So many of us are steadily killing ourselves with the food that we eat day-in and day-out. It’s not as simple as singling out the fast food restaurants, or even making a correlation between obesity and income, but it goes much deeper than that. By the time that most of our food hits our dining room table, it has been processed and corrupted to such a degree that much of the nutrients found in its original state are gone!
That is one of the reasons why many people are choosing to go on a juice fast.
The Benefits Of A Juice Fast
Keep in mind that these benefits are still there even if you choose to only juice once a day, instead of replacing all of your meals.
Juicing Helps You To Consume A Lot Of Vegetables And Fruits
The typical American diet doesn’t contain nearly enough fruits and vegetables. With our busy schedules, love of sugar and salt, and the convenience of fast food, there is no way that most of us can fit in the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables!
However, with juicing you are able to consume a large amount of vegetables in each meal. This is what my wife and I split today for “dinner” (this is an approximation) – 3 carrots, 2 1/2 apples, 1 beet (with stalk), 1 huge piece of broccoli (I had to cut it in fours to fit in the juicer), about 1/2 handful of parsley, 5 stalks of celery, a couple of large leaves of spinach, 1/3 of a lemon, and some ginger. I seriously doubt that we could have eaten all of that – especially since I probably couldn’t stand the taste of some of those things on their own.
By juicing everything, we were able to drink about 16 ounces (it’s usually 12, but I guess I went overboard on something today) of liquid and get all of the benefits of eating half of everything listed above! Do that for a few times a day, and you can imagine the health benefits of consuming that much healthy food – especially if you are like me and have eaten junk for most of your life.
Fruits And Vegetables Contain Needed Micro Nutrients
Vegetables and fruit contain so many micro nutrients – vitamins and minerals – that are not found in other foods. I am sure that many of us are walking around with various vitamin and mineral deficiencies – which can lead to all sorts of illnesses, conditions, and chronic diseases.
One of the benefits of doing a juice fast is that we not only give our body a break from all of the garbage which we normally consume, but we also feed our bodies with large doses of what our bodies have been missing for most of our lives. In fact, many people see certain conditions reverse or completely go away after a prolonged juice fast!
People lose weight, see their various health measures (blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) go down, have many of their organs return to normal function, and even stop taking prescription medications. Of course, this isn’t a guaranteed benefit, but I can guarantee that it won’t happen if we don’t drastically increase our intake of healthy foods!
A Juice Fast Can Give Your Body A Rest
Ok, so that doesn’t sound too technical, does it? But it is important to realize how much our diets can tax our various organs. Eating large amounts of certain foods can cause our liver, kidneys, pancreas, intestines, and other organs to work harder than normal, or become overrun with toxins. Especially if we eat these things every day!
By only consuming vegetables and fruits, you give these organs a chance to return to their natural state. This is why having all of those micro nutrients is so important. They help our body to heal itself from everything that we put it through with our normal diets.
A Juice Fast May Help You Better Plan Your Meals And Calories
Once you start juicing, you will see that there is a vast amount of fruits and vegetables from which you can choose. However, this doesn’t mean that you can simple pile a bunch of vegetables into a juicer and everything will be fine. Do this, and you run the risk of depriving your body of many micro (and macro) nutrients!
You will have to carefully plan your “meals” so that you are getting the largest benefit. This is really how we should think about food in general. It is fuel for our body, and different cells/systems require different nutrients; so we must be sure to feed each cell/system what it needs each day.
As you will see below, fruits and vegetables alone are not enough to fuel your body for long periods of time. Becoming meticulous with your juicing plan can actually help you become a more focus eater overall.
What To Be Careful Of When Doing A Juice Fast
Even though there are a lot of benefits with juicing, there are a couple of things that you need to watch for if you plan to do an actual fast.
Missing Important Macro Nutrients
Our bodies need fat, carbohydrates, and protein in order to function properly. Keep in mind that the typical vegetables and fruits that are used for juicing do not contain a lot of fat or protein. This may make it difficult for your body to function properly, unless you are making up for this somehow.
For instance, your muscles need protein in order to repair themselves (especially after a workout) and grow stronger. Having a diet that is extremely low in protein can make it difficult for your muscles to grow, and you may even have muscles loss, depending on your amount of strength training, and exercise.
Fat is also extremely important for our brain function, and it also helps us to absorb certain micro nutrients. So if you aren’t eating enough fat, you may not get the full benefits of juicing.
The point is that you need to find somewhat of a balance, even when you are going on a juice fast.
It Requires A Real Commitment
Since fresh vegetable juice will not last long, you need to be able to juice for each meal. You will not be able to get all of your juicing done for a day or two in one shot. The longer you allow the juice to sit (even in the refrigerator), the more the nutrients begin to oxidize and break down, and you also give bacteria a chance to form.
Since fresh fruit and vegetables are perishable, you will only be able to buy enough for a few days at a time. This means going to the market at least 2 times a week to pick fresh produce.
You also have to make sure that you clean your juicer immediately after using it. You don’t want that bacteria to form on your juicer! Also, certain vegetables can easily stain your appliances (especially beets and carrots), so you have to be sure to do a complete clean up after each use.
***If you have any health conditions for which you are under the care of a doctor, you really need to consult them before doing a juice fast (or making any other dramatic changes in your diet)!
I have seen a number of juicers in action at our local Costco, in the kitchen of friends, and even those hard-to-believe infomercials, and I must say that our juicer is the best that I’ve seen. It has a ridiculously powerful motor, and it can handle anything that you can throw at it. Seriously, we have yet to put anything into this machine that has given it a hard time!
It has a large opening so that you can put in 3 or 4 medium-sized carrots or celery stalks at once, you can put in medium-sized apples whole, as well as beets, ginger, or anything else that gives other juicers trouble.
It is even easy to clean up! We just line the large basket with a plastic bag, and all of the pulp goes into the bag and gets thrown out after we are done. Everything else can be rinsed off and then quickly washed in with warm, soapy water. The metal mesh filter is the only part that needs a little more work – we simply scrub it with a soapy vegetable brush until all of the holes are free of particles.
Here is the unit on Amazon:
It has 4.5 stars on close to 400 reviews! We use this multiple times on some days, and it just keeps coming back for more.
photo credit(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- If you have ever had fresh vegetable/fruit juice, did the taste shock you at first – especially when compared to the processed, sugary stuff in the stores?
- If you have ever done a juice fast, how long did you go, and what were your goals & results?
- For anyone who has ever done a prolonged juice fast, how did you make sure that your body received enough protein and fat?
© 2012, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.