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Photography by Craig Landale

A Man’s Guide to Juice Cleansing

Juice cleansing has become incredibly popular in recent years in the UK, with new companies springing up all over, vying for your hard-earned cash and promising a quick-fix for many health problems. There are plenty of UK juice companies that now offer a home and work delivery service providing a fresh, healthy juice everyday, leaving you little excuse for ignoring this new trend. But, do juice cleanses really do your health any good and would you be better off just juicing at home? 

Why "Cleanse"? 

Healthy cleanses are typically recommended for people who need a bit of a kick start when their diet and lifestyle has left them feeling sluggish and unhealthy. The over-processed, low-fibre, fat-heavy and sodium-laced diet that is pretty standard in the UK is a primary cause of digestive issues, poor immune system health, slow cognitive function, unhealthy weight gain, and poor energy levels as well as dull, grey, and unhealthy looking skin.

The Advantages of Juice Cleanses 

Juice cleanses can provide the body with much needed nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and plant-based antioxidants like anthocyanidins. By increasing fibre intake and reducing the consumption of unhealthy saturated and trans fats, sodium, and pro-inflammatory animal-derived foods, a healthy juice diet is often a great way to revitalise and reenergise the body and give the liver, kidneys and skin a chance to detoxify and expel toxins that have accumulated. 

Would You Benefit from a Juice Cleanse? 

Juice cleanses can be ideal for those who need to reassess their diet and alter how they approach food and nutrition in general. Following a juice cleanse, people often have an increased awareness of how their body reacts to certain foods, giving them the opportunity to make healthier choices long-term. For some people a daily cleansing juice is all part of a healthy routine, with the juice acting as a powerful nutritional supplement to a well-balanced diet.

How to Choose a Great Juice Cleanse 

These days, the variety of available juices is pretty overwhelming, making it difficult to decide which one is best for you. For people interested in making their own juices at home it is normal to start with a basis of juice from vegetables like carrots, beets, and celery, with fruits like apples, pears, blueberries and other antioxidant-rich foods. The inclusion of ginger, aloe vera and even turmeric to some juice cleanses can offer anti-inflammatory activity and digestive support, while chia, hemp, and flax seeds are regularly included to ensure that people are getting healthy essential fatty acids while on a juice cleanse. 

Juice Cleanses with Extra Nutrition 

Many juice cleanse services offer additional supplements like spirulina, an algae that is incredibly rich in nutrients like B vitamins, various minerals and also protein. This makes it a great option for those who are looking to improve their energy levels, enhance digestion, support good hormone balance, and to facilitate healthy weight loss or, when used in addition to a balanced diet, healthy growth of lean muscle mass. Spirulina is a plant-based complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids that we cannot synthesise ourselves. As it is easily digested and contains a bevy of other nutrients it is favoured by many athletes and fitness fanatics.

Adding Protein to Healthy Juices 

Other great protein options to add into juices include hemp protein, pea protein, soy and brown rice protein - these all offer easily assimilated amino acids to help build the specific proteins the body needs for strong and healthy muscles. These plant-based proteins also avoid many of the undesirable pro-inflammatory effects of animal proteins and can have benefits for blood sugar regulation and control of undesirable cell proliferation. Adding in spirulina or another source of protein can turn a daily juice into a fantastic post-workout shake, or try mixing in some ginger and lemon for a great way to get the digestive system working first thing in the morning. 

A Detoxification Kick-Start! 

Of course, for most people a juice cleanse is simply a convenient way to pack in plenty of vegetables and fruits and start clearing out the toxins that can build up during everyday life. Pollution, smoking, stress, fast foods, medications and even chemicals from plastics, fabrics and some foods like fish, meat and dairy can all overwhelm the body's detoxification pathways if we don't have the right nutrients kicking around to neutralise these and transport them out of the body.

Juicing at Home 

Juicing at home does require a pretty heavy duty juicer as a regular food processor cannot normally handle the fibre content of raw vegetables and fruits. For this feature we used the new Tefal Infiny Press Revolution Juicer which worked a treat. It looks super cool and separates the juice and the pulp while giving out more vitamins and antioxidents. It’s a slow press juicer which is pleasantly very quiet and it can handle hard veg such as raw carrots at ease. It can also handle pips found within fruit and the skin doesn’t need to be pealed if preferred. Most importantly for some, it all dismantles ready for the dishwasher meaning you can avoid the dreaded post-cleaning bit. There are two types of Juicers, 'Centrifugal' and 'Cold Press' Juicers. With centrifugal juicers the internal system to extract pulp uses a round shredder disc with sharp blades operating at a high RPM. This disc spins at high speeds while grinding and grating the fruits and vegetables into tiny pieces to extract the pulp. These juicers also typically produce a more watery pulp, as the centrifugal system can only spin out so much liquid.

With a Cold Press juicers they extract juice by first crushing and then pressing fruit and vegetables for the highest juice yield. Because they don't produce as much heat, they keep more of the fresh ingredients' nutrients intact. The Tefal Infiny Press uses this method, it has a slowly rotating screw mechanism to press fruit, vegetables and even herbs very delicately to get the very best out of them. This gentle pressing process preserves as much flavour and vitamin goodness as possible by making full use of all the resources the fruit or vegetable has to offer. We were able to make a set of very healthy juices which actually tasted delicious. That was key for us, there’s no point doing it if drinking is going to be a chore. Juice cleansing may seem something of a fad but it's really just a great opportunity to look at what we put into our bodies and how we can improve our daily food choices to boost our energy, overall health and wellbeing.

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