Fruits and vegetables contain a range of micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help the body maintain good health and recover from illness. They also contain fiber, which helps eliminate toxins and lower cholesterol. Fruit and vegetable juice diets are used as part of detox programs to assist with cleansing and rejuvenation of body systems. Fruit and vegetable juice diets are done in various ways and for different reasons.
Each fruit and vegetable has its own health benefits. For example, spinach enhances nutrient absorption and lowers blood sugar, carrots help improve eyesight, beetroot juice improves gall bladder and liver function, pumpkins help eliminate kidney stones, and tomatoes help maintain blood alkaline levels. Fruits generally contain similar nutrients, such as antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, B vitamins and flavonoids, which lowers risk of strokes, heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes.
A fruit and vegetable juice fast forms part of a weight loss program, as fruits and vegetables are low in calories and can be eaten in large quantities. During a juice fast, only fruit and vegetable juice is consumed for a short time period. This achieves both an increase in energy and the removal of toxins from the body.
A detox diet is similar to a fast, although there are fewer restrictions on eating other foods. For example, a person may drink herbal tea between servings, or eat beans, nuts, seeds and whole grain cereals during a detox. A juice fast involves no other solid food. Commonly juiced vegetables include spinach, carrots, beetroot, pumpkin, radish and tomatoes. Commonly juiced fruits include peaches, pineapples, grapes, melons, apples, oranges and grapefruits.
Preparations for juice diets involve reducing consumption of foods such as meat, eggs, dairy and wheat. Organic fruits and vegetables are best for juicing as they contain fewer pesticides and are of better quality. The skin of non-organic fruit or vegetables should be removed. Freshly prepared fruit juice should be consumed within 12 hours, as fruits begin to oxidize and lose nutrients. Cold vegetable juice is recommended as heating also removes nutrients. People with medical conditions or pregnant women should seek medical advice before undergoing a juice detox diet.