We don’t have doubts about how good we feel after juice cleansing, but are always delighted to read new research that backs our experience with science. We’re exited to share a few significant findings here; read on for some fascinating facts about the whole-body benefits of juicing and intermittent fasting from Dr. Lisa Davis of Pressed Juicery’s Medical Board and jump into your own juice cleanse here!
Have you heard about ‘intermittent fasting?’ The concept is simple: You eat what you want on some days, then fast for others. Depending on the regimen, this can mean that on ‘fast’ days, you’re taking in no calories at all or cutting back to about 20 percent of a normal day’s intake — about 300 to 400 calories. Using fresh raw juices for the fasting periods can provide healthy fiber and vitamins while you’re limiting your calories.
It’s not just a fad: For those looking for another approach to shedding pounds, there’s scientific evidence that when you eat is as important as what you eat. Scientists are looking at intermittent fasting as a viable method for limiting calorie intake.
Cut Calories, Stack Benefits
Restricting your calories is the way to manage your weight, and science understands that calorie restriction is about a lot more than looking good in your yoga pants.
In fact, research studies have shown that cutting calories by 15 to 40 percent is associated with a number of health benefits, including: lower risk of cardiovascular disease, protection against certain forms of cancer; healthier brain; healthier kidneys; and a longer life.
Give Your Body a Break
Taking an occasional juice fast is one way to cut calories and improve biomarkers (physiological evidence) associated with cardiovascular health.
A small clinical study performed by UCLA found that a three-day juice fast using Pressed Juicery’s products reduced body weight for at least two weeks among 20 subjects. The participants showed a decrease in lipid peroxidation and increased nitric oxide, both of which are associated with heart health.
A brief juice cleanse can benefit you in other ways, including breaking some of the automatic eating habits we acquire over time. Without that automatic stop at the coffee shop or the vending machine, you can subtract calories and bring more mindfulness into your nutrition.
And, unlike other regimens, drinking juices — especially vegetable varieties — supplies your body with a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, potassium and other nutrients such as fiber.
Know It’s Not A Diet
Conventional diets aren’t for everyone. Most are hard to sustain for the long term, especially the ones that call for avoiding whole groups of food, such as carbohydrates, day in and day out.
Because it enables people to eat a range of foods on most days, intermittent fasting with juices can work for those who want to decrease their overall calorie intake and get healthier.
Get Into Gut Health
If you think overeating is an issue of mind over matter, you may be overlooking a potential ally in your struggles to lose weight: the bacteria in your intestines. Here’s how to get your gut healthier and optimize your weight-loss program.
Your digestive system is filled with bacteria (‘flora’) that help you digest and break down the food you eat, turning it into energy. Think of your digestive flora as a garden. Some of the bacteria, like Bacteriodetes and Cyanobacteria are like roses and daisies — things you want to grow. Nutrients from fruits and vegetables feed and support these good bacteria.
Then there are the undesirables like Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, the ‘weeds’ that can take over your digestive garden, literally crowd out the good bacteria and lead to illness, impaired metabolism, and even obesity.
The gut-unfriendly U.S. diet, heavy on refined carbohydrates, is associated with the overgrowth of bad bacteria.
In a small clinical study performed by UCLA evaluated Pressed Juicery’s 3-day juice fast regimen, researchers found significant decreases in participants’ body weight, and something else: a better balance of good-to-bad gut flora.
The stool (poop) of the study’s subjects showed significant increases in Bacteriodetes and Cyanobacteria and decreased amounts of two baddies, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria.
Peek Into The Future
The role of intestinal flora in weight loss is an exciting new frontier for researchers. It appears to be a two-way street: Weight loss has been shown to restore the optimal ratio of gut bacteria (1-3).
And, even more interesting, the reverse may be true as well: The introduction of certain bacteria to the intestines may assist in weight loss.
One mouse study by Dr. Lee Kaplan’s team at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston suggests that weight loss after bypass surgery is in part due to the change metabolism due to the presence of gut microbes, not solely by the smaller stomach size created by the surgery.
Using specially-bred mice who were unexposed to any bacteria, the scientists were able to mimic the weight-loss effect of obese mice who got bypass surgery simply by introducing the beneficial microbes into the guts of mice who did not get the procedure.
Take Action Now
While these exciting theories continue to be tested by scientists, it makes sense to:
+ Incorporate beneficial bacteria by eating yogurt or taking probiotics.
+Feed those good bacteria by boosting your consumption of vegetables and fruits, either by eating whole foods or drinking juice if you’re on the go.
+ Avoid sugar and processed foods.
+ Stay alert for more news about how gut health can keep you slimmer and healthier.
Varady KA, Hellerstain MK. Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials; 2007: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full
R.E. Ley, F. Bäckhed, P. Turnbaugh, et al.Obesity alters gut microbial ecologyProc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 102 (31) (2005), pp. 11070–11075
W. Shen, H.R. Gaskins, M.K. McIntoshInfluence of dietary fat on intestinal microbes, inflammation, barrier function and metabolic outcomesJ Nutr Biochem, 25 (3) (2014), pp. 270–280
R.E. Ley, P.J. Turnbaugh, S. Klein, et al.Microbial ecology: human gut microbes associated with obesity
Nature, 444 (7122) (2006), pp. 1022–1023
A.P. Liou, et al. Conserved shifts in the gut microbiota due to gastric bypass reduce host weight and adiposity. Sci Transl Med. 2013 Mar 27;5(178):178ra41. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3005687.