Drink Your Way Healthy

By Julia Price

December 12, 2016 4 min read

Juice cleanses have been all the rage for the last few years, and this trend doesn't seem to be showing signs of slowing down any time soon. But why do people juice? Is it to lose weight? Is it to promote a healthy lifestyle? Is it just because everyone else is doing it so why not? It might be all of the above.

Cleansing has been used for ages to purify one's body, often inspired by religious practices as a form of detoxification and release. It's also an easy way to clean out your gut, which will not only help you lose weight, but it will help you to clear your digestive tract and spike those energy levels to an all-time high. Think of it this way: It's basically a shower for the inside of your body -- a shower that you have been waiting to take for a really, really long time.

This can also help you diagnose any food allergies that were perhaps missed by an allergist. Once you have a clean and healthy gut, your body will communicate to you in a much more direct language about the types of food it wants to eat, signaling the best nutritional options to your brain. If you've suspected certain food allergies in the past but had no way to prove them, this is a great opportunity to sample different options and see which ones digest easily and which ones your body rejects either through a rash, upset bowel movements or lethargic energy levels.

Aside from the allergy detection and weight loss, cleansing is like taking a direct hit of vitamins right to your system. Because fruits and vegetables tend to have a lot of fiber in them, they can be difficult for the body to break down -- particularly for those with more sensitive digestive systems. Cleansing with juice solves that problem because the fruits and veggies can now dissolve more quickly and more effectively, similar to vitamins.

This all sounds like a win-win so far; however, if you're looking to cleanse for the sole purpose of losing weight, you may find yourself disappointed by the results. While juices don't have any added sugar, they're still high in natural sugar, which can cause frantic mood swings and carb cravings to balance out that spike in sugar for some. It's also important to take note of the fact that you'll be taking in less protein, so if you do see pounds starting to fall off, that may actually be muscle mass that you're losing.

If that doesn't dissuade you, then by all means, juice away! The benefits often outweigh any negatives you may find. Here are some of the more popular cleanses that nutritionists and healthy fanatics rave about:

--Good Cleansing. If you're a beginner cleanser who feels overwhelmed with options, or perhaps you're a pro but you like the idea of easy access and having the juices already prepared for you ahead of time, then you can check out https://www.goodcleansing.com. There are a variety of choices, but the 3-Day Intermediate pack seems like a fantastic option for all body types and is under $100. These organic raw juices can be sent directly to your home.

--Dr. Oz. Dr. Oz has an app that provides lots of recipes for cleansing if you're looking to take the DIY approach. He also has recipes listed on his site, http://www.doctoroz.com, that explain what each ingredient used is doing to help your bodily functions. This is a great way to learn why you're mixing certain elements together as you do so.

--Project Juice. For a super-detailed breakdown of cleansing options, http://www.projectjuice.com is an extremely comprehensive site that has an abundance of mixes, plus a step-by-step how-to plan that is worth reading before you start your cleansing journey.

Remember that while it is healthy, cleansing does take a toll on your body, so make sure to get plenty of rest and avoid rigorous workouts while your body is in overtime working to detox.

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