People are surprised that a Juice Fast can help with their IBS management, so I get extra excited to talk about this because there is a lot of misinformation that holds people back from true healing and nourishment.
A universal characteristic of IBS, regardless of what symptoms you have, is severe inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract. With new and advanced technology, scientists that study IBS are discovering subtle but significant damages in the cellular lining of the intestinal tract. It’s unclear, however, if the damage is part of the root cause of IBS, or whether IBS leads to damaged intestinal cells. Either way, it seems to be a perpetuated cycle of damage, inflammation, repair, damage again and then chronic inflammation. Experts call this mucosal inflammation. If your intestinal cells are damaged, they can’t do the digestive, protective and regenerative functions they are designed to do, which impacts your immune system, digestive and metabolic functions, and your overall health and well-being. The unfortunate news is that there is no immediate cure for IBS. But, are there ways to promote intestinal healing and improve nourishment and overall health despite the varied IBS symptoms patients suffer from? Yes! Yes there are!
Although the body is intricate, complex and so unique from one person to another, we have enough scientific knowledge as a species to know some of the basic mechanics of how our bodies work, and how food can heal and promote good health. The strategy to reduce inflammation is this: avoid inflammatory foods, consume anti-inflammatory foods. That seems simple enough, but for someone with chronic IBS, your intestinal cells are damaged and so they can’t perform the digestive functions your body needs to maximize absorption of nutrients. That’s where high quality juices come in! Cold pressed juices and plant-based beverages offer a concentrated amount of micro and macronutrients in a form that is easy to consume and that your body can very easily digest and absorb. Cold pressed juices are bioavailable foods - meaning the foods are pre-digested for you, and the nutrients are easily accessible for cells to process and absorb, and not wrapped up in fiber and fats the body needs to work hard to untangle. Bioavailability is very important for IBS patients because of how inflamed and damaged their intestinal cells are.
A cold pressed Juice Fast can support your body’s healing and nourishment by replacing usual meals with concentrated and bioavailable liquid meals. This break from solid foods can expedite the healing process and give you a large dose of beneficial and essential nutrients that you may not have otherwise been able to absorb properly from solid foods. Most people think that Juice Fasting (or cleansing, as the industry tends to call it) is a method of starving your body, and so the conclusion is that it is unhealthy. That can be true if the product isn’t of sufficient quality to nourish the body properly. When you are shopping for a quality Juice Fast, you need to look for four things:
The caloric content of each juice AND the total juices you will consume in one day (the package). Can it provide sufficient calories to maintain functioning AND supply ample micro-nutrients? Most adults need between 1600-2400 calories per day for optimal functioning. This count is based on macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates and proteins. It also takes into account the digestion and absorption rates in the body and how much micronutrients can be supplied from that food. If your juice fast package offers you less than 600 calories per day, that is starvation and it’s not good for your body because that’s not enough food to give you a reasonable amount of macro- and micronutrients. A good quality juice fast should be offering you a caloric value of at least 960 calories. When we designed both of our Juice Fasts, we made sure the package offers you sufficient calories to keep your body functioning optimally. That is: 1027 calories from our Green Fast, and 1387 from our Mix Fast.
The balance of nutrition in each juice. Are they purely carbohydrates, or do they offer all three macronutrients? In nature, plants are made predominantly of carbohydrates, with some proteins and fats, in addition to a wide array of phytonutrients: like vitamins, minerals, sterols and much more. A good quality Juice Fast needs to be made of a combination of juices that are balanced in nutrients. When we designed our Juice Fasts, we ensured that each juice offered a balanced ratio of proteins to carbohydrates, aiming for a 1:2 in most juices, as well as included nut mylks for healthy fats and fiber. Each green juice on our menu takes 3-4 lbs of fresh vegetables and fruits to make. That amount of veggies provides a large amount of concentrated vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to aid in healing and reducing inflammation.
Your juices must be cold pressed. Are they cold-pressed or made on a machine that generates heat and oxidizes nutrients? Oxidation is inevitable as there is oxygen everywhere and we don’t use sophisticated technology to remove the oxygen from our juices. However, the mechanism of production matters for the juices that make up your Juice Fast. A true cold pressed machine masticates (shreds AND crushes) the solid foods (it does not just shred!) and then presses the pulp very slowly without any heat, then the juice is packaged very quickly to reduce damage from exposure to air. We ensure a quick turn around from machine to bottle: 1 minute and 37 seconds to be exact!
Aim for organic juices. Are the juices in your Juice Fast made from organic foods or conventional? I know there are many fancy options to wash vegetables and fruits from pesticides. But, the genetics of conventional foods are simply not the same as organic foods, and the residue of conventional chemicals penetrate the surfaces of foods and remain in the food even after washing the surface. Juice Fasts are made up of a lot of lbs of fruits and vegetables, all juices and concentrated in a bottle that you will drink. Just as nutrients are concentrated, so are chemicals. If you’re trying to heal your body, you’re much better off without those chemicals. We engage in a world full of chemicals already, so if you can avoid that in your one super important healing routine, that is better for your health. We only use certified organic ingredients in our juices. That is a commitment we will never waver from. Fun fact: we spend less on organic produce than we would on conventional, I crunched the numbers. It’s WILD to me that our industry complains manufacturing organic foods is way more expensive and not viable for this business model.
There you have it! Your quick guide to IBS and Juice Fasting. I hope this information will be valuable to you. If you have specific questions about Juice Fasts on our menu, let us know!
Carbohydrates are essential macronutrients for your body, especially for the functioning of your digestive system. Read all about how the right kind and source carbohydrates can help support your digestive health and in the management of your IBS symptoms.