Complete Guide to Starting a Juice Cleanse
What Is a Juice Cleanse?
Food indulgences and unhealthy lifestyle habits in modern day living have resulted in increased numbers of obesity and chronic disease in Singapore. However, changing what and how we eat can help make you healthier, leading to a path of transformation that reverses damages and diseases. One of the best ways to balance things out is through a juice cleanse.
A juice cleanse, also known as juice fasting, is a type of detox diet that involves consuming only juices from vegetables and fruits. Known to help give your digestive system a break to recharge and remove unwanted toxins from your body, juice cleanses have become increasingly popular among those looking to make healthy changes in their life. It’s an easy, delicious, and wonderfully natural way to reset your gut flora effectively and give it a boost. Not sure how to get started? We’ve put together this guide that covers everything you need to know on juice diets and why you should discover the joys of trying one out.
Ways you can benefit from a juice cleanse
Rich in nutrients, fruit and vegetable juices can play a crucial role in balanced diets. Vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables are extracted through juicing, making them more accessible for the body to digest. The liquid nourishment is then absorbed by the digestive system, allowing the gut to rest while nourishing the cells and flushing out toxins from the colon. This section explores the reasons to try a juice cleanse and the potential perks that come along with it.
Gives your gut a reset
Bloated? Sensitive stomach? A juice diet can do wonders to help. When you take a break from the usual discretionary foods and drink only cold pressed juices from raw fruit and vegetables, you’re greatly reducing the amount of input and stress that your gut experiences. This gives your gut the time to heal and reset, while also taking in essential vitamins and phytonutrients. Adding prebiotics and probiotics to your juice cleanse can also be beneficial in replenishing the friendly bacteria in your stomach destroyed overtime by chronic overeating.
Juice fasting eliminates consumption of dairy, wheat, gluten, sugary drinks, alcohol and coffee which can all be harmful to your body in excess. This leads to a natural weight loss process that results from decreased calorie intake overall, and long-lasting benefits which occur from the reduced cravings post-cleanse. Such a shift in habit can help curb your daily intake of calories and eventually shape your overall eating habits to avoid unnecessary snacking.
Improves energy levels
During a juice cleanse, your body is given a break from digesting junk food, processed sugars, caffeine, and other elements that may be taking a toll on your energy levels. This allows your body to be flooded with nutrients, creating lasting energy, unlike the ups, downs and crashes we can get from coffee and sugar. With cold pressed juices, enzymes and nutrients are liberated from fibre, allowing them to be swiftly absorbed to energise the body and refresh the mind.
Increased hydration and healthy skin
Undergoing a juice diet helps to rehydrate the body, making it more efficient in removing toxins which are associated with many symptoms and health ailments. In addition, studies have shown that fruit and vegetable juices can boost levels of important vitamins and antioxidants, including folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene. These nutrients bring about benefits for your skin such as a healthy glow and decreased skin inflammation, all of which are a direct result of increased liver function and detoxification.
Reduced inflammation in your body
From the air we breathe, the food we eat, to the products that we use, your body responds to all of these toxins through chronic inflammation. When you clean things up with a juice cleanse and reduce the intake of external toxins, while incorporating beneficial nutrients readily available in cold pressed juices, you’re allowing your body the opportunity for optimal cell repair. Go for juices with ingredients like ginger, turmeric and cayenne in your detox juices to further boost the anti-inflammatory benefits.
Improved mental wellness
Did you know the foods that you consume can directly impact your mental health? Healthy diets that include higher intakes of whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, along with a limited consumption of processed foods, are associated with a lower risk of mood disorders. Researchers also believe that minerals and beneficial plant compounds found in different fruits and vegetables may offer protective effects on mental wellness. Juice diets can help to increase your intake of antioxidants, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc, which may reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
How to prepare for your juice cleansing journey
Jumping head first into a juice cleanse is usually the first mistake people tend to make. When you go from a regular diet to eating extremely clean foods, your body is naturally going to rebel. A few prep days beforehand will allow your body time to ease into the cleanse, even helping to eliminate unhealthy cravings. We’ve put together these tips below for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, in addition to ensuring a smoother, more pleasant transition into your juice diet.
Reduce intake of harmful substances
Completing a juice cleanse can be a gruelling task on its own. As such, you should prepare your body by reducing stimulants such as alcohol and nicotine; alcohol is harmful for the liver and is best eliminated from your diet in the week before your cleanse. Doing so will aid in lessening withdrawal symptoms and any cravings while you cleanse.
