Expert Column: Good, bad, ugly of juice cleanses

“The purpose of regular regimens of self cleansing is to simply to stay a few steps ahead of the inexorable process of pollution and decay. “Aging” is not a matter of time alone; it is the

“The purpose of regular regimens of self cleansing is to simply to stay a few steps ahead of the inexorable process of pollution and decay. “Aging” is not a matter of time alone; it is the rate at which we permit our bodies to decay over a period of time. – Daniel Reid, The Tao of Detox.

I am glad that the healthy lifestyle is in trend (hopefully a sustainable one) and that fashion models today are also leading or portraying a healthy lifestyle on their social media. Even Victoria Secret’s models have a fitness and health channel to show the healthy way to get in shape. This includes pictures of models holding green juices like a new bag accessory really. Which brands are they buying from, which dietitian are their health ‘guru’ and so on. I’m all positive with this movement. I think in this fast paced place like Singapore – with lots of salad shops and health cafes mushrooming around, opting for a healthier meal is very convenient. So as juices, smoothies and healthier beverages. Now what then the bad and ugly side of juice cleanses in Singapore you may ask?

Now, do note this is just my point of view and observation. I’m actually very worried of ‘influencers’ sharing their juice cleanse and teatox (i need a separate post on this – is teatox even safe?). You got your free bottles of juices and you have to instagram, tweet, share it – sometimes get a cut from the sales you make. Now first thing first, these influencers or bloggers are skinny to begin with. I’m not saying skinny does not equate to healthy but its scary to read about their weight loss due to their 3-day juice cleanse. And in that magical 3 days, their skin became flawless, etc. Now, does this mean we can lose weight by just opting for a 3 day cleanse as it is a quick fix for weight loss and a method of flushing toxins out of the body and do it ever so often?

Another very scary part is how many juice brands are also popping up and i’m really unsure of who their dietitian or professional nutritionist behind the brand. Do consumers even get to consult with a professional before starting on it, do they provide pre, during and post support by a trained and certified health care provider? Yes, there are many fancy packaging and fancy smanchy names, design, and other marketing gimmicks but i think this is pretty dangerous for those who are not aware of the dangers juice cleanses can be.

Let’s get on the fact here: Juice cleanses do not magically clean our body in 3 days. It aids in the process but we already have organs in our body that are working naturally and non-stop to detox everyday. They are called liver and kidneys.

If you don’t recognise an ingredient, your body won’t either.

Now, let us get to some boring yet very important terms in the world of juicing:

Organic
Items used like fruits veggies are free of pesticides.

Cold-pressed
This extraction method doesn’t oxidise or degrade the nutrients – keeping enzymes intact.

Raw & Unpasteurised
Items are not heated up to maximise the nutrients. This is usually on fresh milk.

Locally Sourced
Juice companies uses locally sourced veggies and fruits – because they feel that aside to other reasons, it is also reducing their carbon footprint.

I read articles and juice diet books and one that was really good is The Tao of Detox and also Gutbliss. I enjoyed reading the book Gutbliss , Robynne Chutkan (Founder of the Digestive Center for Women) who mentioned about how the gut is the most important.Sometimes you need to address the issue first ad foremost. The imbalance in your stomach known as dysbiosis. A starchy sugary diet and after dinner champagne, coffee, skyrocketing stress alters the good and bad bacteria in the gut.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the engine for your entire body. Your cells depend on the nutrients extracted there from the food you eat for energy and other essential ingredients like oxygen and minerals they need to survive. Incredibly complex and specialized system and every part plays a crucial role. – Robynne Chutkan, Gutbliss.

