It’s that time of the year when most people start thinking about tightening up their diets. What works best is to take it in small steps. Start with changing your eating habits for just a few days. A simple 3-day juice cleanse can initiate a remarkable, positive transformation in your health and how you feel.
The romance of unhealthy foods is powerful. More than one-third of adult Americans struggle daily with being overweight and obese. And the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. had risen to more than $147 billion dollars. It is essential to break the cycle of dependence on unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and excess soda and alcohol. Research going back decades has shown us that we can not only be healthier, but we can actually reverse even severe chronic disease by changing to a plant-based diet.
In addition to breaking the cycle of cravings of foods that undermine your health, a simple 3-day juice cleanse can have a marked impact on how you feel.
Here are 10 significant health enhancements you can obtain with a 3-day juice cleanse.
The first rule, try to use organic foods as much as possible. Otherwise you are ingesting many of the same pesticide, herbicide and antibiotic residues the body is trying to clear out.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) writes: “The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Eating conventionally grown produce is still better than eating no produce at all. But the fewer pesticides you eat, the better. The EWG published a useful list of the most heavily contaminated types of produce and the least contaminated. It is updated annually . The Dirty Dozen Plus are worth buying organic… especially if you have children. You’ll save little money on the Clean Fifteen, since they have relatively low pesticide levels.
Reduce your appetite. Juicing doesn’t really shrink the stomach, although it feels like it does. Juicing eliminates the habit of comfort eating, and makes you feel satiated with less food than usual. This provides a big psychological boost to help get over the hurdle of changing habits.
Rest the stomach. Making the stomach work less to extract nutrients can be a huge benefit. Fresh juices require less of the stomach’s digestive processing (churning, acid and pepsin). And remember to gently chew the juices to add oral enzymes to further ease digestion.
Rest and repair the gut. Toxic foods (including unhealthy fats, refined carbs, foods with additives, pesticides and allergenic foods), taking medications , and stress can impair the intestine’s functioning. There can easily be an imbalance in the gut microbiome (flora and fauna balance) as well as actual breaks in the intestinal barrier (“leaky gut”) — allowing substances into our bodies that should not get a free pass . Consuming a phytonutrient-dense rainbow plant-based juice diet allows food to be assimilated quickly through the intestine — consuming less energy, while the toxin-free, nutrient-dense food helps to repair the gut itself.
Rest the liver. The liver is our main detoxifying organ. Every molecule of food that is absorbed through the intestinal wall moves into the liver for detoxification and preparation before being allowed to enter the rest of the body. Problem is, there are too many toxins for most of our livers to handle — with many passing unchecked into the general circulation to wreak havoc in other organs and cells. An organic juice cleanse rests the liver’s overload.
Eliminate harmful foods. The juice cleanse eliminates dairy, wheat, gluten and fermented foods from the diet. Taking a break from these types of foods and other common trigger foods — then reintroducing them can help define what foods are causing our body problems.
Improves energy. After the first day’s adjustment period (mostly missing crunching, and any coffee/alcohol cessation symptoms), most people begin to feel much more energy and clarity (by consuming only fresh juices) than they ever did with frequent caffeine drinks.
Lose weight. As you are feeling better and having more energy, you also naturally lose weight. Some of this is water bloat, but also some is fat. A juice cleanse (three days minimum) is a great way to jump start a diet. It not only helps control appetite and cravings, but is naturally lower in calories, while supplying the body with more concentrated beneficial energizing and healing nutrients than it has seen before.
Rehydrate the body. Most of us consume inadequate fluids, often having diuretics such as coffee or tea as their main beverages. Drinking sufficient fluids (minimum 5-6 glasses water /day) makes the body function more efficiently, increases energy (often successfully removing the afternoon blahs/brain fog), and helps insure proper elimination of toxins.
Reduce physical problems. You begin to feel generally better, not just with your energy, but with many chronic symptoms such as headaches, rashes, general aches, congested sinuses and chest, and bloating/cramping/gas. Too much of the time our body is fighting off the things we do to it (especially with food — but also with lack of sleep, inactivity and stress). Take a break, rest the body (and mind) and flood it with nutrients.
Heal our cells. Switching to an organic plant-based diet allows cells to work optimally to re-establish efficient internal messaging and manufacturing processes, allowing the mitochondria to create energy without having to fight off a plethora of free radicals and inflammation, and reducing some of the impediments to proper DNA functioning.