Fasting is an extremely personal action to take and can affect your health in both positive and negative ways, so deciding when and what to eat is up you and your health care provider. A vegetable and juice fast can be a safer way to fast than completely eliminating food and drink from your diet for short periods of time. Fasting's negative effects can include fatigue or dizziness. If you’re hungry and want to eat additional foods during the fast, consider whether continuing to fast is the best choice for you.
People fast for different reasons, including religious and detoxification. Whether you are fasting as part of a detoxification or weight loss plan, or to step closer to spiritual enlightenment, the process eliminates heavier or unhealthy foods and reduces overall calorie consumption to let the body and mind recuperate and become lighter. Some researchers have concluded that restricted intake may contribute to a longer life span and increased stress resistance, according to a review in the October 2011 issue of "Nutrition Journal." Reviewers report that calorie-restricted fasting can also decrease body mass, improve blood pressure and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Eating vegetables during a fast is an efficient way to introduce nourishing nutrients, vitamins and calories so that your body doesn’t become depleted. Eating a variety of vegetables can also remain part of your overall eating plan for a healthy diet. Vegetables contain a variety of antioxidants including polyphenols, quercetin, and anthocyanins, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. These antioxidants help prevent heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Juices also provide nutrients, vitamins and calories during fasting. Fruit juices often contain potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Vitamin C can assist in iron absorption, and vitamin A contributes to skin health. The fluids in juices can also prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
Not all research confirms the safety and efficacy of fasting. Some people, including individuals diagnosed with cancer, tuberculosis or diabetes, shouldn’t fast at all, according to Vanderbilt University. Problems associated with extreme diets can include dehydration, fatigue, dizziness and nausea, menstrual irregularities, confusion, hair loss, cold intolerance and even heart arrhythmia from lack of nutrients, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. After fasting, you may be more prone to binge eating which may contribute to weight gain.
- Nutrition Journal: Impact of Caloric and Dietary Restriction Regimens on Markers of Health and Longevity in Humans and Animals: A Summary of Available Findings
- Linus Pauling Institute: Flavonoids
- American Heart Association: Potassium and High Blood Pressure
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Weight Control and Diet