Take what they say about an apple a day and multiply it by many apples eaten over two days. Some medical practitioners believe that the apple detox diet revitalizes the body by helping to flush out toxins and giving the digestive system a rest. Pregnant women and people with blood sugar problems and conditions such as diabetes, kidney, heart or liver disease should not undertake this fast, and others should talk to their health care providers before starting.
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Origins of Apple Detox
In the early 20th century, raw apples allegedly cured Swiss physician Max Bircher-Benner of a mild case of jaundice, setting him on the road to becoming a passionate advocate of the healing power of raw vegetables and fruits. Outside his native land, he is best known for developing the apple-studded breakfast cereal that still carries his name: Bircher muesli. An ocean away but simultaneously, Edgar Cayce, the "sleeping prophet" of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, was dispensing medical advice while in a trance, counseling many ailing seekers to detoxify and energize their bodies with a three-day diet consisting only of apples.
Nutritional Properties of Apples
The humble apple is a nutritional powerhouse. According to the United States Nutrient Data Lab, one fist-sized apple contains only 81 calories but is packed with goodness. The soluble fiber, pectin, helps prevent plaque buildup in blood vessels while the insoluble fiber, cellulose, helps the digestive system move waste quickly through the intestinal tract by adding bulk. Apples are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium, as well as B-complex folates and vitamins A and C.
How to Prepare, Proceed and Finish
Plan your detox for a two-day period when you can stay home and relax. Start preparing a week before by cutting down on carbohydrates, tea, coffee, alcohol and soda. Reduce the size of meals and make a vegetable salad your last meal of the day. After you start, your only food can be raw, unpeeled apples but you are permitted unlimited quantities of any and all varieties, and may use cinnamon, ginger or cardamom as flavorings. The only beverages allowed are water and herbal tea. During the fast, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, abdominal bloating, gas, constipation, and loose bowel movements are common, but not inevitable, symptoms. After your detox ends, ease back into a normal diet with a bowl of mixed fruit, a smoothie, vegetable soup, or steamed vegetables.
Who Should Avoid This Diet
Fasting for religious or health reasons is customary for people worldwide but opinions differ among branches of medical practice about the value of it. In general, mainstream Western medicine remains unconvinced of benefits. Naturopathy holds that fasting is both desirable and necessary for keeping the body free of toxins and maintaining optimum health. Ayurvedic practitioners say that whether a person should fast, and how, depends upon individual body type. However, all would agree that no fast should be undertaken by people with health conditions such as heart, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, or pregnant or lactating women. If you're considering any fast or mono-diet cleanse such as this one, discuss the matter with your health care provider first and don't extend it longer than 48 hours unless under medical supervision.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Cayce.Com: Edgar Cayce's Apple Diet
- Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment: Who Was Edgar Cayce?
- University of Illinois Extension: Apples and More; Apple Nutrition
- The Detox Specialist: 2-Day Apple Detox Diet
- Healthy.Net: Fasting, Mono-Diets and Raw Food Days (and Chelation); Leon Chaitow
- Yoga Chicago: Not So Fast!; Gary Gran; July-August 2003
- All About Apples: Health
- Natural Health Cure: Fasting Benefits and Its Importance in Naturopathy