Have you ever thought of eating or drinking nothing but vegetable juice for a few days? Maybe you can’t wait to treat your body to tasty vegetable juices. Or perhaps the idea of a week without coffee and solid food gives you nightmares. Whichever of these applies to you, juice fasting is a health trend that fires many people’s imaginations and raises lots of questions.
In the world of health and lifestyle, juice fasting are often acclaimed and endorsed as an ideal way to lose weight and purify the body. But what exactly are the ins and outs of juice fasting? What are the advantages and disadvantages: maybe even dangers? Is it really as healthy as it is claimed to be? And is it suitable for everyone? In this article we look deeper into juice fasting and do our best to answer these all questions and more and to provide you with the latest scientific insights.
WHAT IS JUICE FASTING?
So, what exactly is a juice fasting treatment? How does it work?
There are all kinds of ways to do a juice fast. Juice fasting can be as simple as replacing your daily breakfast with a large glass of celery juice in the morning. During an intensive juice fast, you temporarily replace all your food with juice. A juice fast is a form of cleansing in which for one or more days you eat nothing but pressed juice from vegetables, fruit, spices and herbs.
If you make the decision to cleanse and reset your body through a juice fast, there are still many ways you can go. You could go for a ready-made juice cleanse in the form of a juice pack. If you want to do it yourself and you’ve got a Slowjuicer, you could make the juice yourself. However, it is important to research good preparation (pre-cleanse) and phasing out (after-cleanse). Further on in this article, you can find more information about juice fasting at home. If you are wondering how best to juice at home, or if you are looking for recipes or information about choosing the right (slow) juicer, read on!
Even a one-day juice fasting treatment can have positive cleansing and neutralising effects on your body. Many people choose a juice fast of three, five or, for those with more experience, seven days.
WHAT IS CLEANSING?
Detoxification is a normal purification process within your body. Every day your body neutralises and eliminates harmful toxins via the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph nodes and skin. If your body is overburdened by an unhealthy lifestyle, poor nutrition or the influences of an unhealthy environment, it can no longer fully process the abundance of toxins. You may then suffer from various complaints such as fatigue, dull skin and lower resistance to stress.
According to many experts, fasting treatments can help strengthen your immune system and prevent certain long-term and serious illnesses. Our modern diet contains too much animal protein, carbohydrates, E-numbers, pesticides, sugar, salt, saturated fats, caffeine and alcohol. The intake of these substances can cause major changes in our inner ecosystem.
The juice fast
There are several ways to cleanse your body, including colon hydrotherapy, liver purification, herbal tea treatments, blossom therapy and hydrotherapy. At Sapje we work with a juice cleanse. This juice fasting treatment contains 100% freshly squeezed, organically certified juices, soup, tea, vitalised water and additional naturally cleansing shots of ginger, turmeric, ginseng, coriander, parsley and wheatgrass. In our 1, 3, 5 and 7 day juice fasting you will get the nutrients of many kilos of organic fruit and vegetables. A juice cleanse is a short treatment, meant to purify the mind and body. The juice fast provides the body with sufficient fuel, natural vitamins, vegetable fats, proteins, amino acids, minerals and many micronutrients. The main reason for following a juice fast is to give the digestive system some rest by not having heavy proteins, fats and sugars for a few days. This allows the body to remove toxins from the liver, kidneys and gallbladder.
WHY JUICE FASTING? MY BODY CLEANS ITSELF, DOESN’T IT?
Yes, the body is a self-cleansing system and removes toxins and other harmful substances itself. But in order to keep your body’s self-cleaning function as effective as possible, it is important to remove delaying factors. The main goal of a juice fast is to ensure that your body can continue to perform its natural functions as well as possible. Just as you need to clean the filters of your car regularly to keep its performance as good as possible, so you can also clean the ‘filters’ of your body.
Juices are not panaceas. They can never take over the immensely complicated functions of the body. However, they do help your body reset and clean the ‘filters’, i.e. the metabolic and immune systems. This happens with juice fasting because, among other things, you ingest less harmful nutrients. Moreover, the large quantities of healthy micronutrients that the vegetable juices contain also support the organs in natural cleansing.
Even if you have been eating super healthy for years, it can’t do any harm to ‘cleanse’ your body from time to time, i.e. to clean the inside. Unfortunately, we live in a world where everyone ingests toxins; no matter how hard they try.