Get sufficient sleep
Your body is going to be working overtime adjusting throughout the cleanse. Therefore, getting a good night’s sleep in the days leading up your juice diet will go a long way in helping immensely. You may also find that the quality of your sleep improves during your cleanse as you won’t be experiencing the consistent digestion of heavy foods throughout the night. This could help achieve a deeper slumber as you spend more time in the REM cycle, encouraging internal repair and restoration as well as deeper healing.
It’s good advice to drink plenty of water at any time, but it’s even more important to increase your water intake in the days leading up to your juice cleanse. Water by nature is a great cleansing element by itself. Drinking sufficient water throughout the cleanse will not only help with hydration, but also to flush out waste. This serves to add additional and important cleansing strength that is needed to flush out the toxins from your body effectively. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day in the days before your cleanse to help your body with acclimating and keep you from feeling burnt out. A hydrated body also prevents any withdrawal symptoms you may also experience.
Cut down on salt and processed food
Not only will you need to say no to stimulants like coffee and alcohol, you’ll also want to avoid junk food when preparing for your juice cleanse. Processed food typically comes with high quantities of preservatives, saturated fats, salt and low levels of nutrition and fibre. This can slow down the digestive process and dehydrate the digestive tract, which can result in constipation and other digestive conditions during the juice fasting. Instead, opt for alkalising foods like green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, wholegrains, nuts, seasonal fruit, and root vegetables.
It pays to be prepared when it comes to juice fasting. Start off by planning which days you’re actually going to carry out your cleanse. During this period, allocate days where you intend to be more productive and get work done, and other days that you’ll dedicate to rest, yoga, hot baths, and self-care. Next, clear out your fridge of any foods that will not serve you, and stock up on the essentials that your body will need to get through the cleanse, such as filtered water and herbal teas. Place them where you can have easy access to these items.
Plan your social calendar
Food is almost always present in any social situation we are part of. So if you’re considering a juice cleanse, wondering how to manage this circumstance is normal. This is where planning in advance and checking your social calendar before scheduling a cleanse can come in handy. Doing so helps to avoid clashing with dates where you might be socially booked, thus, keeping your juice diet intact.
Things to note during the juice cleanse
Now that your juices have arrived, it’s time to put the mind and body to the test. Every individual responds differently to juice fasting, depending on factors like diet, lifestyle habits, and how quickly our bodies release the toxins within. To help, we share some things to note in order to successfully master your juice cleanse with ease. Keep reading to learn more!
Avoid strenuous activity
If you’re naturally a very active person, cutting down on exercise during your juice diet may be difficult. But that doesn’t mean you need to completely eliminate exercise from your daily routine – you just need to scale it back. Skip the high-impact exercises like sprints, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or long strength training sessions during your juice cleanse. This is because placing too much impact on the body while consuming fewer calories may lead to feelings of fatigue, weakness, or dehydration. Your risks of injury may also increase especially if the body does not have enough energy to keep up or optimally recover. Consider light forms of exercise and movement instead such as pilates, restorative yoga, and walking to avoid burn out too quickly. You’ll be surprised how light movement can still help you feel great, even without overdoing it.
Don’t feel bad about adding in some solids
It’s important to be attuned to your body, and only do what you can handle. Although food is not typically allowed during the cleanse, an exception can be made for a handful of raw nuts, or a serving of vegetables a day with a pinch of salt to balance out your sodium intake. Alternatively, you may also add in some ground chia or flax seeds to your juice. Both options can provide extra fibre, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants without altering the taste of your juices. Plus, healthy fats take longer to digest and help keep blood sugar levels stable, helping you feel satiated for longer.
Fight off hunger pangs by keeping hydrated
It is normal to feel hungry at the start of your juice diet, but more often than not these are withdrawal pangs, not genuine hunger. Your body is getting everything it needs from the nutritionally balanced juices and blends; What it is not getting is the caffeine, sugar, and harmful toxins it has become dependent upon. Ultimately, it is protesting about this restriction, as with any withdrawal from addictive substances. Therefore once you begin the cleanse, keep well-hydrated using herbal and fruit teas, warm water with a slice of lemon, as well as plain water to fight off hunger pangs.
Drink your juices slowly
Want to maximise the effectiveness of your juice diet? Try drinking your juices slowly and remember to “chew” your juice. Chewing allows your body to assess the number and type of enzymes needed in digesting this bite. So it only makes sense to drink your juices slowly, mindfully, holding each sip in the mouth for a short while before swallowing. Remember, it’s ultimately all about how much of the good stuff the body will be able to take in and make its own – this practice will ensure the best absorption of nutrients during your juice cleanse.
