2019 has come and gone and now that January is upon us, there’s a pretty good chance you’re thinking about ways to be healthier and do better in the new year. While there are so many ways to do both of these things, one of the most popular is to embark on a detoxing journey to reset after the holidays. Where some people opt to skip the booze for a month, others make a commitment to their fruits and veggies intake. And, if you’re part of the latter, one such way to find success in your resolution is to kick off the New Year with a juice cleanse.
Sound like your cup of tea (er, juice)? Keep scrolling to find out if a cleanse is right for you, as well as which juice regimens are most sip-worthy in 2020.
Benefits of Juice Cleanses
Depending on who you ask, juice cleanses are either super beneficial or have zero positive effects.
According to holistic nutritionist Alle Weil, “Juice cleanses allow the body a break from overburdening it with potentially allergenic and heavy foods and emphasizes easy-to-digest-and-assimilate nutrients from pure and potent fruit and vegetables.”
By drinking the juices, Weil, who specializes in building highly personalized cleanses based on clients’ unique needs, says that you’re able to flush the body not only with nutrients but liquids that help to detoxify bodily systems and hydrate at the same time.
“There are so many benefits but I believe the biggest benefits are that we are allowing the body to rest and refuel with an amount of alkalizing produce that we otherwise would not be able to consume on a regular basis,” she explains. “I find the body reveals a lot during and after a cleanse as far as what is at the root of a person’s symptoms.”
On the other end of the spectrum, body-positive nutritionists like Daisy Miller, a non-diet dietician based in Rockville, Maryland, believe that there is no benefit to going on a juice cleanse. After all, highly-regimented eating (and drinking) are a major factor in developing eating disorders. “If we're talking about our intestines, they don't need to be 'cleansed,’” she says, noting that our intestines are not PVC pipes.
Who Cleanses Are Safe For
To determine who cleanses are safe for, we must weed out those that they’re not. Eating disorders, while not the only concern to mull over when considering going on a juice cleanse, are certainly a determining factor. “I would highly discourage the use of juice cleanses for anyone who struggles with disordered eating or an eating disorder since it can just be an extension of the disorder,” says holistic nutritionist Amanda Carneiro of Raw Fitness and Nutrition. “Also, juice cleanses can create a calorie deficit and force the body to run on cortisol, which can be detrimental for anyone struggling with adrenal issues.”
As a general rule of thumb, Carneiro says that cleanses are safe for those looking for a way to detox from unhealthy foods, alcohol, or an overall unhealthy lifestyle. “They can also be beneficial for giving your digestive system a break,” she adds. “Many people who struggle with digestive issues can have trouble digesting the fibers in fruits and vegetables.” Since juicing removes the fibers, she says a cleanse can be really easy on the digestive system.
At the end of the day, the best way to determine whether a juice cleanse is right for you is to chat with your doctor about any pre-existing conditions that could adversely interact with ingredients or methods of the cleanse.
How Cleanses Work
Day in and day out we consume impurities from food, water, and simply being exposed to the air. “These toxins build up over time and lead to weight gain and chronic preventable diseases,” Weil says, noting that the simple solution is to cleanse your body regularly—which reduces the intake of toxins and promotes the consumption of detoxifying ingredients—to help flush these impurities from your cells and revitalize them with a nutrient-dense cleansing diet. “This not only helps in the here and now to press reset, but to set down healthy habits that you can maintain and practice in your day-to-day,” she explains.
According to Weil, people will oftentimes feel worse before they get better while committing to a juice cleanse. “This means there are toxins being pulled out of the stores in the body such as fats. Depending on how efficiently your detoxification pathways perform, someone many need additional support in addition to juices such as infrared sauna and additional supplementation or detoxification protocols.”
Like most things, not all juice cleanses are created equal. As such, it helps to know what to keep an eye out for. Namely, you want to look for cleanses made with organic and local produce whenever possible to avoid consuming pesticides. “Think of how many heads of celery it takes to make a 16-ounce juice,” Weil says. “If you are using chemical-laden produce this is just so counter to any of the reasons one would do a cleanse in the first place.”
Additionally, you want to steer clear of sugar-laden formulas, as they can lead to weight gain and can be problematic for diabetics.
