started to appear on Netflix, the juice cleanse soon became a popular trend.
What is a juice cleanse?
A juice cleanse is a short-term diet that involves only drinking juices made of fruits and vegetables and other liquids (like water, tea or black coffee) for a short period, usually in a range of 3-10 days, sometimes longer, in order to detoxify the body and give the digestive system a break in order to regenerate.
When we eat our normal diet, 3 meals per day, our digestive system is focused on breaking down the food in our stomach and it takes a lot of the energy in our body. However, when we take a break from digesting food, our entire body is focused on healing the parts of it that are not functioning properly, hence helping us heal and regenerate very fast. It also helps with weight loss if done properly and helps strengthen the immune system, which we all need to do during these times.
Others benefits of the juice cleanse:
- You get some extra nutrients and vitamins to help with overall health;
- More anti-inflammatory compounds which give you more energy;
- Removes toxins stuck in your body;
- Improves digestion through healthy enzymes.
There are many other benefits said to be due to juice cleansing, but they do not yet have any scientific proof to support them.
One really powerful thing you can do is to take the juice cleanse as a mental exercise or challenge. Once you start it, your mind doesn’t realize you are actually getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need through the juice and thinks you are actually going into starvation, because you are not chewing anything. Therefore, it will come up with all the cravings it can to make you want to do anything in order to get the food.
Yes, you will actually think about food all day long and all the possible meals and snacks you could ever think of will cross your mind multiple times a day. But this is a great opportunity for growth, we realize many things during this time, such as how important food really is to us, how much control it has over us, how much unhealthy food we usually crave and so on, but we also understand how much we eat only out of boredom, emotional pain or other factors, and how much of it is actually in the mind and not in the stomach.
The benefit is that once you are able to control your cravings and your mind, you feel a great power within and feel stronger, like you have the control over your mind, and it’s not your mind controlling you anymore.
Another thing that will happen is that your body will “reset” in a way, in the sense that the cravings and eating pattern that you currently have will change slowly (the longer the fast, the bigger the change). If before the fast you really craved hamburgers and were eating pizza 5 times a week, after the fast your body will adjust and start craving carrots and bell peppers. You will start to eat more fruits and vegetables, pay more attention to what you eat and simply let go of the junk food cravings. Basically, you will have more control over your eating patterns. You will be able to resist that insane pizza craving and choose a salad instead.
This might be the best time to actually do it, since we are not always out and about, so we don’t have all the usual distractions: grabbing a pretzel, going out to drink with our friends or just passing by your favorite coffee shop. But if you do choose to try it out, remember to take things slowly and not force yourself, it might be difficult the first time and you might not even manage to keep it up for 3 days. That is totally normal and ok.
Although there are not many scientific studies to support all the benefits said to be true about juice cleansing, and it tends to be a controversial topic, a short juice cleanse can be helpful and it’s worth a try if you want to take a break from food, help your body with some extra vitamins and nutrients and regain control over your mind and eating patterns.
Written by: Chirvase Maria