Juice used to be best understood as a cold cup of OJ or a little box with a straw. Today it’s more complicated. Many health-focused consumers are seeking out the best juice cleanse diets as a way of eliminating harmful toxins from their bodies.
It’s a trend that has created an industry unto itself. Juice and smoothie-only bars are spreading across the nation, while various processors are starting their own lines of fruit-and-vegetable juices and placing them on supermarket shelves. Each seems anxious to claim that theirs is the best juice cleanse of all.
To shine a light on this trend, we scoured health and lifestyle magazines to identify what we see as the five best juice cleanse diets for detoxification. Whose is the best? That will definitely depend upon your particular taste buds.
5 Best Juice Cleanse Diet
When Drinking Juice Becomes a Cleanse
You might be thinking: it’s just juice. What’s the big deal? A juice cleanse is something entirely different than that little cup of OJ you have in the hotel breakfast nook. The best juice cleanse diets involve you drinking only blended fruit and vegetable drinks for a certain period of time. It might be 24 hours, up to 7 days or longer. Before digging into the details, let’s start with some basics on the practice of juice cleansing for detoxification.
Please be aware that the purpose of this article is to promote a broad and general understanding of juice cleanses. The information contained below is not medical advice. Always consult your physician or other professional health care provider before making changes to your diet and attempting a juice cleanse, as you should with any other medical concern.
What Are The Benefits?
You can feel them in your gut, or so the research seems to indicate. Scientists are increasingly linking the condition of your digestive system with the other health-related issues. And the health of the gut is largely determined by the bacteria that reside there. The best juice cleanse may help increase the prevalence of the “good” bacteria in your gut while reducing the bad, illness-causing bacteria at the same time. That can happen deep in your belly, in a way you might not even notice.
You will likely notice other benefits, however. Weight loss, for one. The best juice cleanse will have you consuming fewer calories. A study from Scientific Reports summarized by Medical News Today showed that participants lost almost four pounds at the end of a three-day cleanse, and many kept it off even longer.
A juice cleanse may also increase your energy, lower anxiety, smooth out your skin and provide other positive benefits, according to some reports and studies.
Risks of a juice cleanse
As with anything involving your body, there are downsides. Even the best juice cleanse can have side effects. Some people have reported negative experiences that range from headaches to moodiness to stomach pains and fatigue. You might also end up feeling dizzy or with diarrhea or even dehydrated.
One of the main risks is that fruit and vegetable mixes tend to leave you short on required daily protein when you’re involved in the cleanse. You might also find yourself short on fiber, which is key to the proper functioning of our digestive system. Without enough fiber or protein, you might find yourself with terrible hunger pangs, forcing you to break the diet and seek out richer foods. That defeats the purpose of the juice cleanse in the first place!
Live Science also makes a good point about cleanses: that they tend to encourage a “binge-purge” cycle. If you binge on food or booze one day, you might feel the need the next day to jump onto a cleanse to get rid of all the bad stuff. That kind of see-saw can be confusing to your body!
We should at least acknowledge that there are more than a few people in the medical profession who believe juice cleanses are antithetical to good health. As we said earlier, there is no substitute for the advice of your physician. Talk to your doctor and make up your own mind.
The best juice cleanse — an approach
In fact, juice enthusiasts discourage the sudden cleanse. The best juice cleanse, they say, involves a degree of preparation. Makes sense, right? Your body needs time to adjust to major dietary changes. So over a period of a week or so, gradually reduce quantities of caffeine, processed foods, refined sugars, wheat, alcohol, and other such items. In their place, you can start to introduce more whole foods such as fruits and vegetables and even juices. When you conclude your cleanse, you should reverse the process. Gradually return to a more normal dietary pattern, rather than making a hasty switch.
The process of the cleanse can vary as there are many recommendations. But according to VeryWell Fit, an online health journal, one of the typical approaches is to have small quantities of juices or smoothies throughout the day. Once again, the idea here is not to shock the system by going all in. So VeryWell Fit recommends drinking 32 ounces every couple of hours, varying between greens, fruits, or a mixture between the two. To avoid creating a protein deficit, many professionals suggest also building in a serving of almond milk or something similar.
