Juice fasting is a type of detox method and can aid in losing weight. It involves the short-term intake of raw vegetable and fruit juices only. Proponents of juice fasting use juices because they are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Juice fasting is considered an extreme form of detoxification. More gentle detox methods are less restrictive and include a variety of foods.
Juice fasts typically last for one to three days. Longer fasts require medical supervision as well as a thorough assessment to ensure that nutrient deficiencies do not result.
Who shouldn’t try juice fasting
●It is important to consult a qualified health professional before trying a juice fast.
●Pregnant or nursing women and children should not try a juice fast.
●People with diabetes, low blood sugar, eating disorders, kidney disease, liver disease, malnutrition, addictions, underweight, anemia, impaired immune function, gout, asthma, infection, nutritional deficiency, low blood pressure, ulcerative colitis, cancer, terminal illness, epilepsy, or other chronic conditions should only fast under strict medical supervision.
●People should not try juice fasts before or after surgical procedures.
●Fasting can reduce blood proteins and change the way prescription drugs react in the body. People taking prescription medications should consult a health professional skilled in detoxification before trying a juice fast, and should never discontinue or reduce their medications on their own.
Common temporary side effects include headaches, tiredness, hypoglycemia, contripation, acne, increased body odor, and bad breath.
Other side effects can include fainting, dizziness, low blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, weight loss, hunger, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney problems. If these side effects occur, there is a worsening of symptoms, or new symptoms appear, the fast should be discontinued and it should prompt an immediate visit to a qualified health professional.
Another possible side effect is diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte loss.
If continued for a longer time, fasting can lead to nutrient deficiencies, particularly protein and calcium deficiency.
Grapefruit juice should not be used during a juice fast, especially if a person is taking prescription drugs. A compound in grapefruit can increase the amount of prescription drugs in a person’s body. Recent evidence suggests that pomegranate juice may also increase blood levels of prescription drugs.
What a typical juice fast involves
●Proponents of juice fasting suggest it be done during the warmer months of the year only. Spring is thought to be the best time of the year for juice fasting.
●Seven or more days before the fast, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, dairy, wheat, animal meat, fish, and eggs are usually reduced or eliminated from the diet. The diet should consist mainly of organic fruits, vegetables, and beans.
●Between 32 and 64 ounces of juice is usually recommended per day. The juice is sipped throughout the day. Typical fruits and vegetables include celery, carrot, kale, cabbage, apple, pineapple, cranberry, spinach, beet, and greens. Citrus fruits are often avoided.
●Approximately 6 glasses of room temperature or warm filtered water are often recommended in addition to the juice.
●Organic fruits and vegetables are usually recommended. If organic produce isn’t available, practitioners suggest peeling the skin off fruits and vegetables or washing vegetables with a non-toxic produce cleaner, usually available at health food stores.
●Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables are preferred, but if unavailable, practitioners suggest buying it from the health food store or juice bar as fresh as possible.
●Green vegetables and sprouts contain the pigment chlorophyll, which juice proponents believe are especially beneficial during a juice fast.
●A combination of fruits and vegetables is recommended.
●Variations on the strict juice fast include eating one meal a day in addition to the juice.
●Take a mineral supplement. Many people prefer liquid mineral supplements. People with heart or kidney disease should not take mineral supplements without consulting a qualified health care provider.
●Certain fruits and vegetables and their parts should not be juiced, such as the pits of peaches, apricots, cherries, and other fruits, apple seeds, citrus peels, carrot and rhubarb tops, tough skins (such as kiwi, pineapple, mangoes), and bananas and avocados.
Apple Cider Vinegar
: Apple cider vinegar is extracted from apples then naturally fermented. The resulting natural vinegar is believed to have many health effects and contains trace minerals, enzymes, and beneficia bacteria.
Molasses is the by-product of sugar refining that contains all the nutrients from the raw sugar cane plant. Of the varieties of molasses, blackstrap molasses is richest in nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, calcium and potassium. It has a slightly bitter flavour, so use it sparingly. Start with 1 teaspoon mixed into a glass of juice or shake.
Carob can be used as a substitute for cocoa and chocolate. It does not contain caffeine and is lower in fat. Unlike cocoa, it does not need extra sugar. You can start with 1 teaspoon of powdered carob in a glass of juice or shake.
Wheatgrass is a common juicing ingredient. Grown from the seeds of the wheat plant, it is high in chlorophyll, beta carotene, antioxidants and a good source of protein. Wheatgrass has a strong flavor. Start with no more than 2 to 3 tablespoons of wheatgrass per day, as suddenly introducing large amounts can cause nausea and diarrhea.
Propolis is a sticky resin collected from the cones of evergreen trees. It is a tonic that can be used to help strengthen the immune system. A common amount to blend into drinks is 1 teaspoon.
Psyllium add bulk to stools, helping to ease their passage through the intestines. Start with 1 teaspoon of psyllium mixed into a full glass of water or juice. It is imperative that psyllium be taken with at least 8 glasses of fluids per day to prevent bowel obstruction.
Wheatgerm is a good source of vitamin E. It can be stirred into juice or added to smoothies. Add 1 tablespoon per glass of juice or shake.
Alfalfa sprouts and other sprouts are high in vitamins, iron, antioxidants, and enzymes. You can grow them easily at home by the window. To juice, wrap them in leafy green vegetables before feeding them into the tube.
Small amounts of honey can be used to sweeten the juice of bitter vegetables. Honey is rich in vitamins and other nutrients. It is also an antimicrobial. Honey should not be given to infants.
Breaking the juice fast
Proponents of fasting recommend gradually introducing solid foods back into the diet to avoid adverse reactions.
When introducing solid foods back into the diet:
●Chew food well so it is more easily digested
●Note food reactions to introduced foods, such as energy loss, digestion problems, cravings, and other symptoms.
●Transition to a healthy long-term diet.
●Try new, healthy foods.
Example of a seven day plan to gradually reintroduce solid food into your diet:
•Day 1 – Two pieces of fruit–each piece divided in half so there are four servings for that day.
•Day 2 – Lightly steamed non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach.
•Day 3 – Brown rice, fresh salad.
•Day 4 – Organic yogurt, unflavored and unsweetened. Eggs.
•Day 5 – Meat, chicken, fish, tofu, if eaten.
•Day 6 – Beans, other grains may be introduced, if eaten.
•Day 7 – Other foods, as desired.