Our bodies have a naturally efficient system for filtering out most of the harmful substances through our colon, liver and kidneys. However, if we are constantly consuming toxins it puts more of a strain on these vital organ systems. The increased consumption of vegetables is great, physicians and nutritionists alike agree. Juice cleanses can help nourish your system and improve the toxin elimination process.
What are toxins?
There are many different definitions of what constitutes toxins in your body. Some physicians, and other health care professionals, agree that toxins can come from processed foods, prescription and illegal drugs, alcohol, as well as the environment.
Some examples of "toxic" foods are those that are processed with large amounts of sugar and chemicals. Simple sugars like sucrose, fructose and lactose, only have one or two molecules of sugar. These sugars break down and enter your system quickly causing a spike in blood sugar. Your pancreas then releases insulin and sugar moves into cells eventually becoming resistant, thus increasing your risk of diabetes type 2. Increased simple sugars may also cause increased triglycerides which can contribute to cardiovascular disease. An article from the American Society for Nutrition concluded that triglycerides, may rise when simple sugars exceed 20% of energy per day, particularly in hypercaloric settings. Juice cleanses can help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and decrease your cravings for sugary and fatty foods.
There are thousands of different types of chemicals and toxins in foods. To avoid consuming them you can start by reading the labels on packaging and purchasing foods and beverages from trusted food sources. A few chemicals to avoid are pesticides, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) & BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH/rBST), bisphenol-A (BPA), Dioxins and GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) to name a few. I will discuss three of these commonly used chemicals below.
Used to treat produce and other products, these toxins often leave behind residues. They've been linked to everything from cancer to birth defects and neurological conditions. Glyphosate-based herbicides (GlyBH), including Roundup, are the most widely used pesticides worldwide. Their uses have increased significantly since they began to be used. Residue levels in food or water, as well as human exposures, are continuing to increase. A retrospective study in a recent journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology from April 2015, showed that pesticides may actually be more toxic than we thought AND at a lower level than what is currently regulated. This increased toxicity may lead to birth defects, cancer as well as chronic liver and kidney conditions. They could be explained by endocrine disruption and oxidative stress, causing metabolic alterations, depending on dose and exposure time. Some effects were detected in the range of the recommended acceptable daily intake! To help decrease your exposure, purchase organic foods that are required to be synthetic pesticide free. Even then, you may be consuming more toxins than you should, so become knowledgeable about your food sources.
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) & BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
These common processed food preservatives have been declared carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. However, the FDA has declared that they are safe for human consumption in small amounts. HMMMMMM. They’re also accused of disrupting hormones, and impacting male fertility. They mimic the hormonal actions of estrogen and disrupt natural pathways leading to metabolic conditions. The best way to avoid consuming these toxins are to read the ingredients on packaging. BHT and BHA are used in products containing fats and oils, to prevent the product from spoiling. Common foods containing BHT and BHA are cereals, breads, crackers, snack foods and chewing gum.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Found in about 70 percent of processed foods with corn, soy, cottonseed, canola, and sugar beet-based ingredients. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. GMO treated crops have bacterial genes inserted, which allow the plants to survive an otherwise deadly dose of pesticides. An article from Nutrition and Health in 2002 showed rats fed genetically modified potatoes had smaller, partially atrophied livers. Studies continue to be performed on the dangers of GMO's especially pertaining to long term effects on humans. The European Union has approved a new law that will allow EU nations to restrict or ban the cultivation of GM crops within their borders. This ban still has its issues and conditions, but Europe has made great strides compared to the United States and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Here is a non-GMO shopping guide to help you start eating healthier.
Juice Cleansing and Your Health
Juice cleansing is a complete body detox that helps to eliminate toxins from the body. Cleansing restarts the body and makes you look and feel better. Juice cleanses, unlike the popular master cleanse (lemon, cayenne, maple syrup, yuck!) not only tastes better and keeps you satisfied all day, but is overall healthier long term. It is important to ensure that most of your juices contain raw green vegetables. Raw greens provide many detoxifying properties. One important component is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is often called the lifeblood of plants. The chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to the hemoglobin molecule of human blood. The difference between hemoglobin in human blood and chlorophyll is that hemoglobin contains iron at the core and chlorophyll contains magnesium. Several green vegetables contain iron as well. Because chlorophyll is almost identical to our blood, this substance can help cleanse and detoxify our systems. Greens have a cleansing and elimination effect on our organ systems helping to clear our cells, blood and lymph in order to help it work more efficiently. If your body is clean and free of toxins it helps to prevent chronic disease and other conditions.
