What is Juice Fasting?
Juice fasting is the choice to abstain from food for a period of days and instead consume healthy, vegetable based juices. Choosing to juice helps your body to pre-digest nutrients in the food, which increases absorption and gives your digestion a rest.
Normally we recommend juicing with organic vegetables and the addition of lemon juice and root ginger or turmeric can also enhance the flavour and provide additional health benefits. Sometimes a minimal amount of fruit is also added to these juices from apples and pears. This is particularly useful for those new to juice fasting and adjusting to the new flavours.
Benefits of juice fasting
Observations from human research substantiate that intermittent or periodic fasting helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, fasting has the potential to delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases while minimising the side effects caused by chronic dietary interventions.Juice fasting brings a multitude of health benefits including:
- Weight loss
- Improved digestion
- Regular bowel movements
- Reduction of IGF1 levels
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces impact of oxidative stress
- Improves mitochondrial energy production
- Increases longevity as part of a healthy lifestyle
Types of Juice Fasting
Juices with vegetables only (fructose free)
Drinking freshly made organic vegetable juices. This can just be green vegetables, such as cucumbers, courgettes or spinach. Beetroot and carrots have a modicum of fructose (natural sugars). Although breaking down these sugars adds a minimal load to the liver, these vegetables have high levels of beta-carotene which offer exceptional health benefits to the mucus membranes in the eyes, lungs and gut.
This is normally for the more experienced faster only. Water fasting has to be done carefully and is not for everyone. A high degree of supervision is required for water fasting and our Doctor and naturopathic health team will assess if this is suitable for you or not.
Juices with some fruits like apples & pears or beetroot & carrots
For newbie fasters having a juice supplemented with some fruits, like apple and pears, which are high in fructose, can be a very gentle start. Often people starting on this move to vegetable juicing after a few days.
There is another option we commonly recommend, which is a mixture of juices, smoothies and soups. It’s all liquid but does include some fibre. This simple addition can really support someone for whom who we think the slight stress of fasting could be detrimental. Often this is appropriate for clients who have fatigue, where we’re trying to detox them and nourish them at the same time.
Recently popularised by Dr Michael Mosley who introduced the 5:2 diet. Intermittent fasting is juicing or reducing calories for 2 days per week. This is often a better option for people with particular medical conditions or/and for newbie fasters.
Fasting effects biochemical changes within the body.
Some of the major changes that occur are:
Reductions in IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1)
IGF-1 has a growth promoting effect on your body. High levels have been associated with cancer and accelerated ageing.
Increase in ketone bodies
These are the chemicals that the body uses to break down fat for energy in the absence of sugar.
Decrease in insulin
Overproduction of insulin can de-sensitise the cells and lead to Type II diabetes.
Decrease in glucose
Too much glucose (sugar) increases your risk for heart disease, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome and Type II diabetes
How long should I juice fast?
If desired, or needed, you can juice fast for a long period of time. It is possible to juice fast for up to 60 days, although we do not recommend such an extremity of time. Most fasters tend to juice fast for 7-21 days at a time.
When juice fasting, depending on the individual, it may be necessary to supplement the juices with some additional protein, in order to support the liver. Protein provides amino acids that are used by the liver to enhance the detoxification process.
Who should juice fast?
Juice fasting is not for everyone. About 70% of our clients at Amchara juice fast but 30% eat, as they either need to have food for medical reasons or they prefer to eat freshly prepared organic food from our chefs, usually raw or vegan.
Whichever food source you choose, at Amchara we provide a nurturing, supportive environment where skilled practitioners supervise you during your stay and your fast.
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How does it work?
Our bodies burn a large proportion of its energy on digestion. Of the many bodily processes we perform daily, this process alone requires 10% of our total energy for the average person. When we juice fast, the body is relieved of this requirement and more energy can be diverted to other needs.
Having the fibre removed by juicing vegetables means that the pure goodness of the juice is easily absorbed by the body and all the beneficial nutrients are readily available to be utilised by the relevant cells.
Our body is naturally trying to detoxify all the time via the main detoxification organs. Unwanted toxins are eliminated via the colon, liver, kidneys, lungs and the lymphatic system.
Juice fasting reduces the stress on the body’s detoxification processes, allowing it to naturally reduce our overall toxicity level. This process enhances our own repair and healing mechanisms, restoring the body to its normal function.
Scientific studies have shown that fasting for more than 4-days stimulates a healing process in the body via a reduction in oxidative damage and inflammation, optimisation of energy metabolism, and bolstering of cellular protection. When we fast, our cells change from 'divide mode' to 'repair mode'.
Key ingredients for juice fasting include: