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What's it like: To do a juice cleanse

Jaclyn Cosgrove: Juicing is growing in popularity, and with that, comes questions about its effectiveness in health promotion.
By Jaclyn Cosgrove, Staff Writer Modified: April 20, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: April 20, 2014

Why do a juice cleanse?

Fruits and vegetables — alas, beyond a baked potato and peaches in pie — are an essential part of a person’s diet. It’s recommended that adults eat at least two to three cups of vegetables and about two cups of fruit each day.

Juicing is the process of taking fresh fruits and vegetables and using a juicer, similar to a blender, to pull the juice out of those foods. The result is a drink that some people swear by.

A juicing cleanse, juicing advocates say, is a way to “detox” the body from the harm done via the high-fat American diet. People report that after a juice cleanse, they have more energy and are more mentally aware. Medical professionals argue that the body does a fine job of filtering out toxins and that this feeling is actually more of a benefit of not eating overly processed foods.

Whether juicing actually rids the body of toxins still is up for debate. Scientific evidence in the form of randomized clinical trials is lagging behind in proving some of the claims made about juicing. However, it’s not unreasonable to think you will feel better by eating a healthier diet, including juicing.

How do you do a juice cleanse?

The amount of juice you will drink each day — and the length of your cleanse — will depend on you and your dietary needs. For example, if you do the cleanse through a juice shop, you likely will drink six or seven 16-ounce juices each day. If you make your own juice, you might choose to spread out your amounts throughout the day. Some juicing advocates say seven days is an optimal time period, although a shorter time can be beneficial.

If you don’t like fruits or vegetables, juicing can be a good way to work them into your diet. However, it’s still important to eat other types of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Regardless of whether you’re making your own juice or buying juices at a store, it’s important to drink it shortly after it’s made. Homemade juices and some products made in juice shops aren’t pasteurized, meaning bacteria can grow in them, which can cause food poisoning.

How much does it cost?

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