We’ve all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but some apple enthusiasts take it to the extreme by building a short-term cleansing diet entirely around juice from the crunchy, thin-skinned fruit. There’s no official apple juice cleansing diet; the term refers to short-term regimes emphasizing the consumption of that type of juice. Before you’re tempted to bite the apple, consider that more evidence is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of cleansing diets.
Proponents of the apple juice cleansing diet ascertain that reducing or eliminating heavier, unhealthy foods from your diet gives the digestive system a much-needed break from processing. Some versions of apple juice diets advocate drinking olive oil or taking laxatives to facilitate the elimination of waste from your system as part of the cleanse, as described in Edgar Cayce’s Diet Plan. Advocates maintain that drinking large quantities of apple juice provides the body with necessary nutrients and healthy antioxidants while curbing appetite, although more evidence is needed to confirm these claims.
Even if you’re not participating in a hard-core apple juice cleansing diet, drinking apple juice as part of your regular diet can have positive benefits. Drinking apple juice may help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, according a 2009 University of Massachusetts study involving mice, apple juice and memory-based maze trials. Regular consumption of apples might decrease the risk of heart disease, according to a University of Michigan press release published by the Apple Products Research and Education Council. In another press release published by the Apple Products Research and Education Council, a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that people who consumed apple products, including apple juice, were likelier to have less risk of metabolic syndrome.
Some extreme liquid diet plans recommend beginning with three days of consuming only apple juice, as described by the Just Cleansing website. Most plans recommend using fresh juice made from organic apples; inorganic apples can be peeled before juicing, as described by Edgar Cayce’s Diet Plan. Some apple-based diets don’t require adherents to juice the fruit; instead, apples may be consumed whole. When returning to a normal eating schedule after completing a cleansing diet, dieters may slowly reintroduce simple grains and organic foods as first steps.
Not all research embraces cleansing diets, juicing diets or highly restrictive diets embracing only one or two food types, such as an apple-based plan. Extreme regimes can lead to nutritional deficiencies, according to a March 24, 2009, “USA Today” article. Eating high-fiber foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, is a naturally efficient way to clean out your digestive system without resorting to severe limitation in dietary choices. Incidentally, drinking apple cider vinegar, sometimes touted as a weight-loss strategy, has not been proven effective for that purpose.
- Edward Cayce Diet Plan; Weight Loss and Spring Cleanse; Simone Gabbay
- Familydoctor.org: Nutrition for Weight Loss: What You Need to Know About Fad Diets
- University of Massachusetts: Research Shows Benefit of Apple Juice; August 2006
- Apple Products Research and Education Council: An ‘Apple a Day’
- Apple Products Research and Education Council: Adults Who Eat Apples
- Dr. Foster's Essentials: The Healing Power of Juicing
- lisaaMC/iStock/Getty Images