Juice cleanses are becoming increasingly popular as a way to detox the body, lose weight and heal from various illnesses or ailments. While doing a juice cleanse can be a great way to reset your diet, it’s important to ease back into solid foods to get long-term benefits from the cleanse.
To fully reap the rewards of your juice cleanse, you should carefully plan what type of foods you will eat after your cleanse ends in order to continue living a healthy lifestyle. This guide provides an overview of tips and recommendations for transitioning back into solid food after a juice cleanse.
After a juice cleanse, it is important to replenish the body with essential nutrients. Eating a well-balanced meal of healthy proteins, fibers, carbohydrates, and fats can help give your body the energy and nourishment it needs to revitalize. Additionally, certain vitamins and minerals are important to incorporate into your diet.
In this article, we’ll discuss the nutritional requirements you should consider before and after a juice cleanse:
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet and particularly important to include in your meals after a juice cleanse. Protein helps with muscle repair and recovery and has been found to help you feel fuller for a longer period of time, so you should look for high-value proteins like lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, legumes and tofu. Other sources of the nutrient like grated cheese or protein powder can also be used to supplement your diet.
Additionally, some studies have suggested that consuming higher amounts of protein can rev up the metabolism and increase calorie burn. For optimal benefits, experts recommend that you divide your daily needs into four meals throughout the day.
Healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats contain important vitamins such as vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which are essential to good health. These heart-healthy fats can help protect your heart against cardiovascular disease, lower LDL cholesterol levels, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive, peanut, canola oil, almonds, avocados and nut butters; polyunsaturated fats are found in safflower, corn and sunflower oils as well as walnuts.
Consuming raw nuts each day is a great way to increase your intake of healthy fats. Choosing plant-based oils instead of butter or margarine is another way to increase the amount of healthy fat in your diet. Eating fish two to three times a week is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help prevent heart disease. Omega-3 is found in cold-water fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel but also in smaller amounts in other seafood such as tuna, shrimp and oysters.
It is important to limit foods high in unhealthy saturated fat when maintaining a balanced diet; these include red meat (especially processed), poultry with skin on, high fat dairy products like whole milk or cheese and some processed bakery items like cakes and cookies made with added sugar or hydrogenated oils. Adding healthy fat sources to meals enhances the flavor while providing protective benefits for your health. Incorporating healthy sources of dietary fat can help you maintain normal cholesterol levels for better long term health maintenance.
Complex carbohydrates, also known as polysaccharides, are essential to a healthy diet. Eating complex carbs is important because they provide your body with the energy it needs not only for exercise and activity but also for everyday operations such as digestion and brain functioning. Examples of complex carbohydrates include brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, oats and sweet potatoes. Or you can try eating quinoa which is high in protein, fiber and minerals. Legumes such as lentils, beans, chickpeas and black-eyed peas are also complex carbohydrates that can provide a good source of dietary fiber to help with digestion.
When it comes to snacking after a juice cleanse, look for whole grains like popcorn or air popped corn chips (avoid processed versions) as well as nut mixes that include nuts like almonds or walnuts. If you’re looking for something sweet after your cleanse you can always have a snack size portion of oatmeal with low-fat milk and fruit or muesli with yogurt.
By including these foods in your diet you’ll be able to replenish lost nutrients while at the same time rebuilding your energy reserves in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle after your juice cleanse.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are required in even small amounts but play an important role in keeping us healthy. A balanced diet provides all the nutrients we need, and it is important to ensure that you are getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet each day.
The most important types of vitamins and minerals that you need to get from your diet include:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential for vision and healthy skin, as well as for growth and development. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, kale, squash, apricots, cantaloupe and broccoli.
- B Vitamins: B vitamins are required for the maintenance of energy levels and help the body to convert food into energy. Folate (or folic acid) helps with cell repair. Foods rich in B vitamins include red meat and legumes such as black beans or pinto beans.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed for strong healthy bones, teeth, gums and connective tissue. It also helps with wound healing. Citrus fruits such as oranges are a good source of vitamin C along with bell pepper, kale and kiwi fruit.