Fasting was a very normal process a long time ago. It seems that in prehistoric times all people ‘purified’ occasionally. Often because of necessity, people ate little or nothing during part of the day or part of the year. In some cultures, this is still the case. In almost all religions in the world, fasting and purification are used as part of their annual rituals. Contemporary rituals, such as a cleanse with vegetable juice, mimic those old diets. Temporarily reducing the intake of hard to digest nutrients such as sugars, fat, alcohol and protein can have a positive effect on longevity and quality of life. Most people who cleanse feel that it leads to greater inner clarity. This can benefit meditation, for example. The cleansing processes of a juice fast can improve overall vitality and restore the balance between body, mind and soul. Fasting can be seen as a key to a healthy and balanced life.
There are several ways to cleanse. Quitting sugar, alcohol, medication, caffeine and smoking for a continuous period of time is also a way to rid your body of toxins. Regular meditation or exercise also helps to purify your body, because these activities encourage more balance and better functioning of the organs.
EXPERIENCES OF JUICE FASTING
Let’s see what juice fasting can do for your body. Most importantly: how does it feel? What are the experiences of people who do a juice fast?
The 100 participants in the Sapje test group generally felt very tired with a little headache after the first day but felt reborn on the third day.
Almost everyone experiences a feeling of (sometimes severe) fatigue during the first one or two days of juice fasting. It is therefore important to build in sufficient rest during the period you choose for your juice fast. The effects of juice fasting are not always easy to predict. Other side effects include headaches, diarrhoea, constipation, muscle aches and restless sleep. If these symptoms occur, it probably means that the toxins stored in the body are starting to be released. These complaints also occur because you stop eating harmful food and drinks. So the juice fast is doing its job!
These complaints should go away after a few days. You will experience extra energy, a restored balance between mind and body and an overall ‘clean’ and healthy feeling. Many people also experience a reduced need for snacks, alcohol and sweets after a cleanse and even an improved sleep rhythm. In addition, you will also lose some weight as a result of juice fasting. How much that is, differs for each person. Our test group has shown that men and women lose an average of 300-700 grams per day.
Side effects and consequences of juice fasting at a glance
The possible negative side effects of a juice fast, which by no means occur in everyone, are (from the most common to the least):
- Restless sleeping (weird dreams and nightmares)
- Extreme longing for (unhealthy) food
- Muscle pain
- Low energy level
- feelingNausea / vomiting
Possible positive experiences during and after juice fasting are:
- More energy
- Better concentration
- Spiritual clarity
- Need less sleep
- Deeper and calmer sleep
- Feeling light and flexible
- Soft, shiny skin
- Deeper breathing
- More intense sensation of taste
EFFECTS OF JUICE FASTING ON THE BODY
Sometimes during a juice cleanse, it seems as if you can literally feel your body burning fat cells and removing toxins. But what exactly happens in the different systems of the body during juice fasting? The most important effects at a glance:
– Cell renewal in the organs
– Strengthening of immunity (more lymphocytes; immune system attacks cancer cells; autoimmunity diseases diminish)
– Acceleration of healing processes
– Toxins are disposed of
– Body fat is burned
– Toxins stored in fat are released and can be disposed of
– Emotional obstacles can be moved and released
– Blood becomes thinner (fewer fat cells), so that blood flow to organs can improve
– Accelerates and improves metabolism
– Oxygen supply to organs improves
– Peristalsis of the intestines improves
– Stubborn stools are eliminated from the intestines, which ensures healthier intestinal flora and better digestion
JUICE FASTING: ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
In spite of all these stories about inner cleansing, radiant skin and lubricated organs, you might still have your doubts about whether juice fasting is such a wise idea. Is juice fasting really healthy? Some sources argue for a diet with more variety and more fibre than what juices alone can offer. You also often hear that people who lose a lot of weight after an intense fasting session gain just as much or more weight again, the so-called ‘yoyo effect’. There are certainly some health situations in which juice fasting is not such a good idea. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of juice fasting.
1. Juice fasting can protect against diseases
A juice fast can strengthen your immune system and thus contribute to the prevention of diseases. This happens in two ways during a juice fast: by eating less, and by taking in more of certain health-promoting micronutrients.
With an optimal immune system, your body is better able to combat toxins, parasites, bacteria and viruses. A number of recent studies have shown that fasting strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of autoimmunity diseases. By temporarily eating less you give your body the chance to recover its own defence mechanisms and bring them back into balance.
Moreover, there are a number of micronutrients that are known for their positive effect on the immune system. Various organic ingredients in vegetable juice contain large quantities of these substances. Examples include vitamins C and A, magnesium, iron and zinc. In vegetable juice, these nutrients are present in their completely natural form. They contribute to a stronger immune system, more energy and a sharper mind.
