What Is a Juice Cleanse?
Juice cleansing is a type of diet that consists primarily of fruit and vegetable juices. Juices made from fruit and vegetables are rich in nutrients and can be a valuable part of a balanced diet. Some people believe that consuming these juices briefly can have positive effects on health, including "cleansing" the system by removing toxins from the body.
When returning to your regular diet after a juice fast, you might wonder what to consume to get maximum benefits following the feel-good effects of the cleanse. Knowing what to eat after a juice cleanse is vital. This is because your body has been deprived of many essential nutrients for some time. It will take some time to get used to eating solid foods again while you work towards reaching a full, healthy diet.
The first few days after a juice fast are all about slowly adding digestible foods to your diet while continuing to avoid foods that are processed or otherwise considered unhealthful. You will want to take your time easing your body towards a fully nutritious diet after a few days of juicing, but the following tips should steer you in the right direction.
What to Eat After a Juice Cleanse
Making the most of your cleanse and maintaining healthy eating habits will be easier if you know which foods to add back to your diet and which to avoid. Here are some post-cleanse eating suggestions to help you make the most of your juice fast and have a smooth transition towards a satisfying, healthy diet.
1. Avoid Processed Foods
It can be challenging to avoid processed and refined foods because of their convenience. However, eating whole foods gives your body a lot more of the nutrients it needs and is easier on your digestive system when you return to your regular diet. Stick to whole foods like organic produce, nuts, beans, and other items without added sugar or preservatives after your juice cleanse.
2. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Each day, try to include three to five servings of vegetables and two to two servings of fruit in your meals. Vegetables can be roasted, lightly steamed, or raw. Get as much fiber as you can from high-fiber fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, broccoli, and raspberries to keep your digestive system functioning. Stick to easy-to-digest fruits on your first day after a juice cleanse, such as bananas, cantaloupe, and watermelon. All of these foods are delicious and excellent for digestion.
3. Consume Good Fats
Healthy fats are easy to incorporate into your diet and can keep you full and satisfied after doing a cleanse. Eating healthy fats will make you less likely to snack and undermine the benefits of your cleanse. Get your healthy fats from foods like avocados, olives, nuts, tofu, and peanut butter.
4. Monitor Your Sugar Intake
Because refined sugars are more difficult for your body to digest, switching back to solid foods may be more difficult for you. Stay away from processed foods and beverages that have added sugar and opt instead for the natural sugars found in fruits or honey.
5. Avoid Caffeine
You may be more sensitive to caffeine since you stopped consuming it before and during your cleanse. Resuming your morning coffee right away might disrupt your sleep cycle and make you anxious for the rest of the day. Caffeine should be gradually added back to your diet.
6. Avoid Alcohol
Give your liver a bit of rest; it's worked hard for the past few days to detoxify your body. Alcohol consumption at any time can increase the desire for rich, fatty foods, which are typically avoided by those trying to lose weight. Alcohol consumption can encourage overeating and other weight gain-promoting eating behaviors, such as late-night snacking. So before even thinking about reintroducing alcohol to your diet, give it at least a week, or skip it entirely.
7. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Staying hydrated will maintain a healthy body and aid in better digestion. To help your digestive system adjust to your normal routine after being out of it, sip hot or warm water or a herbal tea that has health benefits such as lemon ginger tea. Aim for about 8 cups of fluids per day.
Implementing a New, Healthy Diet
As recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025, a healthy diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, as well as a variety of protein-rich foods like seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, soy products, nuts, and seeds. A healthy diet also has low levels of cholesterol, added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, and trans fats.
So now that your juice cleanse is complete, you can look forward to implementing a new, healthy diet full of nutritious foods. However, since you've only been drinking juice for a few days, you should introduce red meat, dairy, and carbohydrates very gradually. This will prevent you from overworking your body and making your system feel overwhelmed.
Start by consuming wholesome, light meals over time that are simple for your body to process. A soup made with vegetables like broccoli, carrots, parsnips, and cauliflower would be a tasty start. Add starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and squash in a day or two to boost iron and calcium intake.
If you wish, begin reintroducing coffee in small doses. However, proceed slowly. Over the next few days, the increase needs to be gradual. If desired, gradually introduce dairy products like yogurt and skim milk.
Include small amounts of animal proteins that are simple to digest, such as eggs. But for the time being, stay away from red meat and choose lean chicken or turkey instead. While both plant-based and animal-based foods can meet nutritional requirements, vegans must get their vitamin B12 from non-plant sources.
Gradually, you'll be able to implement a fully nutritious diet, from a variety of sources. Remember that if you want to reach a diet that is considered optimally healthy, you should not consume processed foods or beverages with added sugar. Consider reading the nutrition information on food labels so that you can compare the health advantages of various foods.
By gradually introducing nutritious foods into your routine and maintaining a healthy diet afterwards, you can maximize the advantages of your juice cleanse. Making the most of your cleanse and maintaining the direction of your healthy lifestyle journey will be easier if you add the right foods back into your diet.
Sources and Further Reading
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025
Key Recommendations to follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.
- Healthy Diet - Wikipedia
A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, macronutrients such as protein, micronutrients such as vitamins, and adequate fibre and food energy
- Juice cleanse: Benefits, risks, and effects
Learn about the science behind juicing and juice cleanses here.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Louise Fiolek