What is a Juice Cleanse?

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  • Written By: Nick Doniger
  • Edited By: Jacob Harkins
  • Last Modified Date: 17 January 2020
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A juice cleanse is a fasting practice in which toxins are expelled from the body by consuming only fresh fruit and vegetable juices for a short period of time, typically three days. The severity of side effects from this practice may range from digestive discomfort to serious nutrient deficiency. Juice cleansing is recommended for those who wish to change unhealthy dietary habits, suffer from fatigue or digestive ailments, or are vulnerable to various diseases and viral infections. Certain fruits, such as grapefruit, are generally avoided, while organic, fibrous vegetables, apples, cranberries, and leafy greens are usually recommended.

Candidates for a juice cleanse are generally those with unhealthy eating habits. This type of fasting may help rid the build up of toxins from those who eat too much fast, processed food, sugary or high-fat food, and meat, though such people may experience side effects more acutely. Additionally, patients with digestive problems, such as constipation and flatulence, may benefit from juice fasting. It may even help those who suffer from acne and other skin problems. People who are susceptible to colds, flu, bronchitis, and sinus problems may also benefit from a juice cleanse.


Juice cleansing is recommended in short intervals, as side effects may be difficult to handle. Dizziness, intense bowel movements, vomiting, and headaches are common. While certain side effects are a sign of effective detoxification, it is recommended that the cleanse is discontinued if these symptoms become too severe. One variation on the juice cleanse includes consuming one meal per day in order to reduce the severity of such side effects.

It is advised that a doctor is consulted before practicing a juice cleanse, as certain side effects may be detrimental to health. Frequent diarrhea may cause dehydration and a loss of electrolytes. Long-term juice cleansing is avoided in order to avoid protein, calcium, and other nutrient deficiencies. Kidney problems may be develop from improper juice cleansing practices.

Some people may have complications from using certain fruits in a juice cleanse, such as pomegranate and grapefruit. These fruits contain compounds that have an adverse effect when used in conjunction with some prescription medicines. The most highly recommended fruits and vegetables used for juice cleansing are carrots, celery, apple, cranberry, pineapple, and leafy greens such as kale and cabbage.

A three-day juice cleanse is typical. The body is initially prepared by gradually reducing the intake of sugars, caffeine, nicotine, dairy products, alcohol, meat, and wheat products over a few days. For the next three days, 32 to 64 ounces (1 to 2 liters) of fruit and vegetable juices are to be consumed each day in slow sips. These juices should be as fresh as possible and preferably made in a blender with organic fruits and vegetables. After the fasting period is complete, a person may gradually return to a normal diet over a five- or six-day period.


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