- Minerals: Minerals such as calcium play an important role in building strong bones while potassium maintains muscle contractions including the heart beat. Calcium can be found in dairy products such as yogurt or milk while potassium is found in foods like bananas; spinach; tomatoes; potatoes; beans; almonds; halibut (a type of fish); strawberries; avocadoes; oranges; raisins or dried apricot; parsley; onion; dates; green peppers; grapefruit; turnips etc.
Foods to Avoid
A juice cleanse is a great way to jumpstart your wellness journey, but the transition back to solid foods is an important step. To ensure that you are maximizing the healing benefits of the cleanse, it is important to focus on whole, nutrient-rich foods and to avoid certain types of foods that could potentially cause harm.
This section will discuss which foods to avoid after a juice cleanse:
Processed foods are a major player in our diets today and are often loaded with sugar, calories, sodium, unhealthy fats and additives. Processed foods can make it difficult for your body to absorb vitamins, minerals and even fiber. This is because processed foods are generally stripped of their essential nutrients during the manufacturing process. Without essential nutrients, your body is unable to metabolize them properly.
Examples of processed food that should be avoided are:
- Highly processed grains: Pre-packaged cereals, cookies and cakes
- Fried food: French fries, chicken nuggets, onion rings or battered seafood
- Hydrogenated oils: Trans fat found in vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils or margarine
- Refined sugars and syrups: White granulated sugar or high fructose corn syrup
- Preservatives: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Processed meats: Salami, bacon, hot dogs or bologna
- Sodas: Any soda made with refined sugars like regular Coca Cola or Big Red
- Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or saccharin.
High-sugar foods are those that are rich in added sugars such as sucrose, honey and soft drinks with high sugar content. These types of foods can be detrimental to your health when consumed in large quantities. Eating large amounts of these sweets can cause spikes in your blood sugar, leading to a host of health issues such as an increased risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease and liver damage.
Examples of high-sugar foods include:
- Sweets such as candy, cookies and cake
- Fruit juice concentrate
- High fructose corn syrup
- Artificial sweeteners like aspartame
These sweet treats should be limited in your diet or even avoided altogether if you wish to continue feeling the benefits of the juice cleanse. In addition to avoiding sugary foods, it’s recommended that you eat more natural and whole foods such as antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables or complex carbohydrates found in pastas and grains instead. Additionally, reduce the amount of processed processed snacks that can often contain hidden sugars or fat sources like chips, soda and ice cream. Sticking to whole food sources helps provide nutrients because they are minimally processed which is ideal after completing a juice cleanse.
Refined grains such as white bread, white rice and pasta are commonly used as a base for many meals. However, these products are heavily processed and lack many essential nutrients. Refined grains are stripped of fiber, vitamins, and minerals which can lead to an unhealthy diet. Even if you replace enriched refined grains with whole-grain varieties, you still may not be getting the full nutritional value that comes with unrefined grain products.
Additionally, foods made with refined grains tend to have a much higher glycemic index than those made with whole-grain ingredients. This means they may offer little in terms of nourishment and instead spike your blood sugar levels leading to an energy crash shortly after eating them.
To get maximum health benefits after a juice cleanse consider limiting or avoiding intake of all refined grain products. Choose natural ingredients such as 100% stone-ground whole wheat or freshly milled buckwheat flour for added fiber and essential vitamins & minerals in your post–juice cleanse meals.
Foods to Include
After completing a juice cleanse, you may be feeling a little depleted. Therefore, it is important to make sure you nourish your body with the right foods. Eating the right foods after a juice cleanse can help you restore balance to your body’s systems and promote optimal health.
Here we will discuss which foods you should include in your diet after a juice cleanse:
Leafy greens are one of the most important food groups to include when transitioning back to a healthy eating plan after a juice cleanse. These leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the body. Leafy greens also contain helpful phytochemicals that can help protect against cancer, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions. Leafy greens are low in calories while still providing necessary nutrients and should be incorporated into meals regularly post-juice cleanse.
