A short-term juice fast is a voluntary nutritional approach you can take to promote good health. It involves drinking only juices from fruits, vegetables or herbs to enhance your body’s natural detoxification abilities. Although juice fasting -- and other types of detox diets -- have their detractors, proponents recommend them for purposes such as boosting the immune system and stimulating a sluggish metabolism. Easing out of a juice fast is just as important as the fast itself, notes Cherie Calbom, a nutritionist and author of “Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life.” Done correctly, you can minimize potential adverse reactions such as gas or a stomachache.
Eat vegetables, vegetable soup, nuts and seeds as your first solids for a day or two after a juice fast. It’s best to eat them raw and in small amounts.
Add small amounts of low-sugar fruit to your diet next. If possible, choose organic fruit.
Eat small amounts of protein, such as salmon, skinless protein, cheese and eggs, by about day four or five. Heavy proteins are more taxing on your digestive system.
Chew your food slowly to assist your digestive system in getting back to digesting solids and to minimize gas and bloating. Chewing slowly also helps you feel full on smaller portions; it gives your stomach more time to signal to your brain that you’re full.
Drink about half of your body weight in ounces of water daily to stay hydrated and minimize possible post-fast side effects such as cravings and gas.
It’s best to reintroduce light, low-sugar vegetables, such as dark green, leafy vegetables, first. Move on to heavier vegetables such as carrots, potatoes or pumpkin.
Avoid heavy, greasy foods such as fried meat or butter for as long as possible after your juice fast.
Avoid large meals at all costs as this shocks your digestive system after a juice fast and makes adverse reactions more likely.
Do not make your juice fast last longer than three days. It can increase your risk of candidiasis, a fungal infection, as well as nutritional deficiencies.
Children and teens should not do juice fasts or any other type of detox diets.
Do not attempt a juice fast if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, without consulting your doctor.