So you want to try juice fasting

Can you live for several days on just fruit and vegetable juice? And do you really want to?

By Andrew Brusnahan

Fruit and veggies waiting to be juiced

Fruit and veggies ready to be juiced
Photo with permission of Darcy Williamson,
From the Forest.

There are many reasons why you might want to try a juice fast. In my case, I was looking for an easy way to shed a few pounds. A juice fast will certainly help you lose weight, but a more important benefit is that it will detoxify your body. Living in a world of readily available processed foods leads us to make poor dietary choices, and a period of detoxification can be of great benefit.

What exactly is a juice fast?

When you undergo a juice fast, you consume nothing but fruit juice, vegetable juice and water. This is usually done for two or three days - sometimes more - and repeated every two or three months.

Experts believe that both fruit and vegetables should be involved in the fast, rather than just one or other of them. This helps ensure that the body receives a sustainable amount of the nutrients that it needs. Organic fruits and vegetables are, of course, the best option as these contain no pesticides or other contaminants. Moreover, the best time to begin a juice fast is in the spring and summer, and this is when the largest selection of fresh fruits and vegetables are available.

Most advocates of the juice fast will prepare most of their juice from green vegetables. These are generally considered to be the most beneficial. Cabbage, kale, beets, greens, carrots, spinach, apples, bananas, pineapples, and celery are all great choices for juicing. But there's really no limit to what you can blend.

Equipment

Of course, you will need the right equipment. A dedicated juicer is probably the best option, but if you are on a tight budget, you might prefer not to buy a new piece of equipment just for this one purpose. A blender can also be used, but the demands of pulverizing tough, leafy vegetables may be too much for it.

When I was fasting, I used a KitchenAid blender. It had no trouble turning those delicious fruits and vegetables into smooth, rich juice; I suppose KitchenAid parts are just tougher than others. If your budget allows for it, go for a juicer as you can be assured it will get the job done.

Limitations

While a juice fast provides numerous health benefits, it's not the right choice for everyone, and some precautions are necessary.

First and foremost, you should avoid fasting if you're pregnant. You need all the nutrients you can get because you are eating for two. For the same reason, a juice fast is not recommended for women who are nursing.

Those with diabetes, anemia, epilepsy, and other serious ailments should also avoid fasting, or at least get the approval of a medical professional beforehand. You should also consult a medical professional if you take any prescription drugs as fasting might interfere with their action.

If you decide that a juice fast is for you, do your research. Go online and see for yourself just what's involved. You'll also find a huge variety of recipes for fruit and vegetable juices. You'll need to try a few of these to find the ones you like: some of them will be heavenly, but some will be frankly disgusting.

When done carefully, the advantages of a juice-only regime can be substantial. So dust down the juicer or blender, stock up on fresh fruit and veggies, and experiment with some juicing recipes. You'll soon be reaping the benefits of this cleansing and detoxifying fast.

September 2011

Please note: Neither Veg World nor its contributors are qualified to give medical or nutritional advice. If in doubt, always consult a suitably-qualified professional.

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