A raw organic cold pressed juice should be just aiding the natural detoxing that our body is clever enough to do. There is no sure fire way or magic smoothie/juice to make you be in the pink of health. I think what is important is seeing this as a supplement but not solely as a food substitute. Now, it seems a juice cleanse is like a quick way to lose weight, substitute meals, a starving method disguised as “healthy” to some. There are so many potential dangers too.
The risk of one not having doctor’s or dietitian’s advise before embarking on the juice cleanse. I mean you can have juices but wrong mixture of juice can be problematic due to high sugar content going to your blood stream – where if you are not aware of your possibility or risk of diabetes, this just impose more danger to your own body. Not knowing, the sugar from juices alone can in the end make u gain weight if not done right. Also, too much lemon can erode the enamel on teeth (i like using a straw to sip any lemony drink!).
I heard of extreme stories where people go on juice cleanse or eat high only foods like carrots that his/her hands were orange. Like WTF! I think there is a lack of awareness, a lack of professional guidance and many are just hopping onto this juicing trend uninformed.
Once you start a detox program, your reenergized liver begins to release the toxins in your body into your blood stream during the first 4 hours – which you may experience, nausea, headaches, mild palpitations, fatigue. You need to drink honey with tea to maintain blood sugar levels and of course drink lots of water. – Joshi’s alkaline diet.
I spoke to one lady who went on juice cleanse to lose weight. And stopped halfway because she was feeling really weak, having gastric and had to to go to the doctors. When i ask if the juice cleanse company provided the support, she said they “will email and show support like cheering you on to finish the cleanse till the third day.” Yikes! Cheerleading?

All disease begins in the gut – Hippocrates

I think the misconception of today’s juice cleanse or teatox is to lose weight. Yes, fresh juices are cleansing by nature and contain compounds such as citric, malic acid, chlorophyl which can absurd fats and toxins from your digestive track. Rich in enzymes, they promote digestion, absorption of nutrient to create energy and support metabolism.But it is NOT a substitute for healthy wholesome meal. I roll my eyes on marketing words like “are u struggling to lose weight? do you want to lose xx pounds in xx week? losing weight and looking great with juice diet”. These are such misleading ways of marketing smokescreen as healthy lifestyle.
Sharing some info – Some symptoms when you start or during your cleanse:
+ withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and craving – as a result of extreme cutting of certain foods
+ body odor or bad breath
+ changes in bowel movements, diarrhoea
+ skin complaints
+ fatigue and light-headedness  (TWR believe we should learn to stop the extremism of things)
Just be sensible in the diet – eat less CRAP (Carbonated drinks, Refined sugar, Acidic foods, Processed food). Always opt for real wholesome nutritious food, drink water – hydration is key and not starve yourself thinking this is healthy way to lose weight. Regular exercise, clean diet and enough rest is the best mix to lose weight.

We need to understand that our body attempts to deal waste, removing toxin build up inside. What we need to know (not only doing it for 3 days) is to have a healthy lifestyle where we restore proper pH balance. Because all forms of internal toxicity cause a state of acidosis in the body, this in turn brings excessive levels of acid residues in the blood and tissues surppress immune response, interfere on normal metabolism, inhibit digestion and other malfunctions. pH balance is important throughout the human system as many vital organs depend on piper PH balance to function correctly. Remember, kidney and liver as natural detox and NOT juice cleanses.

Related Posts  Expert Column: Embracing self-doubt

Reference:

  • 2013, Gutbliss – feel light, tight and bright – the healthy way by Robynne Chutkan (Founder of the Digestive Center for Women).
  • 2007, The Tao of Detox by Daniel Reid- The Natural Way to Purify Your Body for Health and Longevity.
  • 2005, Nish Joshi’s, Joshi’s  Alkaline Diet – The 21 day detox programme.

TWR Team: Of course, we’d love to hear your thoughts on juice cleanses – are you for it or against it or taking the middle ground?

Ferina's journey to health and wellness stems from her struggles with anxiety disorder. The exploration of the how the body and mind works not only carved a path of information but also a sense of curiosity for her. Hence, the creation and founding of The Wellness Report.

Review overview
2 COMMENTS
  • Benito Castanedo July 15, 2016

    Depending on how frequently you intend to use the machine while juice fasting, price might make a considerable difference. Juicers can range in price from $50 to hundreds of dollars.

  • Edmond Stephan July 15, 2016

    Your health is to a great extent subject to what you have for breakfast As opposed to having tea or coffee, why not include green juice to form part of your breakfast?