2. Juice fasting to combat cancer
Recent studies show that juice fasting and other forms of fasting can play an important role in the fight against cancer. Indeed, cancer cells are mainly nourished by sugars and cannot survive for long when deprived of food. During a juice fast, you take in far fewer calories and sugars. Juice fasting is, therefore, a form of purification, which, according to the latest science, can also have potential in the fight against cancer. Experiments are now underway to use fasting as part of the fight against cancer with positive results. For this reason, it is important that during a juice cleanse you make sure that the level of natural sugars remains low. Find a juice fasting package with a content of at least 80% vegetable juice and less than 20% fruit juice. Preferably also packed in glass rather than plastic bottles. With Sapje, you can order a juice fast based on organic vegetable juice of the highest quality that is delivered throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. Always consult a qualified doctor if you are considering using a juice fast to strengthen your health or to fight illness. Juice fasting may be a good addition to other treatment methods, but are unlikely to replace them.
3. Juice fasting are a good way to supplement micronutrients.
With juice, you treat your body to a real nutrient boost. Vegetable juice contains an alphabet of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, flavonoids and antioxidants, some of which cannot easily be obtained from other food sources. Because there is little solid fibre in juice, the juices are easily digested and all the nutrients can be absorbed.
The vitamins, minerals and enzymes from juices are therefore better absorbed during a juice fast than from a normal meal. Because you take in nothing but vegetable juice during a juice fast, your body is fully capable of absorbing all the micronutrients.
The nutrients and enzymes in all-natural juices are healthier for the body than chemically imitated versions of the same substances. Juice can be seen as the healthiest and tastiest version of a multi-vitamin pill. Read about more benefits of drinking vegetable juice for your health.
4. Juice fasting can ‘reset’ your whole system and lead to healthier habits.
Juice fasting can take some getting used to in the beginning, especially for people with unhealthy eating habits and a predilection for alcohol, coffee and tobacco. The pronounced ‘green’ taste of some juices can cause some discomfort at the start. Fortunately, our body is a sensible and flexible system. It likes to move towards healthier habits!
The taste buds are very adaptable. The body can reset itself to find that things that are healthy are also ‘tasty’. Often the things we like are exactly the things that are not healthy for us. The good news is that it is very possible to change this. Once the body is in a healthy flow and experiences how tasty that can be, it will automatically start to adjust more and more in the right direction. So beware: juice fasting can change your whole life!
5. Losing weight with juice fasting
At Sapje we are convinced that juice fasting are healthy and can contribute to many people in the Netherlands achieving a healthier weight. A study carried out with 100 test subjects showed that participants in the juice cleanse treatment lose half a kilo a day on average. Women in the test group lost an average of 300-600 grams per day and men 400-700 grams. It is easy to imagine that if you reduce your intake of kilocalories to 500 to 700 per day, you will lose weight. We’ve also found that in many cases taking a juice fast leads to making changes towards a healthier lifestyle, so we’ve found that this weight loss is often permanent. This happens because unhealthy eating habits are often permanently replaced by delicious healthy vegetable juice and healthy meals. A well-planned “after-cleanse” can also help with this.
DISADVANTAGES OF JUICE FASTING
1. Less fibre
The main difference between a juice and a smoothie is that most of the fibre is removed during the juice pressing process. The advantage of this is that the nutrients are more easily digested and absorbed. A disadvantage is that fibre is an important and healthy substance in itself because it feeds the bacterial flora in our intestines. At Sapje we use a special Slowjuicer that allows you to ingest 20% of the dietary fibre and also 100% of the insoluble fibre.
2. Juice fasting can be intense and challenging
A juice fast of 3, 5 or 7 days is a radical event for body and mind. All kinds of things can get moving on a physical and emotional level. It is important to be sensible with fasting. It is wise to choose a week in which not too many other stressful things are happening in your life. In addition, it is very important to follow good preparation and phasing out, the pre-cleanse and after-cleanse. This helps to make the juice fasting period a pleasant one. With good preparation, body and mind will better maintain their balance.
For some people, or in some periods of life, it is not wise to follow a juice cleanse. Juice fasting are not recommended during pregnancy and menstruation. It can also be unwise for people with mental illnesses such as psychosis. People with an eating disorder are also usually advised not to do juice fasting. In case of serious psychological and physical complaints, it is always important to consult a doctor before starting a juice cleanse treatment.
3. Juice fasting can be expensive
If you want to purify your body with a juice cleanse, it is wise to use only organic products for your juices. The chemicals used on non-organic vegetables and fruit are precisely those heavy toxins that we want to get rid of by juice fasting.
