Maybe you've ever heard about juice fasting, juice cleansing, or juice diets once or twice from your friends and family because it's becoming popular in recent years. But what's the meaning of juice fasting?
A juice fast is a period where you only consume fruit and vegetable juices while at the same time abstaining from solid food consumption (but you still can drink other liquids, like water or tea).
It became popular since juice fast enthusiasts claimed that they had lost so much weight in a relatively short time, have clearer skin, and experience an improved mood. Some people also said juice fast helps them to have a healthier gut.
What makes juice special?
Juicing is a method that extracts the juices from entire fruits and vegetables. But juicing will waste the fiber in the pulp. Even though fiber is necessary for your health, some people have digestive problems when they over consume it.
Pure juice holds most of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables. People who drank juice claimed it allowed their digestive systems t ao take break while enabling them to consume a lot of nutrients more effectively. Some people also claimed that juicing have these health benefits such as:
- Improve human's immune system
- eliminate toxins from human's body
- weight loss
Some people even stated that juicing benefits them decrease the risk of cancer, though there's no proof to support this claim so far.
How to practice juice fasting
To practice juice fasting, you need to set up some goals. Some people follow an extreme juice diet for a short period –usually for 3-7 days. In a strict juice diet, you'll only consume juice and other liquids. You won't eat solid foods in this short period.
But, if you think that's too extreme, you can adjust it according to your preference. You can follow a moderate juice fasting for a more extended period –like 2-4 weeks. And you still can consume solid foods in this moderate juice fasting.
Here is an example of a 3-day reboot juice fast menu, created by Joe Cross from Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (a documentary about his juicing journey).
- Wake up: 8 oz. of hot water with lemon or ginger
- Breakfast: 16 oz. orange or red juice
- Mid-morning snack: 16 oz. of coconut water or vegetable broth
- Lunch: 16 oz. green juice
- Afternoon snack: 16 oz. yellow or red juice
- Dinner: 16 oz. green juice
- Dessert: 16 oz. purple or orange juice
- Bedtime: herbal tea
(Note: the color of juice means you should juice ingredients of that same color.)
Before you practice an extreme juice fast, you should know that many doctors don't recommend people to drink only juice.
Here are the reasons.
First, juice may be loaded with vitamins and minerals, but it lacks protein. Your body utilizes protein to grow and preserve muscle. If you only drink juices, you may drop some weight, but some of that weight may come from muscle tissue, which is necessary for your health.
Second, juices may be loaded with more sugars than you believe. And sugar can make you to gain weight. And not only that. Since juice don't have enough protein and fat, it may also lead to drastic blood sugar swings.
Then, how about green juices?
Juices that contain green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach are no different. They may also give you health problems. These vegetables include something called goitrogen. Goitrogen is a material that can influence your body's ability to absorp iodine. If you consume too much goitrogen, then your thyroid function will be slower as the result.
Last, if you want to drink juice, then you should be concerned about the safety of particular ingredients. There are people who should speak with their doctors before drinking raw, unpasteurized juices like:
- young children
- pregnant women
- people with weakened immune systems
To prevent bacteria contamination, you should wash all fruits and vegetables before juicing them. You should also make sure to wash all of your juicing machine after juicing. Scrub your juicer and all of its parts and don't forget to sanitize them in your dishwasher.