Over the past few years, a range of juice cleanses have benefitted from the support of top celebs. Jessica Alba has showed favoritism for the three juice cleanses from Pressed Juicery, Jennifer Lopez has enjoyed the benefits of the vitamin-rich pouches from Kaeng Raeng and Demi Moore has bought into the 21-day cleanse from The Clean Program. When evaluating the effectiveness of these products, it’s important to bear in mind their true purpose. Juice cleanses won’t really encourage weight loss (even though many people lose a few pounds in water weight as a result of going on a juice cleanse). The real focus of a juice cleanse is to detox your body. Juice cleanses are designed to detox the body While our intestines, liver and kidneys are naturally responsible for removing all toxic components from our bodies, there’s nothing wrong with going on a juice cleanse to give our bodies an extra detox shot. Every little action helps. When you fully commit to a juice cleanse, your body can take a break from anything that might cause inflammation, including white flour, sugar, dairy and processed foods. At the same time, you have the opportunity to nourish your body with nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. According to Neka Pasquale from Urban Remedy, a juice cleanse can be the first step toward a long-lasting lifestyle change. It can be the kickstart you need to retrain your taste buds and improve your psychological connection to food. A few tips on exercise Juice cleanses are not designed to be combined with high-intensity physical training. The very nature of a juice cleanse means that you will be consuming a significantly lower amount of calories on a daily basis. Depending on the juice cleanse selected and the number of daily juices consumed, the average person can end up dropping their calorie intake to anything between 800 to 1,200 per day. Again, juice cleanses are not the answer to weight loss. It’s not what they’ve been designed to do. As such, they’re not compatible with all exercise regimes as they don’t provide the body with the energy required to remain active. If you enjoy exercising and you don’t want to completely give up on physical activity during your juice cleanse, it’s a good idea to adopt a gentle program. Walking, hatha yoga and lighting stretches classes are three good options. A slight word of caution While the juice found in many fruits and vegetables is full of goodness, fiber and some antioxidants - like the anti-inflammatories, anti-allergenics and antimicrobials found in citrus flavonoids - are removed as a result of the juicing process. These flavonoids have been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and strengthen capillaries. Nor do we get all the fat and proteins we need from the juice of fruit and vegetables, which is why it’s not advisable to stay on a juice cleanse indefinitely. One cleanse every three to four months is more than enough. Likewise, certain conditions and ailments bring with them certain risks. Anyone who is being treated with chemotherapy should avoid a juice cleanse, as high levels of antioxidants coupled with the lack of protein can cause further health problems. Diabetics can also be affected by the sudden increase in sugar, sending blood sugar levels soaring through the roof. If you live with kidney disease, you should also be careful. Juice cleanses are high in potassium and minerals. An increase in either can be dangerous for kidney disease sufferers. Stay safe and reap the benefits All in all, an increase of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis is most definitely a good idea and if it’s easier to work them into your schedule in juice form, then go for it. Just remember that a week or more of juices and nothing else means that your body probably won’t receive the quantities of fats and proteins it needs, so use them for what they’re meant for - a detox and nothing more. About the Author: Sally Phillips is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.