How we reviewed juice cleanses
It’s not hard to find opinions about who offers the best juice cleanse. Nor is it hard to find web pages sponsored by manufacturers who are marketing their own mixes. In our review, we focused on more mainstream reporting sources without a product to sell, such as Outside Magazine, Verywell Fit, LiveHack, and Woman’s Day, as well as respected medical sources such as the Mayo Clinic.
The Best Juice Cleanse Regimen
Our search for the best juice cleanse was broad. We looked both for juice recipes you can make and mix at home, as well as those that come pre-packaged and are available from an online or a retail store. We’ll get more specific below, but the store-bought brands are also on sites such as Amazon. Depending on the brand, you can expect to pay anywhere between $55 up to $200. Prices may vary depending on packaging.
If there’s one thing that gets the attention of Hollywood’s celebrities, it’s holistic health food diets. InStyle Magazine named Pressed Juicery as the best juice cleanse favored by actors and others known to inhabit the left coast. Pressed Juicery has developed a series of juice regimens that it positions for the beginner, the intermediate, and the experienced juicer. The beginning juice cleanse puts an emphasis on greens along with citrus, juice, and nut milk. The three-day fast costs $100 to $110 for non-members.
You might want to go your own direction and follow a regimen you put together at home. One of the concoctions that caught our attention was the Green Cleaner Juice Recipe. This one’s probably for more advanced juice drinkers, as it emphasizes green vegetables such as celery, kale, green apples, cucumber, and celery. One serving will deliver about 239 calories. While it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, so to speak, The Daily Meal includes connections to online grocers. The ingredients for a single serving of Green Cleaner will cost you between $20 and $25.
Little did we know when we embarked on this search for the best juice cleanse that we’d find one that was clearly OG. This one comes recommended by the Bravo cable television network. The Blueprint OG is also for neophyte or first-time cleansers. This three-day cleanse will give you a tour of the best vegetables and fruits for cleansing, based on kale, beets, lemon, pineapple, with a nut milk called “Nut and Bolt” also included. That will fill you with about 320 calories. On the sixth day, you can start again with the Kale. This three-day cleanses will cost you $175 to $200. We like it for its focus on the basics.
SMART Pressed Juice Smart
Juice cleansing doesn’t necessarily require you to purchase a home juicer and adapt to all the maintenance that it requires. The website BodyNutrition.org highlights SMART Pressed Juice as the best juice cleanse for detoxification purposes. The unique element of SMART juice cleanses is they come in powders. You’ll be able to add water whenever you’re able during your busy day and capture your serving for that particular meal period.
The SMART 3-Day Juice Cleanse provides organically based powers in three separate boxes, each containing organic greens, vanilla protein, and pineapple chia flavors. You just mix the powders with water for whenever you’re ready. Like other juice programs, the SMART line recommends stretching your servings out across a typical meal day. A 3-day cleanse from SMART will cost $60 to $80. Maintenance servings in larger jars are also available.
Some cleanse-makers have figured out that in creating their mixes, they don’t have to be limited to what comes out of the ground. Or at least they don’t in the marketing. An example: Project Juice and its Rejuvenation Cleanse. The regimen will take you through six juice, two shots, and two foods per day, all based on different vegetables and marketed with more attractive sounding names than “cleanse.”
For example, day five gets you to the “creamy tomato soup” mix which is mostly , tomato juice, and other natural ingredients. Then there’s butternut lentil soup, based on red lentil and butternut squash. Also in the mix is a detox tea and the sprouted superfood trail mix. A nut-based almond milk comes with it as well.
Because this cleanse comes with some extras, you should also expect to pay a little more. A three-day rejuvenation cleanse from Project Juice will run you between $225 and $270, depending on the exact method you prefer. You can also opt for the “make-your-own” pack.
The Root of It All
Having once taken a few hesitant steps into the world of home juicing, I’m partial to the do-it-yourself approach. It’s fun to research different combinations of vegetables and fruits for the ultimate cocktail, though we must admit that the post-juicing clean-up requires a significant investment of time. But given that we live in the age of instant gratification, and juice cleansing has created a veritable cottage industry, we’re keeping our focus on the pre-made mixes. In that regard, we’re partial to Project Juice. It gives you the best of all worlds. You can choose specific tastes or vegetables, or build the best juice cleanse of your own. Remember to consult your doctor before deciding what, if anything works best for you.