Our western culture has often ignored the practice of fasting, but we find it often in different parts of the world and even animals practice it. Fasting is the voluntary act of abstaining from food and/or liquid for a given amount of time for health-related, spiritual, or political reasons.
Fasting for 1–3 days can have positive effects, such as increasing immune health, disease prevention, mental clarity, and improving digestive health. It gives the digestive system a break and allows toxins to be eliminated. The energy that is normally used for digestion can be used for healing and repairing damaged tissues.
Many benefits can be obtained from juice or vegetable fasts. Juice or vegetable fasts provide concentrated nutrients and can be used for short periods of 1–3 days for detoxification. Fruit and vegetable fasts restrict all foods except fruits and vegetables— which are high in nutrients— and allow digestion to rest and detoxification to occur. A mono diet, such as a rice fast or a diet of only one type of vegetable, where only one food is consumed will give the digestive system a rest while supplying necessary nutrition.
If you want to explore fasting, choose intermittent fasting. Take one day a week when you give your digestion a rest by drinking only fresh vegetable juices with water and clear broths. Or you can fast for 12–16 hours: Eat the last meal at 8:00 p.m. and drink only water until 12:00 noon the next day. Just as we sleep to rest, so does the digestive system benefit from a rest.
If you experience reactive hypoglycemia (habitual low energy up to 4 hours after a meal), fasting is not right for you, yet. Spend several months restoring your blood glucose handling before embarking on fasting.
Fasting is contraindicated during pregnancy and nursing, and for those with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, elevated fevers, and those on medication. People with anorexia nervosa should not fast. It is important to transition slowly into the fast and out of the fast. Limit any fast to 2–3 days.
Do not use water-only fasts. Water fasts eliminate all food and liquids other than water from the diet. They are generally ill advised for mental or physical health.
A Carrot, Beet, Apple, Celery Juice Fast for 1-3 days is an energizing and liver cleansing fast.
Make 4 ounces of Carrot Juice add 2 ounces each of Apple, Beet and Celery. Drink 4-6 glasses a day. As you drink it let it swish around in the mouth “chewing’ in the juice and pulp before each swallow.