These days, it seems everyone is talking about juice fasts. From weight loss to purging unhealthy chemicals to clearing out the digestive system, there are plenty of reasons people choose to juice fast.
While most of us are not exactly enchanted with the idea of giving up their favorite foods for extended periods, we all want to be healthier, and the health benefits of juice fasting are quite enticing.
For first-timers, doing a juice fast can be a little bit intimidating. So, with that in mind, we decided to give our readers some tips for juice fasting.
What Type of Juicer Is Best?
If you’ve shopped for juicers, you’ve probably noticed that there is a wide variety of models available, at many different price points. So, which one should you choose?
Well, to start, there are a couple of different types. Centrifugal juicers are fast, easy to use, and generally less expensive than the masticating variety. They leave something to be desired in the efficiency department, as they don’t wring every last bit of juice out of your vegetables, though, especially when it comes to leafy greens such as kale and chard. They have also been criticized for the fact that the heat produced by their blades destroys beneficial enzymes.
On the other end are masticating (or cold-press) juicers. This type of juicer tends to be more costly to purchase than the centrifugal type, and takes more time to use. But, it yields more juice from each vegetable, and gives off less nutrient-compromising heat.
If you plan on juicing often, it may be wise to invest in a higher-end model, but if you’re on a budget, any juicer that fits your price range and garners high praise from users should do nicely.
How Should You Prepare?
While some folks dive right into juice fasting, others may find it beneficial to ease off their vices for a few days prior to fasting. Coffee, alcohol, and sugar withdrawals make fasting more stressful, so getting them out of the way beforehand is often a good idea.
You may also want to consider only eating raw fruits and vegetables before taking the plunge, as doing so will give your body time to adjust.
What Should You Juice?
The best fruits and vegetables for juice fasting are those that are dense and have lots of water in their composition. Beets, apples, ginger, cucumbers, chard and celery are all excellent choices. If you’re using a centrifugal juicer, try sandwiching leafy greens between denser ingredients, as compressing them can help maximize their juice yield.
And, speaking of water, make sure to get plenty of it while on your juice fast. Staying hydrated will help your body purge the toxins expelled by juice fasting.
How Long Should You Fast?
While juice fasts of 60 days or more have been done, it is probably smart to limit your first foray into juice fasting to a few days or so. Making enough juice to supply your body with adequate calories is rather labor intensive, so it may be best to start with a 3 day weekend fast, until you get the routine down.
Ending Your Fast
When you’ve reached the end of your fast, you might be tempted to head down to your favorite Italian joint and reward yourself for having such discipline. But, it’s far better to ease your body back into eating solid foods, first. Stick to raw fruits, veggies, and nuts for a couple of days.
Also, don’t be surprised if post-fast, you’re not as tempted to indulge in some of your less-healthy favorites. Many juice-fasting aficionados cite increased awareness of healthy eating as one of the chief benefits of juice fasting.
[Photo Credit: livinggreenmag]