Why I don't drink juice or do juice cleanses

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I am open to trying almost any way of eating to see how my body reacts. I like to monitor my energy levels and see if my thoughts are brighter or my skin clearer. I have tried almost everything – strict Paleo, no sugar, low carb, vegan, vegetarian, no restaurant meals  (many at the same time!)– the list goes on and on. One thing I have not tried, and never will, is juice cleansing.

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For a start, I do not drink juice, ever. Period. (The only exception to this is an all green vegetable juice when I am hungry and there are no other options – at airports for example). Juicing removes all the best elements of both fruit and vegetables. In the case of fruit, the juicing process removes all the fibre, pulp and other natural health benefits and leaves pure sugar in juice form. Drinking juice, whether freshly squeezed or pre-bottled, is the equivalent of drinking soda. I avoid it at all costs. Same with vegetable juice – when the pulp and other fibrous material are removed through juicing, you are left with the dregs of the vegetable. Eating the whole fruit/vegetable is not only better (and cheaper) for you, but it passes through your body and is digested as per normal, without causing a huge spike (and inevitable fall) in your blood sugar levels.

Juice cleansing seems to be all the rage at the moment. Advocates tout the supposed benefits, such as clear skin, weight loss and more energy, and preach this way of ‘eating’ like no other. A juice ‘cleanse’ is just a poorly disguised diet, and one that won’t work. For a start, juice cleanses are not sustainable. Clearly, you are not going to simply ingest juice for the rest of your life. If you are trying to lose weight (which you no doubt will if you’re simply consuming juice), the weight loss will be superficial and will not last once you start ingesting real food again.

Secondly, the body doesn’t need juice to cleanse itself. The body is self-cleansing. This is what your vital organs, like your kidneys and your liver, are responsible for. Consuming vast amounts of juice to the neglect of other food will not enhance your body’s ability to cleanse and detox itself. Don’t forget – the body is a complex mechanism and is very highly capable of ridding itself of all the crap you put in it, independent of juice.

Thirdly, the vast majority of juices commercially available for ‘cleanses’ are extraordinarily high in sugar. This is certainly not healthy for your body and is tantamount to consuming bags and bags of candy every day.

Fourthly, I guarantee you will be constantly hungry. Not only is this not healthy and forces your body into starvation mode, it will actually slow your metabolism down and may eventually lead to binge eating.

Above all, they are expensive and unnecessary. If you are tempted to embark on a juice cleanse, please don’t. Focus on nourishing your body with real, whole foods such as green leafy vegetables, lean meats, some fruits, nuts and seeds instead and I guarantee you that you will not feel hungry nor deprived.