Juice cleanses are not new but with juice locations popping up on every corner in major cities they're gaining even more popularity. But are they really as healthy and as good for you as everyone seems to think? This health coach went under cover to report.
Let's start by looking at the nutritional profile of some of the healthier cold-pressed juices out there.
At a whopping 51 grams of sugar and less than 1 gram of fiber, this particular juice is a blood sugar nightmare. You might be asking why in a post about juice cleanses we're talking about blood sugar? Well, it's because a balanced blood sugar supports everything from good energy to a positive mood. Not to mention that a high or low blood sugar can lead to headaches, fatigue, moodiness and more. If you're looking for lasting energy and strong mental performance, a balanced blood sugar is key.
When foods have an excess of sugar, even fruit sugar, and not enough fats or fiber to slow the absorption of sugar, it results in a blood sugar spike (you know the feeling, flying really really high, followed by a really lethargic crash). When our blood sugar is high we can't think clearly or perform at our best. And yes, though our bodies and muscles do need carbohydrates to thrive, there are much better sources and deliveries for our bodies.
Though many of these juices contain necessary vitamins and minerals, the costs unfortunately outweigh the benefits. It's virtually impossible to support your bodies detoxification systems with a nutritional profile like the one above and so they are not a viable "cleanse" option. Some of the lower glycemic options can absolutely be incorporated into your daily routine along with other healthy fats and proteins.
So what does a good cleanse really look like?
The goal of a cleanse is to reset your system and maximize detoxification so your body can get back to it's best. It should be nutritionally balanced, remove common allergens, support your body's detox pathways and leave you feeling better than when you started! And though I recommend that you talk to your health care provider before starting a new program, there are a few out of the box solutions that work really well to support a detox.
The Clean Program
The Program was developed by world-renowned Doctor, Alejandro Junger, who, through his own health struggles developed a cleanse that focuses on healing your gut. He recommends removing common allergens like gluten, dairy, eggs and more. The starter-kit includes two daily shakes loaded with protein, fiber and other goodies, plus supplements to support detoxification. We've tried it and we love it! No blood sugar crashes here.
BeWell By Frank Lipman
Like the Clean Program, BeWell was developed by one of the leaders in functional medicine—Dr. Frank Lipman. It focuses on a healthy digestive system and supporting your adrenals for a real holistic approach to cleansing. The kit includes shakes, supplements, recipes and more! Of course, we had to try this one as well, and the results were just as good. Plus, the supplements were really top notch.
Arbonne 30-Days to Healthier Living
This 30-day cleanse is based on similar principles as the above. The 30-day kit has everything you need for a total body reset, including daily shakes, probiotics, energy supplements and detox teas. The shakes taste great and the "fizzy sticks" for energy are filled with B vitamins and are a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. The detox teas were our favorite and really helped with water balance.
Have you ever tried a cleanse? We'd love to know your thoughts!