Leafy greens can be incorporated into meals by adding them to salads or including them in vegetable stir fries or soups. If these leafy green foods seem unappealing post-cleanse, there is an easy solution- consider adding them as part of a smoothie!
Legumes are an excellent choice for those completing a juice cleanse as they help restore a healthy balance of essential nutrients to the body. Legumes are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also contain high levels of plant protein which can help reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.
Some popular legumes include lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, kidney beans and black beans. When consuming legumes make sure to cook them thoroughly and enjoy them with a variety of other healthy foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds and fresh fruits and vegetables for the most nutritive benefit. Additionally, legumes can be used in many different dishes like soups, salads, curries or hummus so you can make sure you don’t get bored eating the same food day after day as you transition back into your normal diet.
Lean meats provide lean protein and essential fats, as well as essential vitamins and minerals needed for a balanced diet. Lean cuts of beef, pork, poultry, and seafood are an important part of a healthy diet.
- Beef: Look for labeled cuts such as round steak, chuck steak, sirloin tip side steak and roast, tenderloin steak, top round roast and steak, eye of round roast and steak.
- Pork: LOin chops or roasts that include loin chop (center cut) or top loin chop; tenderloin; sirloin chop; rib chop; bone-in ham.
- Poultry: Skinless broth or turkey; skinless chicken breast or thigh/leg with no added fat or breading; skinless quail/duck/goose can be used in moderation due to the high fat content in darker poultry meats.
- Seafood: Tuna (canned in water); Salmon (fresh or canned); Tilapia; shrimp/lobster/crabmeat ; oysters/clams/ mussels ; catfish/cod ; anchovies ; trout/orange roughy.
Healthy fats are an important part of healthy nutrition and can have a variety of health benefits. That’s why it’s important to include them in your post-juice cleanse diet. Fats provide energy, absorb and carry certain vitamins, provide insulation, and support cell growth. Healthy fats found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil have been shown to have many health benefits when consumed in moderation.
- Nuts & Seeds: Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fat such as omega-3 fatty acids as well as several vitamins and minerals. They make a great addition to any meal or snack – try adding them to yogurt or salads for extra crunch!
- Avocado: Avocados are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and can help keep you full for longer. Plus they taste delicious – try adding half an avocado to your morning smoothie for a nutrient-packed start to your day!
- Olive Oil: Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats that can offer protection against heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels – just be sure to use it sparingly as it is still high in calories! Try sautéing vegetables or making vinaigrette dressings with olive oil instead of butter or other oils like vegetable or canola oils.
- Fish: Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which may offer some protection against cardiovascular disease – just be sure to turn away from fish high in mercury such as swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel and tuna steaks. Try grilling salmon or cooking up some tuna salad instead!
Whole grains are an important source of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Eating whole grains regularly can help reduce risks of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
After a juice cleanse it is important to add back in whole grains such as oats, quinoa and brown rice. These are packed with powerful antioxidants and soluble fiber that will help promote gut health by supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Additionally, they have low glycemic index that helps regulate blood sugar levels post juice cleanse.
Adding a few servings of complex carbs with every meal will keep you feeling fuller longer and reduce cravings while still being light enough that you can maintain your weight loss goals after completing the cleanse.
After a juice cleanse, it’s important to get nutrient-rich and low-calorie recipes that won’t shock your system as you return to caloric intake. While there are many potential recipes to choose from, this section will focus on simple, delicious recipes that you can easily make and enjoy.
Let’s take a look at some of the best recipes to help you transition back to solid food after your juice cleanse:
Green Detox Salad
This Green Detox Salad is a light, nourishing salad that provides fiber and other essential nutrients for a healthy post-juice cleanse. Filled with green leafy vegetables, crisp cucumber, and savory sun-dried tomatoes, this salad will give your body the energy boost it needs to feel satiated after a juice cleanse. To make this salad as nutritious as possible, add extra toppings like nuts and seeds which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. The green vegetables provide plenty of vitamins A, B complex, and K to help improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Enjoy this delicious salad that is both healthful and flavorful!
