Fasting is beneficial in aiding the body in the release of toxins. Periodically a build up of toxins occur and eventually the body needs to rid itself of them. Toxins are caused by a number of elements, some being, pollutants in the air and chemicals in the foods and water we consume. When the toxins are released from the tissue they enter the blood stream causing the body to enter a low cycle. During this low cycle the body can experience various side effects like headaches, diarrhea and even depression. Fasting allows this process to go more quickly. The body works hard to digest food, so relieving it of that process allows it to send more energy to the immune system, which gives it the ability to disencumber the toxins with greater ease.
Regular fasting also gives the organs a chance to rest, which helps reverse the aging process. During a fast the natural process of toxin excretion continues and the influx is reduced causing an over all lower level of toxicity. The immune system's workload is reduced and also the digestive track is freed from any inflammation that may occur from the intake of certain foods.
Proper and regular fasting can offer an over all feeling of well - being as it cleanses the liver, kidneys and colon. It purifies the blood; helps in the loss of excess water, can clear the eyes and the tongue for a cleaner breath.
However, even with all the benefits of a fast, there are certain precautions that should be followed. Pregnant and lactating women should never fast. And a fast that is longer than 3 days should be done with supervision of a health care specialist. Also, if you have any health concerns you should consult your doctor before beginning any fasting program. It is also recommend that you do not do a water only fast, because the toxins will be released too quickly and cause you to feel the side effects more prominently. It is best to do juice fast.
For a 3 day fast, it is important to prepare your body for the fast by eating raw vegetables only, for about two days. This will lessen the shock to system. During the fast it is important to continue to drink at least 8 ounces of water, along with 100% fruit juices. Avoid juices with added sweeteners, tomato and orange juice. Some recommended juices are lemon, apple, beet, carrot, celery, grape and drinks made from green leafy vegetables. It is also important to drink 2 to 3 cups of herbal tea each day as well.
After the 3 day fast you should again eat only raw vegetables for two days. The meals should also be frequent and small, since the stomach size may be smaller and the secretion of digestive juices may have decreased.
If during your fast you feel the need to eat, try to eat grapes, watermelon or applesauce. If you have hyperglycemia you should also take a protein supplement.
Be sure when fasting that you can get adequate rest, avoid alcohol and above all you should consult with your physician to confirm that fasting is right for you.
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© Melt Magazine 2003