A juice fast is a good way to get rid of harmful toxins that have accumulated within the body over the years. It also replenishes the body with vital nutrients that help to increase the cell functions. As a result, one can feel better and have more energy.
Another benefit of a juice fast is that it gives the digestive system a break, which can help to clear up many digestive problems. Instead of focusing on digesting food, it allows the system to focus on eliminating toxins.
Toxins contribute to many health problems including fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and brain fog as well as to serious diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Arthritis. There is much evidence to suggests that most diseases are caused primarily by an overload of toxins. Therefore, doing an occasional juice fast can help to eliminate those toxins so that common ailments and serious diseases can be prevented.
Tips on How to Prepare for the Fast, and What to Expect During and After the Fast
Before starting on a juice fast, it is important to prepare the mind and body for the fast. This can be done through dietary changes and meditation.
The preparation should begin about a week or two prior to the juice fast. If it is your first fast, you should plan it on a weekend or during a time when you won’t have to go to work or participate in social groups. This will allow you to rest your mind and body so that the healing can take place at a deeper level, which is what a juice fast is all about.
The next step is to eliminate all or at least most of the toxic foods and other substances that are toxic to the body. This will begin the cleansing process, which will make the fast a lot easier and safer to do.
Among the list of things to eliminate are processed foods containing artificial ingredients, animal foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes.
Ideally, you should eliminate the intake of all toxins at least a week prior to the fast. As important as that is, however, it is just as important that you eliminate the foods at your own pace. Therefore, you might want to begin making changes several weeks prior to the juice fast. This will give your body a chance to gradually adjust to the new dietary changes, thus making the detox symptoms less severe. If the detox symptoms, such as headaches and fatigue, become too severe, then you know that you are detoxing too fast, and you need to slow it down a notch.
Instead of just focusing on eliminating foods, you should also focus on introducing new foods to your diet as you still need to maintain a healthy food intake. The best foods to add in are raw plant-based foods because they are high in fiber and other nutrients that will begin to clean the digestive tract of any harmful accumulations. This preparation allows the cleaning action to take place at a much deeper level once you begin the juice fast.
What to Consume During a Juice Fast
It is important to consume plenty of fluids during the juice fast in order to help the body to expel toxins more efficiently. These fluids should primarily consist of freshly made fruit and vegetable juices, however, other liquids, such as herbal teas, water and lemon water are also encouraged.
Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, are discouraged as they not only stimulate the body, but they are also dehydrating. For someone who is battling candida, parasites or any other type of fungal infection should also refrain from fruit juices as they are high in sugars that will feed the infection. In this case, green vegetable juices are the best option.
The goal of a juice fast is to purge the body of as many toxins as possible. Therefore, any fruit or vegetable juices that are not freshly made, such as those found at the grocery store, should also be avoided. The reason for this is that they usually contain preservatives and other food additives that are toxic to the body.
Another few things that can be taking during a juice fast are vitamins and extra fiber. Vitamins will help to ensure that the body still gets its nutrients, however, they are not that important because you will be getting plenty of them from the juice. Fiber, on the other hand, is very important because the juice is stripped of all the fiber. Therefore, a natural fiber, such as psyllium, should be taken in order to clean the digestive tract of any debris that would otherwise remain. The psyllium can be added to warm water, tea or even to the juice.
What to Expect During the Fast
The first three days are always the most difficult because the body is trying to adjust to the new changes. If you are new to fasting, you will experience immense hunger because the stomach doesn’t know what is happening and therefore keeps calling for food. A juice fast, however, is not about starving yourself, but rather about cleansing and nourishing the body. Therefore, it is important to drink as much fresh juice and water in order to satisfy the hunger. In some cases the stomach will continue to growl no matter what you do, but if you can stick it out it will get better.
The first three days is also the time when the detox symptoms are the worst, which can be negative emotions of anger, sadness or other emotional upsets. Physical symptoms, such as headaches and other aches and pains are also common. The more toxic you are, the worse the symptoms will be.
If it is your first fast, you might not be able to fast for more than a day, especially if you are very toxic. The key is to listen to your body and stop the fast when the fatigue or other detox symptoms become too severe. If dizziness occurs, you need to stop the fast immediately, even if you have only fasted for a day or two.
If you have difficulties fasting for a day, you can start the fast after lunch on the first day and then fast until lunch on the second day. This way the digestive system still gets a 24 hour break, but it is much easier on the body.
The fourth day is usually when the strength and energy levels begin to return. The hunger usually disappears for the most part because the stomach has adjusted to not receiving anything solid. If you can make it this far you will begin to feel more like yourself again. On some days you might even have moments where you have more energy than ever before. However, you will still have periods or even days when the hunger and detox symptoms return.
If the symptoms are not too severe, then you should welcome them because they are a sign that toxins are leaving. However, if they get to the point where you cannot handle them or once you begin to get weak and dizzy, you should stop the fast immediately.
A juice fast can last anywhere from a day to 40 days depending on how well your body responds to it. The longer you fast, the more beneficial it will be. Also, the more often that you fast, the easier it will get.
Should You Exercise?
Although exercise is important for good health, it is not recommended during a juice fast. You can, however, engage in light yoga and other meditation exercises to calm the mind and body. If you have the strength and energy, you can also go for walks. But any type of vigorous exercise is discouraged at this time.
Breaking the Juice Fast
It is absolutely crucial that you break the fast with care in order to maintain the benefits of the fast. If you are new to fasting, you might get the urge to go and eat all your favorite foods, however, that is the worst thing that you can do for your body at this time because it needs time to readjust again. The longer you fasted, the longer it takes for the body to readjust. Therefore, food should be introduced to the body gradually and in small meals until it gets accustomed to digesting it again.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you fasted for 10 days, then you will need about 5 days wherein you eat your foods in small portions. If you fasted for 20 days then you would need about 10 days before you can eat normal again, and so on. During this time of readjusting to food you should avoid anything that is hard to digest, such as animal products, high-fat foods or highly processed foods. Ideally you should refrain from highly processed foods altogether after the fast as they will only cause the toxins to build up again.
Another good rule to follow is to not eat unless you are hungry. If you eat too much or eat at times when you are not hungry, it puts the strain on the digestive system. As a result, the juice fast will not be as beneficial.
When Should You Fast
It is recommended to do anywhere between a 10 to 40 day juice fast at least once or twice a year. This simply allows the body to rest and rejuvenate itself in order to become stronger and live longer. The time of year is not important as long as the fast is carried out.
If you are in tune with your body, then it will let you know when to begin and end a fast. Once your energy levels begin to decrease or you begin to feel discomforts or pain anywhere in the body, then you can know that it is time for a fast.
You can also set aside a day each week for a one-day fast. This type of fast will allow your system to rest for a day in which it can somewhat cleanse itself.
Who Should Not do a Juice Fast
Although a juice fast can do great wonders in the body, it is not suitable for everyone. Those who are pregnant and nursing should not engage in such a fast. The same goes for individuals who suffer from diabetes, anemia or heart problems. The elderly and those taking any kind of prescriptions should also speak to a trusted health care provider before engaging in a juice fast.