Tips to easing back into your regular diet
After you’ve rebuilt and re-activated your health, the final stage of the juice cleanse journey is the transition back to your normal life and diet. Your body has been rid of all toxins at this point, so it’s the perfect time to be more conscious of the food you take and your lifestyle choices, maintaining the healthier path you’ve started for the long term. Here are some aftercare tips to get the most out of your cleanse and keep your health on track.
There is no denying the intensity of juice cleanses on your body. This is because your stomach is used to digesting solid foods, so having only liquids for a few days is going to be a bit of a shock to the system. Try returning to solid foods in small portions in order to not overwhelm your stomach. Doing so will get your stomach slowly used to digesting solid foods again, rather than bingeing on a huge meal and feeling nauseous after.
For the first few days, stick with a diet much like the one you followed pre-cleanse consisting of fruits, veggies, nuts and grains. Options such as smoothies and soups can also be included. As your body slowly eases back into a regular diet, you may consider baking, broiling, grilling, or steaming your food, and returning to meat, dairy and eggs. Fish and chicken are choices that will also be easier on the system as compared to red meat.
Watch your sugar intake
Refined sugars tend to be difficult for the body to digest and can make the transition back to solid foods harder. Avoid processed foods and drinks with added sugar, and go with natural sugars found in fruits or honey instead.
Questions you may have
We conclude this guide with some questions you might have with regards to your juice fasting journey.
What exactly are cold-pressed juices?
Cold-pressed juicing is a method of extracting juice from fruits and vegetables that doesn’t denature enzymes or break down nutrients, maintaining the beneficial properties of every ounce of juice.
Cold-pressed juicers allow for the easy absorption of essential vitamins and nutrients. This is unlike regular juicers, which causes oxidation and a loss of health properties from the produce due to higher temperatures the juicing process requires.
What do I do if my body isn’t feeling well during the cleanse?
Side effects that can occur during a juice cleanse include a decrease in energy, potential mood swings, body aches, and more. This occurs because your body is working to release toxins that have built up within. Getting sufficient sleep and rest is one way to alleviate these symptoms. Don’t forget to also stay hydrated to help flush out the toxins sooner and get you back on track to feeling amazing.
What if I feel really hungry?
If you find yourself really hungry during the cleanse, eating a small amount of food is not going to ruin the juice diet. Go for fresh fruits or vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks, or some fresh greens. Eat them raw, with no dressings added.
Can I smoke during the cleanse?
We all know how terrible nicotine is for your health, therefore we recommend using your cleanse as an opportunity to try and quit, or at least cut down for the duration of your cleanse.
Who should avoid a juice cleanse?
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid going on a juice cleanse. In addition, those with compromised immune systems or advanced heart, liver or kidney disease should also consult a medical professional before starting on any cleanse.
Can I restart a juice cleanse after I’ve stopped?
Yes. Many often go back into juice cleanses whenever they start to feel seasonal health challenges. This can range anywhere from once a month to once every three to six months.
However, we believe you should include Antidote’s juices even in your daily schedule. Consuming our nutrient-rich cold pressed juices on a regular basis will support your system and keep your body in optimal shape, inside and out.
Can I do a juice cleanse beyond the original time frame?
As no two cleansing journeys are exactly the same, the answer depends largely on your needs. It is generally accepted that 3-7 days is the optimal period for a juice cleanse. Of course, you can always customise the program to last longer if you so desire. We recommend speaking with a professional to choose the cleanse duration that’s right for you.
Can I still work while on a juice cleanse?
There is a big misconception that you will spend the entire journey of your cleanse program in a brain fog. Fortunately, that’s simply not true. In fact, it is best to keep yourself occupied, so rest assured you can stick to your normal work schedule!
Do the juices need to be refrigerated?
Once you receive your juices you should put them in the fridge to maintain freshness and give them a shake before consuming.
A juice cleanse can be highly beneficial for your overall health, particularly for the immune and digestive system, as well as for the skin and even mood. Cleansing removes toxicity, layers at a time. This means the more you cleanse, the deeper it taps and addresses different areas of the body.
Antidote takes pride in preparing the best and most enriching health drinks your body deserves, such that you too can live a healthy life to the fullest! If you’d like to find out more about detox juice for weight loss or for general health, feel free to reach out for more information today!