Gut-health conditions have spiked in the last few years, with over 40% of the world’s population experiencing some form of gastrointestinal (GI) issue. Despite that, most people still aren’t sure what to eat or what to do to heal their guts. Juice cleanses present a natural solution that deliver both pre and probiotics, polyphenols, enzymes, and unadulterated micronutrients to your gut, which are the only sure inputs to naturally promote better digestion, elimination, and regulation of your complex microbiome. If none of the hacks or products you saw on TikTok worked for you and you’re tired of feeling bloated or constipated, let’s explore if juice cleanses are the method you take in your journey to reclaim your gut health.
CAN A JUICE CLEANSE HEAL YOUR GUT?
Juice cleanses are not a one-stop solution to completely healing your gut, but they can essentially start seeding it with the right kind of things it takes to reduce common inflammation and support a healthy microbiome. Certain fruits like apples along with certain leafy greens like dandelion contain powerful prebiotics that support and grow the right microflora required for healthy GI function.
If you’re like most people, you’ve tried restricting your diet or using over-the-counter (OTC) medications to manage your GI issues or have even sought medical advice. Unfortunately, our digestive systems are quite a bit more complex for solutions like that to work. While juice cleanses aren’t enough to permanently fix your gut on their own, they can possibly resolve a number of common GI conditions and put you back on the right track. Seeding your gut with prebiotic-rich plant foods over time will lead to a more diverse, healthy composition of gut bacteria, which is the real game changer you’re looking for.
Excess constipation is as frustrating as it is uncomfortable, causing irregular bowel movements and chronic bloating that so many people out there deal with on a daily basis. There can be many explanations for why this is happening to you, but one thing you need to be doing for your gut regardless of the cause is consuming more raw, uncooked foods for their naturally-occurring enzyme content. Enzymes act as biological catalysts that accelerate biochemical reactions within our cells and affect every function of the body, including and especially digestion. If you’re like most people, the vast majority of the food you’re eating is heated, processed or cooked, which consequently causes destruction to much of the enzymatic activity found naturally in living plant foods.
Plant enzymes are very sensitive to heat, so by taking a break from eating cooked foods by doing a 2 or 3 day juice cleanse with raw, unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices will infuse a concentrated dose of enzymes into your gut that will rapidly replenish what you’ve undoubtedly depleted from a diet of mostly cooked foods. A proper juice cleanse will also increase your hydration levels, soften the stool and put you on the fast track toward regular, healthy bowel movements without ever touching laxatives or whatever other OTC remedy that you’ve contemplated.
Bloating isn’t a straightforward issue that most people will lead you to believe, but it is extremely common in Americans affecting 1 in 7. Most “experts” will tell you that it’s caused by eating too fast, eating too much, or that you have acid reflux. We don’t believe those explanations are always the cause for bloating, but we do think that if you suffer from chronic bloating, you’re probably suffering from a damaged gut. If your gut is damaged, you’re probably not pooping as good as you should be, and no amount of yoga poses, exercise, or OTC pills will cure your bloating unless you’re pooping like a boss.
Some things that we can recommend that you try doing right now for your bloating is taking a magnesium supplement, eliminating artificial sweeteners, and reducing or suspending your dairy intake. We’re not going to dive too deep on those recommendations in this blog, because we have a dedicated article about them here. Besides those things, you can do a juice cleanse which means you’d be suspending any cooked or processed foods from the digestive system for a few days. This removes the risk of putting any inflammatory foods into your body at all, instead getting a payload of gut-friendly micronutrients, polyphenols, enzymes, and water content that virtually guarantees that you’ll expel excess water weight and toxins that are likely contributing to your bloat.
MANAGE IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome is more common now than it has ever been. Roughly 7-10% of people are diagnosed with IBS, and its steady growth over the past few decades can be attributed to processed foods and increased levels of stress. These two things are not mutually exclusive.
