JUICE CLEANSING IS one of those healthy habits a wide range of wellness practitioners promote, but that – as skeptics are well aware of – little scientific research has been done to prove results. After all, which big business is going to spend it’s time and money funding the research behind dirt cheap kale and spinach?
The exciting news is that our friends over at Pressed Juicery in the U.S. has spend the last couple of years investing in scientific research on the benefits of juicing and the juice community world-wide (including us juice afficianados) is going to benefit!
Some of the science is in, and we’re impressed. The studies are showing the benefits of a three-day juice cleanse with especially good news for gut health – one of the most important topics trending in the wellness world right now. They called in two esteemed experts and members of Pressed Juicery’s Medical Board – Dr. Malcolm Knight, chairman of the board, and Dr. Lawrence J. Cheskin of Johns Hopkins Hospital – to talk them through the recent study on juicing and some of its surprising effects…
Gut health is a hot topic these days, as it should be: the relationship between our bellies, bodies and brains is a powerful one – and juicing is an easy way to keep things tidy and working well. But what do the terms ‘gut health’ or ‘microbiome’ actually mean, and why should they be important to you? Let’s explore…
Did you know that over 95% of the DNA in your body is derived from bacteria? This is sometimes called the microbiome. It is therefore logical to assume that there is a link between general health status or well-being and microbiome. There is a delicate balance of bacteria in your bowel. While all have some benefit, Firmicutes bacteria are suspected to be involved in obesity and weight gain. On the other hand, some researchers have found that increased levels of Bacteroidetes are linked to a leaner body composition.
In 2014/15, researchers at the UCLA School of Medicine found that an Organic Pressed Juice three-day cleanse encourages a healthy balance of microflora in the belly. A three-day cleanse like this one has been shown by UCLA School of Medicine to significantly decrease Firmicutes and increase Bacteroidetesbacteria in your gut. You can see the results of the UCLA study HERE.
HOW DOES JUICING BENEFIT GUT HEALTH?
1) IMPROVED DIGESTION
In their recent clinical trial, a three-day cleanse resulted in an increase in the gut bacteria Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Bacteroidetes, in particular, have been shown to play an important role in the gastrointestinal tract and the development of the immune system. Bacteria in this group have been linked with healthy metabolism and overall gut health.
2) OVERALL WELL-BEING
One consistent theme you’ll find with people after a juice cleanse is that people just feel better and have an enhanced sense of well-being. A significant positive impact was noticed on overall well-being two weeks after the cleanse during the UCLA School of Medicine study. It’s not possible right now to define why this occurs, but we believe the effect is real, and intend to explore the underlying reasons.
3) DECREASED RISK OF DISEASE
Consumption of the vitamins and minerals found in fruits and veggies is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer. Supplementation with juicing is an easy and convenient way to absorb more of these benefits. Fruit and vegetable juices are rich sources of health-promoting compounds, such as vitamins, fiber and phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds can act as antioxidants – molecules that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules which can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells and accelerate aging. Juices that provide antioxidants such as polyphenols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) help terminate these damaging chain reactions. The study by UCLA School of Medicine investigated the antioxidant activity and phenolic composition of Organic Pressed juices and discovered that mixed fruit and vegetable juices together exhibit high antioxidant activity as the juices contained diverse phenolic compounds that can contribute to their health benefits after consumption.
4) GENERAL WEIGHT LOSS
The UCLA Medical School study discovered that a three-day cleanse resulted in up to 2 Kgs of weight loss. Even two weeks after the cleanse, about 50% of this weight loss was retained. This three-day cleanse human study showed a reduction in the ratio of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes bacteria, which have been linked to obesity.
5) BETTER HEART HEALTH
Efficient blood flow is one important aspect of a healthy body, and especially of a healthy heart. Blood flow is affected by nitric oxide (NO) levels in the blood stream. Certain compounds can relax or constrict blood vessels, especially close to or part of the heart, making blood flow improve or worsen. A UCLA Medical School study discovered that blood plasma NO levels were reduced after a three-day juice cleanse. This helps to relax the blood vessels, thus increasing blood flow and putting less stress on your heart.
6) REDUCED CELL DAMAGE
Free radicals are bad news in general health terms. They are unstable parts of molecules in our cells that make our other cells unstable. They can ‘steal’ electrons from the lipids in our cell linings, causing damage called ‘peroxidation.’ This can lead to cell damage and accelerated aging. UCLA Medical School found a significant decrease in lipid peroxidation after a three-day juice cleanse; this study is available HERE for you.