Lastly, Weil says that you should stay away from a cleanse that attempts to limit your calories in juices or maintains overly-strict guidelines (typically a cleanse should only last for two to seven days). “A juice cleanse should be flexible—everyone will experience it differently and has unique needs,” she notes.
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for…
The 10 Best Juice Cleanses to Try in 2020
1. JÙS by Julie
JÙS is a great way to test out juice cleansing. The wildly-popular brand offers 1- to 5-day juice cleanses, as well as a 3-Day Soup + JUS Cleanse ($125), 5-Day JUS ‘Til Dinner Cleanse ($140) that lets you eat a healthy dinner in the evening, and a 5-Day Reset ($205) that includes juices, soups, and a series of healthy snacks, all designed to detox the body and boost healthier habits.
2. Pressed Juicery
Pressed is a pioneer in the juice-cleansing industry. While the extensive juice menu has over 20 different blends, the cleanses come in three bundles: For the Beginner ($35), Our Most Popular ($35), and For the Experienced ($35). As a note, these cleanses are liquid-only, however, according to the brand’s website, it’s a-OK to snack on cucumbers and apples.
3. Suja Juice
With over a dozen blends to choose from, you might want to create your own cleanse. However, if you’re not sure which to incorporate, you’ll be glad that Suja offers their signature 3-Day Juice Cleanse ($99). It includes seven juices and healthy breakfast recipes. Yup, with this cleanse, you get to juice and eat.
4. Raw Generation
While Raw Generation offers traditional juice cleanses, they also offer their signature Protein Cleanse ($200) lets you cleanse without sacrificing your protein consumption (nor your ability to feel energized while working out). It’s available in 3-, 5-, and 7-day options, all of which feature six juices and 40 grams of plant protein.
It’s super helpful to prepare your body before going on a cleanse. “I highly recommend removing processed foods, meat, sugars, and caffeine about a week before your cleanse so your detox symptoms won’t be as dramatic,” Weil says, noting that the same goes for easing out of a cleanse.
5. Juice Generation
If you ever had the privilege of drinking a Citrus Super C from Juice Generation, you know how delicious their blends can be. While that delight has (sadly) been removed from the menu, they offer 1-, 3-, and 5-day Cooler Cleanses (ranging from $58 to $298), all of which focus solely on juices. Best of all, if you prefer to cut out the plastic consumption and lower your carbon footprint, depending on where you live you can even opt for the Blend It Yourself version, which delivers the exact ingredients straight to your door.
BluePrint is one of (if not) the most well-known juice cleanse brands. With six cleanses to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Where the 3-Day Beach-Ready Detox ($175) focuses on banishing bloat and the 3-Day Holiday Detox ($205) helps cut down on sugar, The Blueprint OG (which can last from one to six days and costs between $65 and $375) is the go-to for hitting the reset button. There are also nut-free options, as well as balancing cleanses and regimens that offer less than 100 grams of sugar a day.
This affordable juice cleanse is designed to energize and jumpstart healthy habits. By introducing raw, blended fruits and veggies into your daily routine for up to seven days with the Jumpstart Cleanse ($27.93 per day), you’ll be able to break the sugar craving circle, improve stress response, boost mental clarity, and more. And, if you’re still hungry after drinking seven juices a day, you can eat as many raw fruits and veggies as you’d like.
8. Project Juice
Project Juice’s organic juice cleanses include three 5-day options, as well as the option to create your own. The cleanses include six juices per day and, in the case of The Rejuvenation Cleanse ($85 per day), two superfood shots and two foods: soup and trail mix.
Lemonkind’s 3-Day Super Detox Me Cleanse ($140) includes 26 juices designed to detox the body, boost the metabolism, and jumpstart healthy habits. By drinking a hearty juice every two hours, you’re less likely to get hungry and crave solid food.
If you’re hesitant to jump on the juice cleanse train, Squeezed is a great choice, as it offers options to ease your way into it. You can opt from 1- to 7-day Squeezed cleanses ($33 per day), and can eat raw fruits and veggies during the process. Just remember, the whole point of a cleanse is to cut out toxifying processed foods, so do your very best to keep your snacks simple.
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