15 פבר Juice & Juice Fasts – for Detoxification, Recovery & Rejuvenation
By Zvika Koren – Nutritionist, Juice Fast Facilitator
Throughout our lives, our bodies absorb and store contaminants and poisons, both from our own internal sources (natural metabolism; anger, pressure and tension), but also from multiple external and environmental factors: air and water pollution, smoking, pesticides on foods, heavy metals, food coloring, artificial sweeteners, medications and more.
The poisons and chemicals are stored in the liver, making it harder for the liver to function in neutralizing poisons and contaminants, and in creating vital elements for the body (protein, enzymes and more.) In addition, this causes a hormonal reduction, resulting in reduced functioning of the thyroid gland, which is responsible for correct metabolism.
The first thing we must do is to examine how we can reduce poison intake into our bodies. We then need to take steps to clean out accumulated poisons, while at the same time, understanding that we must make nutritional and dietary changes so as to maintain what we have already achieved in poison disposal – and to continue doing so.
We must take responsibility for removing poisons from our own bodies: We must initiate life-style changes; switch to natural, quality nutrition – paying special attention to reducing intake of processed foods; do regular physical exercise; treat tension; do a number of multi-day juice fasts a year, and more.
The importance of the Juice Fast
One of the most effective means of promoting poison removal from the body is through a juice fast. Juice fasts can be undertaken alone at home, but I heartily recommend fasting under supervision and guidance of a professional. Especially the first time, it is recommended to participate in a facilitated workshop under professional supervision. Several such juice-fasting facilities are available in Israel.
Juice fasting is a moderate, gradual and safe procedure. During the fast, you drink the juice of fruit or vegetables (preferably organically grown) that provide the necessary nutritional elements (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phyto-chemicals) required for the metabolism, to neutralize the poisons that are released, and to dispose of various other pollutants and contaminants from the body.
The juice is extracted or squeezed from fresh fruit and vegetables, and is drunk immediately. (It is best not to store juice, even in the refrigerator). At night, drink a bowl of root-vegetable soup. This way, the balance of vitamins and minerals in the body is maintained. Fruit juice is prepared from one type of fruit (at a time), while vegetable juice can be prepared from a mix of veggies such as carrots, celery, beets, cucumber and zucchini.
During the day, drink mineral water, and herbal teas that have a calming effect (chamomile, Melissa, Louisa, verbena, rosemary, lemon grass, rosehips).
Fruit and vegetable juices are considered to be whole foods, as good as the whole fruit or vegetable itself. Even though the fiber content is removed, all the nutritional elements remain, linked to each other in a balanced manner, and easily absorbed by the digestive system. Fruit and vegetable juices have a powerful influence on the body’s ability to remove and dispose of wastes and poisons.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are important, high-nutrition foods that are important for our wellbeing and health. The juices consist of pure water and a wide range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, carbohydrates, chlorophyll, anti oxidants and anti cancer elements. The juices are very easily absorbed by the body, through the digestive system, almost without effort. The body can quickly and efficiently utilize the nutritional elements in the juice. Fresh juices are thus good in situations of both health and illness.
Juice from green vegetables contains large quantities of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green, and it has important medicinal qualities. It is similar in composition to the hemoglobin in our blood, and it promotes hemoglobin production in anemics. Chlorophyll has been used since the 1940s to treat a number of diseases and conditions, including: festering sores, respiratory infections, inflammation of the gums, skin ulcers and skin irritations, stomach ulcers, anemia and more.
During (and after) the fast, avoid drinking commercially prepared juices, even if labeled “natural”, reconstituted, preserved, etc. These juices are usually made from poor quality fruit and vegetables, which were treated with pesticides. They usually contain added sugar and preservatives.
Instructions and Recommendations before Fasting
About 10 days before the fast stop or reduce to a minimum, the intake of: coffee, meat, hot spices and salt, candies, cigarettes and alcohol. It is better to be “weaned” off coffee and cigarettes before the fast.
One week before, start reducing food and calorie intake at meals, especially at dinner.
