Juice cleansing for healthy skin, weight loss and detoxification... does it live up to the hype and are some juices actually good for conditions such as eczema? Here are the top 5 dos and don'ts for juicing.
Today I popped in to see Sonia and David at Today Extra at the Nine Network studios to chat about juice cleansing. I was surprised to find out David sufferers from eczema (it's very mild, just on his hand).
Here are my top tips for juicing for good health and clear skin.
What is a juice cleanse?
A juice cleanse or fast is a period of time where you omit foods and only consume freshly made juices and filtered water. People often use ingredients such as watermelon, oranges, grapefruit, kale, lettuce, carrots, ginger and apples in their juices and it can cause a range of detox reactions and side-effects. However, fans of juice fasting claim it's great for weight loss, appetite reduction, rehydration and it "rests" the stomach, liver and gut allowing time for repair. It can also be alkalising and help to restore acid alkaline balance to the body. So what are the facts?
The top 5 don'ts for juice cleansing:
1. Don't juice too many fruits. Juice fasting can be beneficial if you choose the right ingredients. However, fruit juice is high in acid and fructose so avoid fruits such as oranges, kiwi fruit, strawberries, apples and most other fruits. Fruit juice can worsen conditions such as eczema and chronic fatigue syndrome, and it can trigger migraines, insomnia, hypoglacemia and hyperactivity. That is because most fruits are acid-promoting, rich in salicylates and sugars (fructose).
2. Don't use grapefruit. Grapefruit contains naringin which is a flavonoid that inhibits liver detoxification. In fact, it can block the normal metabolism and breakdown of prescribed medications and alcohol as it blocks cytochome P450 (read the research here). So if you are taking medication, grapefruit could cause accidental overdose or drug medicines or alcohol. Favour other ingredients in your juicing (and once you have finished your health cleanse, don't mix grapefruit with alcohol).
3. Don't juice everything. If you have eczema, your skin will flare up on a juice cleanse if you choose the wrong ingredients. The worst juice ingredients for eczema include spinach, kale, tomato, oranges, grapes, kiwi fruit and pineapple, because they are very rich in salicylates, a natural pesticide made by many fruits and vegetables which can worsen eczema and trigger migraines, hyperactivity, insomnia, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders according to research (read the research here). See the juice recipe, below for a low-salicylate juice that is beneficial for the skin.
4. Don't do a juice cleanse if you are frail, underweight or on medications as it could be counter-productive. If you are unwell and really want to do a juice fast you could alternatively do a medically supervised one or follow our tips, below.
5. You don't have to go "food-free". Juice cleansing should be a gentle, everyday practice. For example, drink one juice daily, added to a healthy diet.
In The Eczema Diet I recommend doing a 3-day cleanse that includes juicing, salads and soups so your metabolism is boosted not suppressed.
Top 5 Dos for juice cleansing:
1. Juice more vegetables and less fruits. Purists can omit fruit all together. It will be more alkalising and less acidic, which is one of the main benefits of a well-designed juice cleanse.
2. Choose low-salicylate fruits and vegetables, especially if you suffer from eczema, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, anxiety, depression (and other mood problems), sleep problems or hyperactivity. See the Healthy Skin Juice recipe, below.
You can also instantly download, for free, the Complete Salicylate Food Charts when you sign up to my website (sign up here). You can use the charts to see which foods and drinks are best for your skin.
3. Do a short juice cleanse - three days is long enough. Then slowly add healthy foods back into your diet.
4. Add soups to your detox cleansing regime. Try this Detox Soup recipe >>
5. Get plenty of rest. You may feel tired and irritable as your body cleanses itself of toxins and chemicals that may have been stored in your tissues. During a detox these chemicals are released into the bloodstream for deactivation by the liver, so they can be safely removal via the kidneys and bile.
So rest, relax and avoid vigorous exercise while doing a juice cleanse, and you'll reap the benefits of clearer, healthier skin.
Healthy Skin Juice Recipe
This recipe is ideal for people with skin disorders such as eczema, topical steroid withdrawal, red skin syndrome, psoriasis, dermatitis and hives. It's a low-salicylate juice so it won't trigger itchy skin, rashes, migraines or sleep disturbances like normal juices can.
The sprouts are highly alkalising - ensure they are fresh and washed thoroughly. Only use fresh ones, preferably home grown - omit them if you are unsure. Only use these ingredients, not other types of sprouts.
Method: Juice all fruit and vegetable ingredients in a juicer. Stir in Skin Friend AM. Then drink your way to healthy skin!
Do I need Skin Friend AM in my eczema juicing program?
For people with eczema we recommend Skin Friend AM and Calcium Matrix PM which are available in a kit. For the complete skin health program, see our information on The Eczema Diet and Skin Friend.