The Benefits of Adding Juice to Your Diet
Makin Wellness founder, Sara Makin, recently did a juice feast with The Pittsburgh Juice Company! This allowed her to get firsthand experience on how healthy, organic juices can benefit your body. This juice “feast” lasted five days and consisted of about six organic juices and smoothies per day. Each juice contained a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Only a very small amount of food was eaten during the feast.
A juice cleanse is a big diet change, and in order for it to go smoothly, it is important to prepare ahead of time. A few days before the cleanse begins it helps to cut out harmful substances like coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, and sugary drinks. The purpose of the cleanse is to remove the toxins that some of these drinks put into your body. In order to help your body be ready for a large intake of liquids, you should be sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water a day or two before the cleanse. Continuing to stay hydrated during the cleanse will also aid in the removal of toxins. Since adjusting to a juice cleanse takes a lot out of your body, getting plenty of rest before the start of the cleanse will be beneficial. Make sure to listen to your body during the process and change exercise/sleep routines to fit your energy levels.
On the first day, Sara reported that it was challenging to stick with all the juices. It takes adjustment in order to get used to not eating and only drinking liquids. However, since she was busy without the day, there wasn’t much time to think about food until she came home for the night. Although, the thoughts of food subsided once she continued the cleanse.
The second day showed the first signs of the benefits of a juice cleanse. Sara started to feel a little better and more adjusted. She felt like she gained a bit more clarity mentally. In the afternoon, she usually takes a B12 vitamin or gets a coffee in order to gain more energy to make it through the day. On the cleanse, she did not feel the need to take a supplement to boost her energy.
Day three built upon the progress already made from the previous days on the cleanse. Sara began to feel much better and reported having better digestion along with more energy throughout the day. She noticed her skin gradually clearing up. Mentally, she felt sharp and focused but not stressed. She reported her mind feeling clear but relaxed.
On the fourth day, digestion continued to improve. Her skin looked clear and glowing. Her appetite decreased, but her energy level remained high. Again, she was able to work through the day without feeling drowsy or drained. She didn’t need as much sleep as she previously did but was still able to maintain mental clarity and sharpness.
This was the last day of the “juice feast”. Juice cleanses take dedication and effort, so at the end of the five days, Sara felt ready to be finished. However, the benefits of the juice reached their maximum levels on the fifth day. She felt very energetic while only needing five hours of sleep, the least amount of sleep that she had gotten that week. She woke up refreshed in the morning and ready to take on the day. Her mind was focused and clear, making the afternoon tiredness completely disappear. She no longer felt the need to take vitamin supplements or coffee in order to push through the day.
As a whole, the juice cleanse raised energy levels, increased digestion, and improved the look of her skin. Along with the many benefits, Sara had her favorite drinks. Witch’s Brew, a juice made from cucumber, Granny Smith apple, kale, spinach, celery, lemon, ginger, and Drink Me, which was said to taste like a vanilla milkshake. Drink Me is a juice made from Blue Majik spirulina, house-made cashew milk, dates, vanilla, coconut oil, pink Himalayan sea salt. Once the cleanse was over, Sara noticed that she tended to be thirsty more often than she was hungry. This decreased appetite could be beneficial to those looking to lose weight. When adjusting back to eating food, she noticed that her taste buds were more sensitive, almost as if the juice feast had restarted her sense of taste.
Returning to a Normal Diet
After finishing a juice cleanse, you shouldn’t automatically binge on food. It will make the transition smoother if you continue the healthy habits of drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine, coffee, and alcohol. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, it is advised that you introduce coffee back into your diet gradually at around ¼ cup increments. Alcohol, however, should be avoided for about a week after the cleanse. Since the liver is key in flushing out our body’s toxins, alcohol won’t allow it to have the well-needed break it deserves after a week of nutrient-dense juices. The post-cleanse process is very similar to the pre-cleanse preparation. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber and nutrients will aid in adjusting your digestion. In addition to your greens, proteins and healthy fats are a great way to stay healthy after a cleanse. Exercising and sweating will help clear out other toxins, but it is important to consider taking it slow at first and making sure that you’re eating enough calories.
Benefits of Juice
Adding juice into your diet is an easy way to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your daily routine. There are many benefits of juicing which include supporting the immune system, aiding in digestion, promoting a healthy gut biome, and even affecting our mental health.
The Immune System
Fasting has been shown to increase immune rejuvenation. This is because when the body uses up glycogen stores during fasting, the processes carried out support healing throughout the body. The lining of the intestine is usually replenished around every five days. The cells that maintain the intestine, intestinal stem cells, are important in repairing any damage. As people age, the ability to regenerate intestinal stem cells decreases. This, in turn, increases the recovery time for your intestine after an injury or infection. Although the topic is still being researched, it is reported that fasting changes the metabolism to go from burning carbohydrates to metabolizing fatty acids. This change leads to an increase in stem cells abilities to regenerate.
When you’re only consuming liquids and not food, your digestion system does not have to work as hard. This makes digestion easier. Juice allows the body to absorb nutrients at a more efficient rate because liquid travels through the body faster than whole foods that have to be broken down and digested. Some foods that are not normally in an individual’s diet can be harder to digest, which can cause the nutrients to not be distributed throughout the body. Completing a juice cleanse that helps increase the bacteria that support digesting certain foods can allow those nutrients to be more effectively absorbed.
Healthy Gut Biome
Most importantly, however, juices promote a healthy gut biome. The gut biome, in simple terms, is all of the bacteria, viruses, or other living things that are located in your intestines. This biome affects aspects of digestion, the immune system, and even brain health. The bacteria in the gut are key in digesting fiber which is commonly found in fruits and vegetables. This can help with weight loss and diabetes. The gut biome communicates with immune cells to control how your body response to infection. Recently, it has been hypothesized that the gut biome may influence the central nervous system, which controls brain function. The gut is connected to the brain through nerves. It is thought that the gut biome may influence brain health by affecting the messages that are sent through those nerves.
There is a strong link found between nutrition and mental health. Studies have shown that adding fruits and vegetables into one’s diet can improve mental health symptoms. A study called “Let Them Eat Fruit! The Effect of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption on Psychological Wellbeing in Young Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial” took a sample of college kids with low fruit and vegetable intake and had them report their initial depression and anxiety symptoms. Some were told to continue their normal diet and others were given two weeks’ worth of fruits and vegetables. The study found that only those who were given the supply of fruits and vegetables showed improvements in “vitality, flourishing and motivation”. Adding juice into one’s diet is a very easy way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily routine.
Completing a juice cleanse has many benefits that range from supporting our immune systems to aiding in digestion. Although, one does not need to partake in a full-on juice cleanse to reap the benefits of one. Juice cleanses improve our health, but they also serve as a reminder that there is an easy way to work fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet. A juice feast where you drink mostly juices and a small amount of food is still beneficial because you are still adding a large amount of important vitamins and minerals into your diet. It can be difficult to have to remember to eat healthy or to be around places where these foods are available. Juices provide a solution that allows you to improve your health mentally and physically in a way that can even taste better than the whole foods themselves.
About Makin Wellness
Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.