How do they affect the body ?
Many people go on juice cleanses for various reasons e.g. for detoxing and mainly weight loss. Firstly it is myth that juice cleanses “detox” our bodies, because our bodies ‘detox’ themselves all the time – our liver, kidneys, lungs, gut, and skin carry out this process and very well! Our bodies remove waste products from our body, and our organs do it constantly in the background as we live our daily lives without the help of juice cleanses.
Juice cleanses rarely provide any benefits to the body especially when done so for a prolonged period of time. Doing a juice cleanse reduces calories in a person’s diet, hence why they are marketed for weight loss, however any pounds shed during a cleanse are mostly water weight, and some people can experience blood sugar imbalances due to the lack of protein and fibre, which can ultimately lead to binges down the line, and weight regain once usual eating habits resume.
People claim to have more energy when being on a juice cleanse that’s because their digestive system is using less energy to digest food, it’s only a temporary fix.
The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of energy it takes for your body to digest, absorb, and metabolise the food you eat. TEF makes up a part of your daily calorie expenditure (calories out), and this represents roughly 10% of the caloric intake of healthy adults eating a mixed and balanced diet e.g if you’ve eaten a larger portion than normal you may feel tired, but your body is working to digest the food, and that’s normal.
How can they become harmful to people?
Long term usage of juice cleanses can cause nutritional deficiencies and possible digestive issues after normal eating habits resume, because your digestion may slow down due to lack of food and fibre intake.
Juicing fruits and vegetables removes most of the fiber in them. Eating a small amount of fiber as part of a juice regimen won’t hurt most people’s diets for a couple of days, however it could leave you feeling hungry and tired. Fiber helps people feel full and satisfied, which helps to balance out blood sugar. You’re better off eating the whole fruit instead!
What precautions would you recommend people take?
While cleansing, people commonly experience side effects such as headaches, fatigue, difficulty thinking, moodiness, stomach pain and hunger pains. Be prepared for changes in bowel function.
Juice cleanses are not suitable for people with diabetes who may be on medication to regulate insulin activity. Drinking so much juice could lead to unstable blood sugar levels, due to lack of protein and fibre.
Diabetes and juices cleanses
Depending on which fruit or vegetable someone is juicing, you can experience spiked blood sugar. People with diabetes must focus on incorporating fruits that are lower in sugar content and vegetables which are non-starchy and low in carbohydrates.