Anyone concerned with their health has probably heard of terms such as juicing, detoxing, or fasting as potential solutions with a host of benefits. People say these are necessary while others feel like they’re nothing more than a popular fad. Many of these practices have been around for centuries and can potentially help you lose weight. How can you tell the difference between these and are they worth trying? We answer all of the questions and tell you everything you need to know about juice cleanse vs. detoxing vs. fasting below.
What is a Juice Cleanse?
Juicing, sometimes referred to as juice fasting, is a process where you only consume juice and water for several days for health goals. This healthy process consists of extracting juice from fruits and/or vegetables in an attempt to cleanse the body, improve health, and/or lose weight. Some people achieve this aim by squeezing fruits by hand while others utilize a juicer to streamline the process to get the most juice possible. This popular form of alternative medicine first came to prominence during the 1970s.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Juicing comes with a host of health benefits including higher nutrient absorption rates, lower cholesterol levels, and increase good gut bacteria. Juice cleanses can give you a significant boost in phytonutrients, which reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and give you antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Cons: Not all juices are 100% fruit juice. Many of them are thinned or filtered and you’re not getting the full nutrition that’s needed. Juicing is labor intensive and the cost can add up overtime. You’ll also be consuming less fiber compared to the times you eat fruit whole. Plus, homemade juices have a significantly high amount of sugar.
What is Detoxing?
Detoxing is a short-term dietary intervention that is designed to remove toxins from your body in an effort to become healthier. According to Chopra.com, detoxing has been implemented for centuries and embraced by ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Hindus. Our lymphatic systems, liver, kidneys, and intestines do this for us naturally, however, the modern lifestyle might put pressure on these organs. Air pollution, heavy metals, and chemicals found in cleaning products all make this job much harder for our bodies to accomplish. Detoxing gives your body a chance to recharge and reset.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Detoxing can alleviate chronic fatigue and boost your energy levels. You can improve your skin and lose weight after removing a buildup of toxins in the body. You can strengthen your immune system, get better sleep, and improve your overall sense of well-being. It can also help you reduce stress levels, balance out your emotions, and improve mental alertness.
Cons: Detoxing requires a low-calorie intake, which can result in fatigue and lightheadedness. If you detox for too long, it can cause low levels of protein, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Certain detox diets can cost you a pretty penny depending on the bundle, supplements, and/or program. Also, check in with a doctor and do your research first because every detox program isn’t safe, especially if you have certain medical conditions.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is the process of abstaining from food consumption for a period of time usually 12 hours or more. Many religions such as Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Buddhism promote fasting for spiritual benefits, cleansing, and enhancing purity within the individual. Another popular form of fasting is intermittent fasting where you only eat during a specific time and fast for a number of hours. Sometimes, you can consume water, tea, and maybe even coffee during your fasting period.
Pros & Cons
Pros: Fasting helps decrease inflammation and reduces risk factors for heart disease. The practice boosts brain function, prevents neurodegenerative disorders, and boosts your metabolism. The decrease in calorie intake can result in weight loss. Fasting also can help improve cellular repair processes, prevent cancer, and extend your lifespan.
Cons: Fasting can make you tired, moody, fatigued, and lead to a decrease in hormone function. Fasting also can have a negative impact on your liver, kidneys, and overall bodily functions. If you’ve ever had an eating disorder you need to be careful fasting because this can cause a relapse or turn into a different eating disorder.
The Bottom Line
Rather it is a juice cleanse, a detox, or fasting, all three of these health practices come with several benefits that are worthwhile. A juice cleanse is great for those who have a hard time getting their required amount of fruits and vegetables everyday. Detoxing is a solid solution for combating the impact of toxic environments while fasting comes with similar benefits. All three of these can help you lose weight and improve your overall health in many ways. However, it’s important to do your research, consult with a medical professional, and see which one is truly right for you.