The following is based on Zeel Expert Marina de la Torre's answer to a Zeel Member's question on the efficacy and safety of doing a juice cleanse.
There's a lot of buzz these days around detox and cleansing programs; many of these include juice cleansing.
Doing a juice cleanse in general is a good idea because you give your digestive system "a break"; you ingest plenty of nutrients, and the effects are tangible. You lose weight (mostly from retained water), your skin glows, you have more energy, etc.
Things to consider before doing a juice cleanse are:
1. Start slow. If it is your first time, you want to take it slowly (e.g. only for a day or two). Your body is not used to a lack of food, and it will complain.
2. Keep it green. Juicing should include mostly vegetables and only some fruits. Beware of jumping into a fruits-only juice feast (fructose, sugar in fruits, is processed in the liver, and too much of it can cause triglyceride levels to rise).
3. Be realistic. Make sure you can drink a juice on a regular basis. If you work in an office 12 hours a day, you may find it difficult to drink your juice when needed. Ideally, you want to drink freshly pressed juices. How you store your juice is important, as air will oxidize the juice, causing the nutrients to deteriorate rapidly. If you have to take your juice with you, do so in a tightly sealed glass container, and refrigerate.
4. Avoid fakers. Do not buy pre-packaged juices from the grocery store. They are filled with sugar and their nutritional value is very poor.
5. Be open-minded. Remember that there are many ways to cleanse your body, and not all are as extreme as juicing. Cleansing can be easily done while eating plenty of whole, real foods. An elimination diet followed by the incorporation of primarily seasonal fruits and vegetables is a great way to detox, especially in the spring.
6. Know your body. If you decide to do a juice cleanse, be sure that you listen to your body, paying attention to how you feel and gauging whether the process is right for you. Only you can determine if something is good or not for your body.
7. Set practical expectations. For those of you who do resolve to try a juice cleanse, note that, when you start any kind of cleanse, you may not feel well during the first few days. This is because your body is, well, cleansing and getting rid of the toxins. After the first couple of days, you start reaping the benefits.
8. Finish strong. Also know that weaning yourself off of a juice cleanse is as important as the beginning steps. Avoid eating a big meal or consuming alcohol the day you decide your cleanse is over. Gradually, you can start incorporating solids into your diet again.
9. Research right! Lastly, there are so many juice cleanses to choose from (Blueprint and Organic Avenue are just a few). Make sure you do your research, and pick one that best suits your needs and lifestyle to get the most out of your cleansing experience.