It's still important to eat plenty of necessary fiber found in legumes, whole grains, and whole fruits and vegetables. Juicing releases the nutrients from the fiber of the juice, allowing you to drink vitamins and minerals that would not otherwise be absorbed by the body, and leaves the fiber behind.
It's also important to start slowly when juicing as your body is not accustomed to digesting such a concentrated forms of vegetable nutrients and fruit sugars. It's also not generally recommended that you drink juice with a meal; you should drink your juice between meals or have juice as a meal, such as drinking fresh juice for breakfast. If you do decide to do a juice fast (which can be very healthy for you) it is best to see a physician first to make sure there are not any health issues that would be complicated by such a fast.
Juice Fasts Are Not Recommended
I honestly think that fasting should not be done with juice, but rather water. There is a helpful book called Fasting and Eating for Health- A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease by Joel Fuhrman, M.D. that outlines great results through fasting and nutritional changes. To summarize, the book explains that the body reacts against unwanted invaders such as a virus, bacteria and toxins by attempting to attack them and remove them from the body. In these cases, the body reacts with inflammation in a variety of body parts but particularly affected are the skin (through rashes) and the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, sinuses, lungs, vagina and rectum.
Why fasting? Simply put, it allows your body to detoxify and heal on a level that it cannot when you are eating food because when you eat your body is always applying that cellular energy to digesting and processing food rather than being able to completely heal your body especially with health issues like autoimmune diseases, leaky gut, migraines, heart disease and more. When the body is allowed to put cellular efforts elsewhere it is able to heal itself.
Dr. Fuhrman recommends only water during a fast as anything else (such a juice, herbs, vitamins) will keep the body from completely fulfilling the process where the body is able to deplete glycogen reserves and allow the liver to produce large quantities of ketones which simply put helps breakdown fatty tissue and remove atheromas and toxins in the body which may spark reactions like generalized vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis.
His fasting recommendations are 48 hours for women and 72 hours for men while drinking only water during the fast. It is not recommended to fast longer than this unless you are under the care of a physician so that they can determine how your body is handling the fast. However, we always recommend first discussing this with your doctor as some people should not fast unless supervised by their doctor such as AIDS patients. Dr. Fuhrman's book does indicate that some of the more severe cases can fast for 3-5 weeks drinking a minimum of a quart of water per day to see results, but again, this must be doctor supervised. The good news is that these healing results have been shown to be permanent after a fast.
If you decide you want to fast, we recommend that you have a plan in place before you begin. This means, discussing this with your doctor, having someone who can monitor you if you need help, making sure that you are able to rest during a fast and that you restrict your activity. Finally we recommend that you have a nutritionally dense diet planned that you follow up with after the fast. It is important that you do not return to eating large amounts right away, that you avoid salt, spicy foods and other things that may upset your stomach after a fast. Having a few bites of watermelon or sipping on a green smoothie are examples of what may be best to start with after a fast.
Many juicing enthusiasts, like Jay Kordich (The Juiceman), have some amazing stories to tell about how juicing saved their lives. The movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead with Joe Cross is another fantastic example of the health benefits. You'll find that juicing recipes often have specific purposes, such as to give you more energy, improve your memory, or generally improve your health. However, you can get more benefits from blending and eating your food.
I used recipes from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's various books such as the Eat to Live Cookbook, but I also make my own. I feel a difference in my energy levels, and my skin, hair and nails have never been in better shape! I am totally smitten with my blender and it is now a big part of my daily life. Should you decide to try juicing you will have to find the right juicer for your needs, and I found that the Breville juicers that they use in the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead seem to be well rated. I personally have the Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer which I find really gets so much more juice out of leafy vegetables than any of the others that I have tried.
The general approach to healthy eating is making sure to eat nutrient dense foods to provide your body with the fuel it needs to not just survive but thrive. The most honest, fact and science based books that we recommend are any of those written by Joel Fuhrman M.D. We recommend the book Super Immunity for those looking to improve their health and Eat to Live and The End of Dieting for those looking to improve health and lose weight. There is also a great cookbook that he has (although there are recipes in the back of most of his books) called The Eat to Live Cookbook. Those who are familiar with Dr. Fuhrman's work know he calls eating this way being a nutritarian and primarily recommends eating greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds or as he likes to use the acronym - GBOMBS.
Another author we highly recommend is Michael Greger, M.D. whose book How Not To Die is exceptional and quite informative. He also has a great website called nutritionfacts.org for nutritional information.
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