Unfortunately, fresh organic fruit and vegetables do not come cheap. And to make juice you often need considerably more vegetables than you would use for a regular meal. So the price of a week’s juice fasting can quickly rise. If you order a juice fasting package, you can be sure that you are getting high-quality juice with a wide variety of nutrients and on top of that, you don’t have to buy a Slowjuicer. Organic cleanses are often expensive, but following a juice fast might be a good investment in the long run. If your body builds up healthier habits, you will spend less money on alcohol and cigarettes, for example, and hopefully, eventually, save on possible medical costs!
JUICE FASTING, HOW DO YOU DO IT AT HOME?
Welcome to the wonderful world of juice fasting! Are you curious about how you can follow a treatment at home by juice fasting? We are happy to offer you Sapje’s knowledge and experience as support on this adventure.
Making the tastiest and most beautiful vegetable juices is quite an art! If you are wondering how you can best combine ingredients to make juice that is as healthy and tasty as possible, here are some pages with juice recipes. In general, it often works well to combine ingredients that have the same colour. We recommend using as many vegetables and tubers as possible for your juice, and a maximum of 30% fruit. This is to prevent insulin spikes and a high intake of fruit sugars. This also helps you lose weight. For delicious, special flavours you can add herbs and spices, and don’t forget things like super-healthy lemon peel! Have fun and experiment. Creative juices can lead to great joy! Ensure a good balance by using as wide a variety of ingredients as possible. Use as many raw organic vegetables as possible for the most healthy and purifying experience!
Juice fast: how long and how many days?
In the end, it is entirely up to you how long you maintain a juice fast. There are people who juice fast for weeks, but for the beginner we recommend a juice fast of 1, 3 or 5 days. A juice fast of 1 day can be a wonderful reset for body and mind. A juice fast of 3 or 5 days is a bit more intensive and requires good planning.
It helps to make clear arrangements in advance about how long your juice fast treatment will last. This prevents confusion along the way. It is smart to set an eating schedule. This way you know in advance when you are going to drink which juice and you can plan a healthy and balanced day, in which you are sure to get varying amounts of nutrients from vegetable juice, at regular intervals. A clear structure can help your mind to relax during the adventure of a juice fast!
Juice fasting: preparation
Purifying with juice fasting requires good preparation. Do research into healthy and balanced recipes. Do your shopping in advance and make a juicing schedule so that you know when you are going to drink which juice. Perhaps you could buy a good Slowjuicer.
Possibly the most important preparation is gradually preparing your body for the juice fast by means of a so-called pre-cleanse. We have noticed that taking the pre-cleanse and after-cleanse seriously usually leads to a much more pleasant and effortless experience during the juice cleanse purification. Start adjusting your eating habits at least three days in advance. It is wise to stop using coffee, alcohol and cigarettes three days before juice fasting. We also recommend not consuming meat, and as little sugar as possible during the pre-cleanse. You could start by drinking a juice a few times a day, instead of a snack for example. Reduce animal protein during the pre-cleanse and eat less fat.
For an after-cleanse, you should follow similar habits as for the pre-cleanse. It is really advisable not to start immediately eating heavy meals and to lay off toxins such as alcohol and caffeine. Give your body a chance by building up again slowly. It is then more likely that the healthier habits learned through juice fasting will permanently change something in your lifestyle.
JUICE FASTING: HEALTHY OR UNHEALTHY?
With all this information in front of us, we can come to a conclusion: is juice fasting healthy or unhealthy?
We believe that juice fasting is a healthy option for almost all people. It gives your body and mind a chance to reset that can provide you with a more balanced and healthier lifestyle. You lose excess pounds. You give your immune system a boost and your digestion gets to rest and can rid itself of stubborn toxins. By temporarily eating less, you mimic scarcity for your body, allowing the metabolism to work more efficiently. This provides more vital energy. During juice fasting, you ingest several kilos of vegetables a day and with that a boost of micronutrients that many people are chronically lacking. The body absorbs these much better in their natural form than through pills and capsules.
Are you on medication or do you want to juice fast for more than 7 days? Always consult a specialist or general practitioner. There are people who cleanse on juice for 30 to 60 days and feel great.
In his award-winning documentary, you can see how Joe Cross lost 50 kilos and cured his debilitating autoimmune disease as a result of only drinking Slowjuice vegetable juice for 2 months. This documentary was an important source of inspiration in the creation of Sapje.
Many people in the Netherlands who have excess fat and an excessive intake of sugars and other unhealthy foods could change this by fasting. But always be sensible: don’t turn it into a competition and only do it out of love and care for yourself.