What is Juice Fasting?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

People can embark on a detox fasting program for a variety of health reasons. A juice fast, or an exclusive short-term diet of raw fruit and vegetable juices, can be completed to help detoxify the body. Supporters of juice fasting claim that it is a superior way to provide the body with vitamins and minerals, and that as the body wastes no energy on digesting food, it uses energy instead on healing.

Cranberry juice can be used in a juice fast.
Cranberry juice can be used in a juice fast.

Fasting with a juice cleansing diet is usually completed in one to three days. Longer fasts may have serious side effects, such as nutritional deficiencies, and should be supervised by a doctor if done at all. The fast often consists of drinking 32 to 64 ounces (one to two liters)of juice daily. Several different types of juice can be used, including fresh spinach, kale, beet, celery, apple, cabbage, carrot, and cranberry. Citrus fruits are usually not used in juice fasting.

A glass of prune juice.
A glass of prune juice.

Along with the juices used, participants may drink up to six glasses of water. According to detox juice drinkers, the water should be filtered and at room temperature. When juice fasting, solid foods are not permitted. This type of detox fasting is considered a radical or extreme diet for this reason. While other forms of fasting permit certain solid foods, liquid fasting only allows fasting tea or any other fasting drink considered pure.

Wheatgrass and other green juices are often consumed during a juice fast.
Wheatgrass and other green juices are often consumed during a juice fast.

Prior to juice fasting, people reduce or eliminate many unhealthful practices and lifestyle choices from their lives. These may include the removal of cigarettes, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, meat, caffeine, wheat, or sugar. A preparation diet is typically eaten before juice fasting can begin. This diet consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Practitioners of the diet maintain that organic foods should be used during this preparatory period.

Prior to juice fasting, it is important to eliminate unhealthy practices, such as cigarette smoking.
Prior to juice fasting, it is important to eliminate unhealthy practices, such as cigarette smoking.

Benefits of fasting are many, according to proponents who support the practice. Weight loss, eliminating unhealthy habits, and healing certain ailments are some of these reported benefits. Though some people use juice fasting to heal serious ailments such as cancer, severe infections, depression, autoimmune diseases and other chronic conditions, studies remain inconclusive on whether or not fasting actually helps these conditions. Some people also undergo religious fasting for spiritual purposes.

Beat juice is a popular healthy juice.
Beat juice is a popular healthy juice.

In addition to nutrition deficiencies, many other fasting dangers exist. Juice fasting can cause negative reactions with prescription drugs. It can also reduce the amount of blood protein in the body. Side effects may include hunger, acne, low blood pressure, diarrhea, headaches, weight loss, vomiting, body odor, constipation, dehydration, fatigue, bad breath, dizziness, kidney issues, and hypoglycemia. If these or other side effects occur, the diet should cease and a physician should be contacted immediately.

Women who are pregnant or nursing and children should refrain from this type of diet. Juice fasting is not recommended for people whom have recently undergone a surgical procedure. Other people who should not detoxify in this manner include those with low blood sugar, cancer, epilepsy, kidney disease, malnutrition, eating disorders, anemia, addictions, or other chronic illnesses. A medical professional should be consulted prior to completing this type of diet.

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is a potential side effect of juice fasting.
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is a potential side effect of juice fasting.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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