Juice cleanses have been a fad for some time now. This is where an individual drinks mostly juices throughout the day, for a few weeks or more. They're known to be the fastest detox method one can adhere to. Whether it is because you’re feeling bloated or want to shed off some extra weight, a juice cleanse can go a long way.
We got in touch with Dt. Gauri Anand, a Clinical Nutritionist who is working as a diabetic educator and specializes in diet plans related to weight loss/gain, PCOD, diabetes, hypertension and more to understand more about juice cleanses and if they're really helpful for us. Here's what she had to say:
This diet, as mentioned before, primarily consists of just juices, making sure you add a little sugar and salt to it can help give your body a little boost in energy levels. You can create juices with your favourite fruits and vegetables too! Whether that is orange, banana or cucumber, you can create delicious juices with these.
Now let us see if juice cleanses are really healthy? Does it harm your body in any way? Are you getting your required nutrients with these cleanses? One of the major advantages of juice cleanses is that you are consuming a bucket load of fresh vegetables and fruits. You will be receiving a lot of antioxidants, vitamin C and E, minerals etc. Juice cleanses are an easier way to get a plate full of all the necessary nutrients in your body. So if you have fussy eaters at your house, giving them a glass of juice which is filled with the best fruits and vegetables is a faster way to get them on a healthier track.
With everything mentioned above you might find yourself thinking that you should have started this juice cleanse journey earlier. But, with many positive associations with juice cleanses there is also a downside to it.
1. Lacks Nutrients
Juice cleanses lack healthy fats, proteins and vitamins like B12. It also lacks enough carbohydrates you need to function on a day to day basis. You will need to have the right amount of protein and legumes to run a whole 24 hours. Juice cleanses might help you clear your skin and help you lose a bit of weight but making sure to follow the juice cleanse for not more than a week or so is important as your body will need all the nutrients possible to be able to function in the best way.
2. Lacks Fibre
Also, it lacks fibre as with juicing vegetables and fruits all the fibre is stripped away from it. Fibre is an important aspect of your healthy diet. It helps feed the healthy gut bacteria. It also helps us with our digestive system and keeps us feeling strong. With juicing all these important nutrients are stripped away and we are presented with just a smooth juice, hence just eating the fruit as a whole can be more beneficial.
3. Can Cause Health Issues
It can cause extreme fatigue and headaches. As juice cleanses lack the right amount of nutrients to function on a daily basis, we have less calorie intake, which leads to an individual feeling weak and exhausted throughout the day. This feeling can be horrible and can last for days. We can also experience nausea and dizziness while on a juice cleanse.
4. Weak Muscles & Bones
Weak muscles and bones are also a major concern with this diet. As we are not getting enough protein to feed our muscles it becomes weak and frail. The bones can also become brittle and weak. It is not healthy for our constantly developing bodies to not get the required nutrients to perform on a daily basis.
5. Kidney Issues
It can also cause kidney issues. Those with kidney issues should strictly avoid juice cleanses. Kidneys remove oxalate which can be found in juices hence making sure your kidneys can handle a juice cleanse is very important.
With everything mentioned above, we can see that juice cleanses for a long period is unhealthy for the body. Our body needs a balanced diet to function on a day-to-day basis. Proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fibre etc. Now let’s see if juice cleanses can help us lose weight. The main reason many vouch for juice cleanses is that you can quickly lose a few kilos off yourself.
For Weight Loss
1. Leaves Body In Shock Mode
As juice cleanses are less in calories, you can definitely lose in inches if not on the scales. With everything being said, it is a method of rapid weight loss. It is extremely unhealthy and leaves your body in shock mode.
2. Water Loss Instead Of Weight Loss
Studies prove that even though the numbers on the scale might be lesser, it does not necessarily prove that there has been any fat loss. It might just be water loss that we are experiencing. The weight loss that we may experience on the scales is nothing but muscle loss and water loss as we are not consuming enough nutrients.
3. Affects Metabolism
Along with muscle loss, it also slows down our metabolism. With this, when we do go back to consuming solid food, we might gain weight much faster than before as our metabolism will be a lot slower. The weight that has been lost will be there only for a little time as it has not been lost in a healthy manner. If anything, we will be able to gain weight faster than ever before.
All in all, juice cleanses are necessarily not healthy. Yes, it can make you appear a little slimmer and lighter on your toes but it isn’t really helping your body at all. If anything, it can be damaging if it is prolonged for more than the estimated duration. Do make sure you stick to a balanced diet to feel stronger and healthier than ever before.