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Is it OK to eat nuts on a juice cleanse?

Juice cleanses have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to detox and reset your body. During a juice cleanse, you consume only fresh fruit and vegetable juices for a set period of time, usually around 3-5 days. While juice cleanses can help eliminate toxins and improve digestion, they are very low in protein, healthy fats, and other important nutrients. This has led many people to wonder whether it is advisable or even allowed to eat nuts and seeds while doing a juice cleanse.

Benefits of nuts and seeds during a juice cleanse

Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients. Here are some of the main benefits of incorporating some nuts and seeds into your juice cleanse:

  • Provide protein – Lack of protein is one of the main downsides of juice cleanses. Adding nuts and seeds can help you meet your daily protein needs.
  • Healthy fats – The mono and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds help fight inflammation, support brain function and balance blood sugar.
  • Fiber – Soluble and insoluble fiber in nuts helps regulate digestion and promotes satiety.
  • Vitamins and minerals – Nuts and seeds contain important nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, vitamin E.
  • Phytochemicals – Powerful plant compounds like antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic acids found abundantly in nuts and seeds.
  • Enhanced satiety – The fiber, protein, fat from nuts and seeds helps you feel fuller for longer while cleansing.

Potential downsides of eating nuts on a juice cleanse

While nuts and seeds can provide nutritional benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to be aware of:

  • High in calories and fat – Nuts and seeds pack a lot of calories and fat into a small serving. Even healthy fats should be enjoyed in moderation on a juice cleanse when total calorie intake is drastically reduced.
  • May cause digestive issues – Large amounts of fat and fiber from nuts and seeds could result in bloating, gas or abdominal discomfort in some people, especially when detoxing.
  • Allergies and intolerances – Tree nuts, peanuts and seeds are among the most common food allergens and should be avoided by those with sensitivities.
  • Difficulty chewing – The lack of solid food over several days of juice cleansing can make it difficult to properly chew and digest nuts and seeds.

Best nuts and seeds to eat during a juice cleanse

If you choose to incorporate nuts and seeds into your juice cleanse, these are some of the top choices:

Nuts/Seeds Key Nutrients Benefits
Almonds Protein, magnesium, vitamin E, iron, fiber, antioxidants Great source of nutrition; widely available
Walnuts Omega-3s, antioxidants, magnesium, copper, manganese Anti-inflammatory; benefits brain and heart health
Cashews Copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, folate Creamy texture provides energy and nutrient density
Pistachios Protein, fiber, antioxidants like lutein High in protein and fiber to increase fullness
Chia seeds Fiber, protein, omega-3s, manganese, magnesium Filling and provide important nutrients lacking in juices
Hemp seeds Protein, magnesium, iron, zinc, folate One of the few plant-based complete proteins

Some other nutrient-dense nuts and seeds to consider are Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds.

Recommended daily serving sizes

It’s important not to overdo it on nuts and seeds during a juice cleanse. Here are some general recommendations for reasonable daily serving sizes:

Nut or Seed Serving Size
Almonds 23 almonds or 1 oz
Walnuts 14 walnut halves or 1 oz
Cashews 18 cashews or 1 oz
Pistachios 49 pistachios or 1 oz
Brazil nuts 6 nuts or 1 oz
Chia seeds 2 tbsp
Hemp seeds 3 tbsp
Flaxseeds 2 tbsp
Pumpkin seeds 1 oz or small handful
Sunflower seeds 1 oz or small handful

Focus on eating the serving size that works best for your individual needs and preferences. Most experts recommend limiting total nuts and seeds to around 1-2 servings (1-2 oz) per day on a juice cleanse.

Tips for incorporating nuts and seeds

Here are some tips for safely enjoying nuts and seeds as part of your juice cleanse:

  • Drink water – Drink extra water when eating nuts and seeds to aid digestion and reduce bloating.
  • Chew thoroughly – Chew very well or blend into nut milks/butters to make them easier to digest.
  • Limit portions – Stick to recommended serving sizes and avoid overdoing it.
  • Listen to your body – Reduce portions or stop eating if you experience discomfort.
  • Choose raw and unsalted – Skip roasted, salted, candied and heavily processed nuts/seeds.
  • Soak and sprout – Soaking nuts and seeds can make nutrients more bioavailable.
  • Pair with juices – Sip vegetable juice while you eat nuts to balance sugar and prevent spikes.
  • Space it out – Spread nut/seed intake throughout day rather than consuming all at once.

Sample menu with nuts and seeds

Here is an example of how you could incorporate appropriate servings of nuts and seeds into a daily juice cleanse menu:

Upon waking:

  • 16 oz lemon water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in water

Mid-morning:

  • 12 oz green juice
  • 14 walnut halves

Early afternoon:

  • 12 oz carrot ginger juice
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds

Late afternoon:

  • 12 oz beet apple juice
  • 23 almonds

Early evening:

  • 12 oz green juice
  • 18 cashews

Dinner:

  • 12 oz vegetable juice
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

This provides a good amount of protein, healthy fats and other nutrients from nuts and seeds to supplement an all-juice diet, while keeping portions controlled.

Precautions

It’s important to take some precautions when eating nuts and seeds during a juice cleanse:

  • Allergies – Avoid any nuts or seeds you are allergic or sensitive too.
  • Medications – Check for interactions between medications you take and high fat foods.
  • Digestive issues – Reduce or avoid nuts/seeds if you experience bloating, pain or diarrhea.
  • Pregnancy – Speak to your doctor first if pregnant or nursing.
  • Surgery – Don’t do a juice cleanse with nuts/seeds if you have an upcoming surgery.
  • Children – Juice cleanses and nut/seed intake should be adapted for children.

Conclusion

While juicing gives your digestive system a break, nuts and seeds can provide protein, healthy fats and nutrients that are lacking in juices alone. Focus on consuming raw, unsalted nuts and seeds in portions of around 1-2 servings per day. Drink plenty of fluids, chew thoroughly and listen to your body. With the right balance, incorporating nuts and seeds into your juice cleanse can help nourish your body without negating the cleansing effects.