Juice Cleanse: Healthy or Inflammatory?

By Samantha Gilbert, FNC, CHNP, CNC     Last updated on September 23rd, 2021

Juice Cleanse: Healthy or Inflammatory?

Is your juice cleanse healthy or inflammatory?

If you’re like a lot of folks chances are you probably embark on juice cleanses from time to time. And if you’re reading this post, I bet you are a savvy individual that keeps up with all the latest health trends.

But what if I told you that the typical cleanse, usually involving lots of green juice, could actually be creating inflammation in your body rather than eliminating it?

You’d probably think I was crazy, right?

Well, despite the fact that juice cleanses are not very effective for losing body fat because any weight loss you experience is probably water, carbohydrate stores, and intestinal bulk — all of which come back after the cleanse ends – the answer actually lies in the software portion of your DNA.

Your body’s software, known as the epigenome, has evolved over many generations and it decides how some genes choose to express themselves in your body. This process is controlled by methyl groups that bind to your genes and essentially give them their marching orders.

When methyl is not balanced, we start to see things like food and chemical sensitivities, high anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), autoimmunity, imbalanced blood sugar, disordered eating, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, and menstrual disorders to name a few.

Since food greatly influences gene regulation (yes, even foods considered healthy such as spinach), it makes sense that some people experience improvement on fresh pressed juices while others do not.

I have a client who is the CEO of a well-known start-up in San Francisco. When we first started working together she was very frustrated because she had recently completed a two-week cleanse and didn’t lose a lick of weight. She was also very frightened about what to eat because right before the cleanse ended, she suddenly became plagued by severe anxiety, depression, and obsessive thinking.

After a thorough health history and testing, we uncovered that she was intolerant to folates (in other words, folate-rich foods created an inflammatory response in her body, otherwise known as undermethylation) and very deficient in several key nutrients such as zinc. So I put her on a nutritional therapy plan appropriate for her biochemistry and after a couple of months, the weight started to fall off and the anxiety, depression, and obsessive thoughts greatly diminished.

I share this case study because I want to encourage you to really listen to your body and remember to feed your brain first with foods that are appropriate for your unique biochemistry. If you experience a negative reaction (inflammation) from a particular food, no matter how healthy it is, then eliminate it from your diet.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your experience been with juice cleansing? I’d really love to know your thoughts in the comments below!


12 thoughts on “Juice Cleanse: Healthy or Inflammatory?”

  1. Great post. I really appreciate the insight here in this post and confident it’s going to be helpful to me and many others. I’m wondering if you or anyone else has additional sources for me to read further and to be able to dig a little deeper?

  2. love your posts… this one is great. I am still struggling with my diet after several years, but my stress has been up and down too. I experience a multitude of symptoms, many of the ones you mentioned. I don’t juice and am cautious of that, but will do meal replacement smoothies sometimes and have done cleanses with these that also include cooked/raw veggies. I don’t eat grains, waver back and forth with dairy… I have tried so many things and feel like a yoyo with my health… when I first started and did my first cleanse, I had great results, but then I plateaued and developed tons of sensitivities, and my symptoms swing back and forth, and I end up taking tons of supplements just to feel like i am maintaining things, which don’t always seem to work. On top of that, I am a nutritional therapist and feel like I should know better. I am excited about your upcoming webinar… hopefully it will put me on the right track.

    1. Hi Tara,
      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am so glad you enjoy my posts and I’m really looking forward to having you on our call tomorrow night! 🙂

  3. New year , new job! I have never juiced before. But have blended 2 percent milk with berries (blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and blackberries) .and taken after I exercise. To keep my blood sugar levels up. It works.

  4. Danielle Henderson

    I welcome this post!

    Its taken me years to figure out my balance. I find that Paleo works extremely well for me.

    I used to eat Wheat, Gluten, drink, smoke and I always felt anxious and upper height.

    I took some time out in September and re introduced Gluten back into my diet. My mood went through the floor, I was so tired and ratty. I then tried the clean 9 and lost very little and my IBD went crazy!

    After much heartache I’m back to my Paleo and have recently looked into the low fodmap approach due to my IBD. I can honestly say I week after the start of the return of my healthy diet, I feel like I can take on the world!

    1. Hi Danielle,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed my post and thank you for sharing your story! It’s wonderful you’ve found what works best for you and your body. This really is key as there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach.

  5. Loved this blog post.

    I’m 60 years old, and started a new job in September in a medical building in town. I’ve been taking the steps up to the top floor (3rd) from the basement several times a day, and tracking calories and steps on myfitnesspal.com. I’m also using My Fitness Pal to track a healthier diet. In the last 3 months of 2014 I’ve lost 10 lbs. Ugggg! This is going a lot slower than I had hoped, or is this what I should expect these days…


    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed my post. First off, you lost 10 pounds! That’s wonderful and I’m so proud of you! I want you to stand back and recognize how far you’ve come and all the great work you’re doing to be healthy! I want to encourage you to keep up with it because obviously it’s working.

  6. I started juicing in 2012 and loved it. That in combination with adding healthy fats to my diet helped me release my addiction to sugar. Well, then I experienced amenorrhea and the adrenal fatigue I had experienced shortly before juicing still has continued. Recently my acupuncturist told me to STOP juicing altogether and even stop smoothies for a while (even tho they were green with almost no fruit). Also to cut down on the healthy fats! He said it was overly detoxing me! And that I had almost no chi left!
    I got my period last month for the first time in two years. But unfortunately have gained weight and lately have been experiencing itchy skin rashes and insomnia. I’m still trying to figure out a balance.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story Felice. Balance really is key and I’m so glad you are looking into other options that may be better suited to your biochemistry. And I’d love to offer you a complimentary strategy session to see how I can help. Happy New Year!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Schedule a Free One-on-One Consultation

If you’re ready to start your healing journey, schedule your free one-on-one consultation to discuss your current mental and/or physical health challenges, history, and desired health goals. Take the first step on your healing journey today.

Scroll to Top