Many people, including myself, integrate green juices and whole green vegetables into their diets on a daily basis. Greens help to increase red blood cell count in order to help prevent and eliminate disease. Juices help you consume vegetables in a quick and efficient way, but simply adding more green vegetables to your daily diet in the form of salads and snacks can also make a huge difference. As a beginner juicer, you should mix your green juices with other fruits and vegetables in order to help with taste as well as dilute the overall strength. Beginners may not be used to the detoxifying effects and can have stomach discomfort, nausea, bloating, dizziness and headaches at first.
My Juice Cleanse Experience
I have been juicing on and off for several years. I use juice cleanses as a way to restart and detoxify my system especially if I am feeling fatigued, bloated, stressed or having increased body pain or discomfort. I recently found an amazing juice company that is redefining healthy eating called Pure Green. They specialize in juice cleanses and also have amazing superfood smoothies and other goodies like acai bowls, energy and immunity shots and nut milks (see picture). All of their products are gluten free, organic and dairy free.
When first stepping into Pure Green you immediately feel a sense of pure calm and serenity.
If you are interested in a juice cleanse a Pure Green trained juice coach will help you find the juice cleanse that is right for you. All Pure Coaches undergo extensive training at Pure Green University, a two day all intensive training seminar led directly by the owner of Pure Green, Ross Franklin who teaches Pure Coaches to be experts in wellness and all components of Pure Green. Mr. Ross Franklin has opened many health clubs in NYC for brands like Equinox which focus heavily on encouraging health club members to train with personal trainers. He created Pure Coaches who like personal trainers support their clients within a one-on-one setting. Pure Coaches are experts in cleansing and cold pressed juice and customize cleanses for Pure Green guests based on their goals and lifestyle.
After receiving my information session from a Pure Coach I left with my Basic 1 day Cleanse. The juices are all cold pressed with raw fruits and vegetables. The cold press process is performed daily. The juice is 100 percent raw, unpasteurized and never HPPed (high pressure pasteurized) like juices sold elsewhere. The cold press process preserves live enzymes, vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and vegetables in order for your body to gain the complete benefits of juicing.
I started my cleanse the next day remembering that my Pure Coach told me to drink a juice every 2.5-3hours. There were a total of six juices. I also made sure to drink at least 16oz of water in between each 16oz juice to help move the elimination process along and keep hydrated. The juice cleanse began with green juices combined with coconut water or apple and ginger. As the day moved along there were some more green juice with carrots and other assorted vegetables, a very tasty beet juice and to as a night cap, pineapple dessert juice! A perfect end to a perfect juice cleanse! The Pure Green's Hardcore cleanse, does not have the pineapple dessert juice and contains more greens. I would recommend the basic cleanse for the novice before jumping to the Hardcore. Cleanses can be anywhere from 1 to 3 days depending on your goals and lifestyle. If you just want to try it out, Pure Green has a juice until dinner program. This program gives you just enough juice until dinner where you can have a light salad or other light dish.
My juice experience was fantastic. I plan on doing a juice cleanse at least once a month or more if I feel I need to. My energy levels increased as well as my mental clarity. My food cravings and fatigue vanished. If you do not live near a cold pressed juice establishment like Pure Green, you can make your own juice at home. Cold press machines can get quite expensive, but I recommend using a blender for your vegetables and fruits in order to maintain most of the enzymes, vitamins and other essential properties. Many types of juicers heat the produce so much so that it destroys these vital nutrients and fiber. Important vegetables to add to your juices containing chlorophyll are kale, spinach, parsley, dandelion greens and collard greens. You can add some apple, lemon and or ginger to break up and dilute the juices. Feel free to add other nutrient packed vegetables like carrots and beets for added health benefits and flavor.
Enjoy Natures Bounty and Remember to Buy Certified Organic! Support Local Farmers! Fair Trade!
**I recommend consulting with your physician prior to starting any cleanse**
Pure Green is Located in NYC:
33 East 33rd Street
33rd between Park & Madison
60 East 8th Street
8th Street between Broadway & Mercer
I have no financial affiliation or otherwise with Pure Green. It is simply one of the best juice and health food companies I have ever tried!