- 2 cups kale
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- ½ cucumber thinly sliced
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes (cut into thin strips)
- ¼ cup almonds (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- In a large mixing bowl combine kale and spinach leaves together. Add cucumber slices, sun-dried tomatoes and almond pieces over top. Sprinkle flaxseeds on top of salad mixture as well.
- For the dressing combine balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey (or maple syrup) together in a small bowl until well blended together. Drizzle olive oil over ingredients in the larger mixing bowl then pour dressing over top of salad ingredients in bowl; toss until all ingredients are coated with the dressing mixture evenly throughout the salad mix.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to two days in refrigeration for later consumption!
Lentil and Vegetable Stew
As you ease your way back into solid foods after a juice cleanse, it’s important to choose light, nutritious and easy-to-digest options like Lentil and Vegetable Stew. Lentils are a great source of plant-based proteins and fiber, getting you full without weighing you down. This dish also packs in the flavor with sautéed onions, garlic and carrots, all simmered in vegetable broth. Add it to your menu to help revitalize your energy while nourishing your body!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in carrots; cook for 1 minute more. Add lentils and vegetable broth; bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low using a lid on top of the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are cooked through (but still retain some texture).
- Stir in thyme leaves; season stew with salt, pepper and cider vinegar to taste before serving warm with crusty bread or over steamed brown rice or quinoa if desired.
Quinoa Bowl with Avocado and Tomatoes
After a juice cleanse, it’s important to get some whole foods into your diet in order to ensure that your body is getting the nutrients and protein it needs. A quinoa bowl made with avocados and tomatoes is one great way to do this. Quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free grain that contains important vitamins and minerals including magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and more. Avocado provides healthy monounsaturated fats plus fiber and many other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, folate, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Tomatoes are also packed with nutrition including powerful carotenoids like lycopene which provide antioxidant protection.
This quinoa bowl recipe is an easy way to get all of these amazing nutrients in one delicious meal. This dish contains ingredients that are light yet flavorful – perfect for nourishing your body after a juice cleanse. To make it, simply cook the quinoa according to package instructions then toss with diced avocados, chopped tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon juice along with some salt and pepper or another favorite seasoning blend for flavor. Serve warm or chilled – just be sure not to forget the avocado!
Salmon with Roasted Vegetables
Salmon is an excellent choice for a post-cleanse meal. It is packed with protein and provides healthy fats that are beneficial for physiological processes throughout the body. This meal also includes roasted vegetables, which is an excellent way to add flavor and nutrients to your plate.
The best vegetables for roasting are root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, beets, squash and onion, but any other vegetables will work as well.
To prepare salmon with roasted vegetables:
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place 4-6 ounces (113-170 grams) of wild-caught salmon fillets in a shallow baking dish.
- Drizzle with olive oil or melted butter, season with salt and pepper and top with lemon slices or herbs of your choice. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes until cooked through and lightly golden on the edges.
- Meanwhile, prepare the veggies: Toss together 3-4 cups of chopped veggies like carrots, potatoes, onions and beets in olive oil or melted butter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 30–35 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. You can also use this time to cook some grains (like quinoa or rice) as a side dish if desired.
- Top baked salmon with roasted vegetables and enjoy!
It is important to remember that one of the greatest benefits of a juice cleanse is that it can help reset your taste buds so that you appreciate healthier, fresher, unprocessed foods. You may find yourself craving these items instead of sugary or processed foods. Additionally, the nutritional detox from juice cleansing can help improve the body’s digestion, absorption and metabolism leading to improved health.
Once your juice cleanse is complete, stick with whole and minimally processed food items for best nutrition results. Fresh vegetables and fruits should remain at the center of your diet but also include some lean protein sources such as fish and eggs as well as complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, quinoa and oats. Combine a variety of colours in each meal including greens (i.e., spinach), yellows (i.e., pineapple) oranges (i.e., carrots) purples/blues/black(berries). Additionally limit sugar-sweetened foods like soda, candy bars and cake to occasional treats. Lastly do not forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water!