Add to your menu: raw or cooked veggies, fruit, almonds, nuts, whole tehini sauce, whole grains, and legumes. The day before the fast, eat light meals composed mainly of fresh fruit and vegetables. On the morning of the fast, eat nothing at all
During the Fast
Don’t do strenuous physical exercise. Maintain normal body temperature, rest, and drink plenty of liquids.
Light physical activity is desirable (walking, stretching), breathing exercises and gentle bodily treatments (massage, shiatsu, reflexology etc).
Purging the large intestine is not a necessity (colonic or enema), but may aid the internal cleansing process.
Fasting is best done during the transitional seasons (spring, autumn), and best avoided under extreme weather conditions (heat or cold).
All the above-mentioned recommendations are important, and should be adhered to.
Additional Benefits of Juice Fasts
Juice fasting has additional advantages to the detoxification – its main purpose – which is to remove and clean out wastes and poisons (chemicals) from the liver, stored fat, the blood, joints and the digestive system. Additional advantages include:
Three levels of rest :
Physical – sleep, sitting down, light strolls.
Physiological – for all the bodily functions including the kidneys, liver, pancreas, nervous system, digestive system.
Spiritual and mental relaxation – from work, family, friends, decisions, obligations – through yoga, breathing exercises, healing, simulation and meditation. This is an opportunity for visualization, contemplation and introspection, reconnection, meditation, and to make unpressured decisions.
Strengthening the Immune System: Renewal, increased vitality, clarity of thoughts and the senses.
Dealing with tension and restoring the nervous system
A perfect jumping-off point for a weight balancing program. Weight loss is easier when the body has been cleansed of poisons.
Assistance in overcoming various addictions such as:chocolate, candy, low-quality food, alcohol, cigarettes.
Cosmetic improvement for the skin and body.
Natural, balanced vitamins and minerals.
Medical conditions eased or healed: digestive tract problems, inflammation of the joints, colds, allergies, skin problems, venal conditions, excess weight, uncontrolled appetite, asthma, high blood pressure, depression.
Breaking the Fast
After the fast, one should eat slowly, chew food well, restrict food intake, choose foods carefully and prefer foods at room temperature. It is a good idea to list everything eaten, and to note if there are any negative side effects. Many medical problems are caused by food allergies and overeating.
You should not fast if you:
– Are pregnant or breastfeeding
– have kidney problems
– have heart disease and are being treated with medication
– are undergoing hormone treatment (insulin, eltroxine)
– are underweight or suffer from low blood pressure
– are chronically tired or anemic
– suffer from a malignant disease
– are being treated with medication for any nervous disorder
– are afraid of fasting
Juice for a particular problem:
Cabbage and (raw) potato : against pains in the digestive system
Apples and prunes: a natural laxative
Green veggies: for internal cleansing and weight reduction
Wheat grass: good for the liver, the immune system, anemia, intestines, skin, breath, cancer prevention
Alfalfa sprouts: aids blood clotting
Watermelon and cucumber: against kidney stones and gravel; edema
Citrus: for colds, allergies
Carrot and beets: good for anemia, the liver, menstrual regularity, joint disease
Pomegranate juice: against diarrhea
Pears: good for the gallbladder
Orange and yellow juices: cancer prevention
Pineapple: use for allergies, arthritis, edema, hemorrhoids
Cherries: good for the large intestine, menstrual problems, gout
Lemon: good for the liver, gallbladder, allergies, asthma colds, heart disease
Melon: good for the digestive system, bladder, kidneys, skin
Celery: good for the kidneys, diabetes, osteoporosis
Parsley: good for the kidneys, edema, arthritis
Papaya: good for the stomach, digestive problems, hemorrhoids, colitis
Cranberries: against urinary tract infections.
When we begin taking responsibility for our own health, periodical juice fasts are desirable as part of a healthy lifestyle plan, to prevent various unwanted bodily phenomena, and to deal with them. Between fasts, one should stress good, natural, balanced nutrition, preferably eating organically grown produce. One should also stick to proper nutrition guidelines, and not overwork or overload the digestive system.
Sources and recommended reading