Most, if not all, processed foods contain vegetable oils that are wreaking havoc on both your gut and mental health. This is because your gut is like your second brain; it’s called the enteric nervous system (ENS) and it contains more than 100 million nerve cells that line your GI tract from esophagus to rectum. These nerve cells are even directly connected to your brain through the vagus nerve. Guess what triggers these nerve cells by irritating your bowels and sending inflammatory messages to your brain, triggering a stress response? Vegetable oil. We like to refer to them as seed oils, because they don’t actually contain any vegetables. If you want to know why we believe vegetable oils are the most toxic substance you’re probably eating, worse than even processed sugars or alcohol, check this out.
So, our first recommendation if you are suffering from IBS is to eliminate toxic vegetable oils from your diet completely. But what’s the next thing you can do? You guessed it: do a juice cleanse. Cleansing is far more gentle on your digestive tract than your typical diet, especially with juices made from truly organic ingredients. Raw, uncooked plant-based ingredients are normally considered anti-inflammatory by every measure. Doing a juice cleanse gives your poor gut and ENS a break for a few days from the toxic seed oils that are likely wreaking havoc on your mental health.
We believe that giving your body the chance to heal itself is perhaps the biggest reason why so many people report feeling so good after completing a cleanse. After just a few days, your gut gets that much-needed break from cooked foods and seed oils along with a high dose of easily absorbable nutrients, which also work to reduce IBS symptoms.
SUMMING UP THE BENEFITS OF JUICE CLEANSES ON YOUR GUT
Relief from the issues you’re currently facing is obviously front of mind, but let’s talk about the typical benefits from completing a cleanse and incorporating more raw juices into your diet.
SUPPORT A STRONG AND DIVERSE MICROBIOME
Our gut, or our Enteric Nervous System (ENS), is often referred to as our body’s “second brain” It regulates our digestive health, immune strength, and even our mental well-being. And just as your cognitive brain requires glucose, vitamins, and minerals to function, your gut brain (ENS) needs a healthy mix of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms to operate effectively. These various species and their genes are responsible for breaking down food and triggering appropriate immune responses. When grown & sourced responsibly, raw juices can deliver all of these essentials directly to your gut, increasing the strength, balance, and diversity of your internal microbiome.
BOOST NUTRIENT ABSORPTION AND IMMUNITY
The juicing process breaks removes almost all the plant fibers into a form that’s more bioavailable and extremely easy on the GI to digest. As a result, your body doesn’t have to waste as much energy processing the whole fruit or vegetables, meaning it has time to focus on utilizing the nutrients to produce energy, reinforce immune responses, and repair cells all throughout your body. Everyone needs a break from solid foods for repairs from time to time, and juice is simply the best way to give it that rest without starving yourself.
Unexpected weight gain, constant fatigue, fogginess, and poor GI movements – these are all signs that your body needs to detox. And even though your body is well-equipped to flush out most of these harmful toxins on its own, a juice cleanse will expedite the process in a far more enjoyable fashion. Over the course of a couple of days, a cleanse can relieve the stress on your stomach, freeing up energy for the liver and other organs to better do their job. The short-term boost can really kick the entire detoxification process into high gear, and set you up to make the long-term changes required to put your gut health back to where it should be.
IMPROVE GUT MOTILITY
We believe that poor gut motility, or the poor movement of food through the digestive system, is the leading cause of gas, bloating, and constipation. It’s largely impacted by the amount of dietary fiber in your diet, as well as other factors like hydration, exercise frequency, stress, seed oil or alcohol consumption, and overall microbiome diversity. Juice cleanses can provide you the right inputs and time away from things that are likely causing your poor gut motility in the first place. Most people feel so good after completing a juice cleanse that they continue chasing that feeling long after they finish, helping them stay on the right track toward serious improvement for the longer term. What’s it like to have excellent gut motility? Regularly poop like a boss, no bloating, no constipation, rarely catch common colds or get sick, and way less mental stress. This life is totally possible with a healthy microbiome.
BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER YOUR JUICE CLEANSE
We’ve mentioned that juice cleanses are not a miracle cure to heal your gut on their own, but they can certainly help out in the short run and more importantly, help you make the changes required to see long-term benefits. Here are a few keys:
- BEFORE: Gradually reduce your intake of solid foods in the days leading up to the cleanse, rather than abruptly switching all at once. Eliminate or drastically reduce your consumption of alcohol, stimulants, processed foods, refined grains, artificial sugars, and seed oils once before and after your cleanse is completed.
- DURING: Even though the juices are hydrating, you still need to consume plenty of water. You are virtually guaranteed to frequently urinate with or without water. Keep in mind that you won’t feel that thirsty while drinking the juices, but it is still very possible to get dehydrated while on your cleanse. Avoid this from happening! Dehydration will lead to a host of negative side effects that are like headaches to even constipation. Drink at least 8 ounces of water in between each juice.
- AFTER: Make sure you’re getting enough high quality raw plant foods in your diet. We’re biased, but the easiest way to do this is by regularly drinking raw, certified-organic juices made with prebiotic rich, vegetable focused recipes. At Raw Juicery, we quite literally source the best ingredients from around the world, certified organic and in their raw form. We don’t cut corners with cheap powders, we never use artificial sweeteners, we never freeze our juices, and we certainly never, ever pasteurize them. Our juices are always guaranteed to be free of harmful pesticides and petrochemicals, unlike almost every other brand. The most common misconception we hear people make is assuming that most fancy juice brands are certified organic. Unless they have the USDA certified organic seal, they are NOT organic.
GUT MAINTENANCE AFTER YOUR CLEANSE
Gut health is not a one & done treatment; it takes commitment. Here’s how to optimize your gut health even after the cleanse ends.
DO A CLEANSE EVERY 3 TO 6 MONTHS
We think it’s a good idea to cleanse 2-4 times a year. Let’s face it, avoiding seed oils, alcohol, and cooked foods takes A LOT of discipline for most people. Our lives are filled with toxic substances to contend with, and it’s just not reasonable for most of us to be purists 100% of the time. We all love restaurants, most of us like a glass of wine every now and then, and processed sugars and seed oils have invaded so much of our prepackaged foods. We totally get it, but that’s why you’ve got to hit the reset button for the sake of your gut at least a couple times a year.
DRINK JUICES AND HEALTHY BEVERAGES ON THE REGULAR
Your juice intake should not only be reserved for your semi-annual cleanse. Regular consumption of raw, prebiotic and enzyme rich bottles of juicy sunshine can truly help you maintain gut health for the rest of your life. Other gut healthy beverages include fermented teas, kefir, kombucha, drinkable probiotic yogurts, and herbal teas. Coffee isn’t bad for your gut as long as it's organic, low acid, and preferably tested for mycotoxins. If you’ve been a milk drinker for your whole life and experience GI dysfunction for no apparent reason, try eliminating it to see what happens. Avoid synthetic sweeteners, there is new information suggesting it has damaging effects on your gut health. Lastly, you probably already know this, but alcoholic drinks are certainly not doing your bowels, GI tract, or gut bacteria any favors.
GET YOUR FIBER AND CUT OUT THE SEED OILS
Quality plant fiber is an important non-nutrient for a healthy digestive system. The best place to get your fiber is from whole fruits & veggies, legumes and nuts. It really doesn’t take that much fiber to get the minimum recommendation, either. The recommended amount is about 30 grams per day, which is the equivalent to about 5 or 6 medium sized apples. Doing this will help your gut motility, keeping constipation, gas and IBS at bay.
Stop buying useless OTC medications and playing a guessing game about why you’re constipation and bloating. Now that you can see the elephant in the room, it’s time to cut out seed oils. Cutting out those toxic oils is a longer term health strategy, but we believe it’s a big step toward a healthier gut.
Finally, if your looking to get on the fast track towards lasting change and quicker results to cure your bloating, doing a juice cleanse can help you in addition to a number of other health benefits like clearer skin & weight loss. A curated cleanse with high quality, raw ingredients can almost certainly help relieve constipation, bloating, calm your IBS, and strengthen your body’s second brain. Give your gut the break it needs to heal & reset and you might just be astonished by the results.