Does that Juice Cleanse Actually Work?
With all the buzz around juice cleanses nowadays, it’s good to take a step back to consider how our bodies actually cleanse. People always talk about how juicing gives you energy, makes your skin glow and helps you fit into that Instagram-ready swimsuit. So does drinking copious amounts of pressed carrots and beets detox us? How about throwing back that popular $10 green juice at our local juicery? That’s got to cleanse us, especially at that hefty price tag!
When you look at the opinions of the medical industry, you will find plenty of nay-sayers about your expensive juice habit. The American Heart Association recommends a daily sugar maximum of 25 grams for women and 36 grams for men. In stark contrast, the sugar content in some popular juice cleanses can range from 75 grams to a staggering 200 grams of sugar. Experts also claim that the weight you lose on a juice cleanse is mostly water, or worse yet, muscle loss. With all the negative press about juice cleanses, we should take a step back and consider how our bodies actually cleanse.
Our bodies are exposed to hundreds of toxins every day through our environment, the products we use and the food we eat. We also produce toxins ourselves, as many of them are waste products from normal metabolic activities. These are called endogenous toxins. One overlooked source of endogenous toxins is an unhealthy gut. Over time, a diet that's rich in highly refined foods, poor eating habits, and emotional stress can lead to an unhealthy balance of microorganisms in your gastrointestinal tract, a state that's called intestinal dysbiosis. This can further be accompanied by steady production of more toxins produced by undesirable yeasts, fungi, bacteria, and in some cases, even parasites.
We are going to let you in on a fabulous secret- our bodies already know what to do. However, it is up to us to provide our bodies with the necessary ingredients to support the process. There are three steps to how our bodies cleanse and detoxify.
1. Stage 1 Activate
Medical journals call the first step phase 1 detoxification, or as we like to call it, the activation stage. The first stage is where your body is pulling toxins out and converting them to a reactive intermediate, so that they can be removed from your body. Believe it or not, most people don’t know that we need protein in order to properly cleanse. Many people have tried some cleanses where they do nothing but drink lemon water and cayenne pepper. Lemon cayenne water may spice up your life, but it doesn’t support the 3 phases of cleanse. Our bodies require amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, in order to convert these reactive intermediates into water soluble molecules. These amino acids are used in Phase 1 to help convert and prepare the toxins in our bodies to be flushed out.
Therefore, it’s important to support our bodies during the activation phase. Ensure that your cleanse proteins are from a wide variety of plants. Different plant proteins provide a rich variety of all the amino acids that your body requires for a cleanse. We probably don’t have to say this, but make sure they are always organic so that you don’t introduce even more toxins to your body. Remember that the function of protein in our body is to help nourish, repair and improve our immune function, so it makes sense that we should supply our body with the correct balance of nutrients in order to support an optimal cleanse.
2. Stage 2 Neutralize
Immediately after the activation phase, your body is going to need a heightened amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients, as these reactive intermediaries can do some damage during the conversion process. Scientists call this phase 2 detoxification. During the second stage, our bodies begin neutralizing these toxic reactive intermediates and converting them to water-soluble substances. The best thing we can do for our bodies is to get plenty of fluids, antioxidants and phytonutrients during this stage.
Nutrition science has proven that eating a wide variety of plant foods benefits the body because of the large assortment of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Only by consuming a big variety of these nutrient-rich natural foods can you access the protective compounds that can help your body function and cleanse at its best. When you consume plants, these phytonutrients help your body reduce inflammation, prevent cellular damage and reverse chronic health conditions. The daily recommended intake of vegetables for optimal health is at least 3-4 servings per MEAL.
The average person would not be able to easily eat their way through several pounds of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This is the reason why green juices have become so wildly popular within the last few years. You are able to access the wide variety of these wonderful phytonutrients, and a convenient juice format is the best way to rapidly absorb these nutrients into your system. The only thing to consider about green juices is the sugar content, as the natural protein and plant-fibers have been removed in the juicing process. We recommend looking for one that utilizes a mixture of the chlorophyll-rich juices and whole plants rich in natural fibers. Juices like these are rich in fluids, antioxidants and phytonutrients which help neutralize these intermediary toxins and prepare them for the next stage.
3. Stage 3 Eliminate
Finally, our bodies must eliminate these toxins and get them out of our body. Our bodies have been working hard through the first two stages of cleanse by converting the toxins then neutralizing them. However, toxins can unfortunately be a bit sticky and tend to cling to our colon and intestines. That’s why it’s important to support the third and often-forgotten stage of cleanse, the elimination stage. Failure to adequately prepare our bodies for this step can result in our bodies absorbing our toxins back into our system.
If we don’t support our bodies with the tools needed for this third stage of cleanse, we can end up experiencing stomach pains, cramps, chronic fatigue, constipation, low energy, headaches, brain fog and skin problems. This is why we need plant fibers. Plant fibers can grab a hold of these sticky, stubborn toxins residing in our intestines and colon and pull them out through elimination. They can also help us feel full, reduce blood sugar spikes from our juices and keep our digestive system running smoothly. Best of all, plant-based fibers act like a scrub brush for your digestive tract, the final stage to say good-bye to these toxins forever!
Support the Cleanse Process
These three stages of cleanse are how our bodies actually work to protect us from all the harmful effects of the daily toxins we are exposed to. Our bodies go through this process every single day. So when you pick up your next juice cleanse, take a peek at the labels and ask yourself if the ingredients support all the stages of cleanse. Does it provide a rich array of amino acids from plant-based proteins? Does it provide a wide variety of different types of vegetables to supply the phytonutrient profile? And finally, does it provide adequate amounts of plant-based fibers to help eliminate the toxins that your body has worked so hard to neutralize?
Make sure to check out Smart Pressed Juice, which provides the first juice cleanse that supports all three stages of cleanse. It’s perfectly balanced to provide all the protein, phytonutrients and fiber that your body needs to cleanse.
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