What you need to know be­fore you go on a juic­ing kick

IN Magazine - - HEALTH & WELLNESS - By Karen Kwan

The fresh spring weather eggs many of us on to get a fresh start—not only in our homes but for our bod­ies, too. one of the most pop­u­lar ways to detox our bod­ies from the inside out is juice cleans­ing: those ubiq­ui­tous glass bot­tles of green, black, or­ange, red and murky liq­uids, in­escapable on in­sta­gram. Liv­ing on a diet of only these juices and nut milks for any­where from one day to a week, and for some folks even longer, is said to help rid the body from the over­load of tox­ins it has to deal with from our some­times trans fat-filled, salty, sug­ary mod­ern-day diet.

Cleanses, though, are not for every­one. “it to­tally de­pends on the per­son,” says Toronto-based holis­tic nu­tri­tion­ist aly Shoom. “if you’re do­ing a juice cleanse to lose weight, it’s not go­ing to re­sult in per­ma­nent weight loss; all you’ll lose is wa­ter weight, which you’ll gain back.” While the hu­man body does a fine job of cleans­ing it­self, Shoom says it’s only to a cer­tain ex­tent and some­times the liver can get over­bur­dened, which may show up, for ex­am­ple, as acne. “a juice cleanse could help sup­port the liver in a deeper cleanse,” she says. Some­what iron­i­cally, the per­son who will feel the least shock to their sys­tem with a juice cleanse (and ex­pe­ri­ence the health ben­e­fits more read­ily) is some­one who al­ready eats a whole­some diet. re­gard­less of your dayto-day diet, how­ever, how you be­gin and end your cleanse is key. Don’t chow down on a last sup­per of a burger and pou­tine, as tempt­ing as it may be. “You have to be very care­ful eas­ing in and out of it by eat­ing clean and light,” says Shoom, who rec­om­mends a veg­e­tar­ian diet for this pur­pose as it is eas­ier to di­gest.

Chat with your doc­tor first be­fore de­cid­ing to em­bark on a juice cleanse, es­pe­cially if you have a pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tion, such as di­a­betes. adding one cold-pressed juice (the cold-press­ing method re­tains the most nu­tri­ents) to your day, though, is a sim­ple way any­one can ben­e­fit from, says Shoom. She says if you’re not get­ting enough veg­eta­bles in your diet, or if you have a com­pro­mised di­ges­tive sys­tem (“and most of us do,” she notes), a green juice—ideally made with only veg­eta­bles since fruit can ratchet up the sugar con­tent—will pro­vide a big hit of es­sen­tial vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. “it doesn’t have the fi­bre you’d get from eat­ing the ac­tual veg­eta­bles, but as a juice it is re­ally di­gestible and you’re get­ting a ton of veg­gies into your diet.” Tim­ing is im­por­tant, too. Drink to your health on an empty stom­ach—“about a half-hour be­fore or a cou­ple of hours af­ter a meal—be­cause even if your di­ges­tion is im­paired, you’ll be able to ab­sorb and ben­e­fit from the nu­tri­ents,” says Shoom. Ul­ti­mately, though, she sug­gests a cleanse in­volv­ing real food, which is what she does with her clients. Think three weeks of clean eat­ing (i.e. eat­ing only whole foods, noth­ing pro­cessed) with an em­pha­sis on detox­ing foods, such as chia seeds (which tox­ins bind to) and dan­de­lion greens.

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