With Summer now upon us and New Years’ around the corner, many of us will be thinking about doing our next (or first) Juice Fast. Fasting truly is the highway to achieving maximum results from a detox. It doesn’t have to be arduous to be effective though. In fact, I believe you’ll make the experience not only more enjoyable, but more effective by incorporating the suggestions I’ve made here.
1. Add Superfoods
Juice Fasting works on the basis that by consuming your nutrients in a liquid form they are more easily absorbed into the cells, with little energy expenditure. Much of the benefit comes from saturating the cells with nutrients which enables them to restore balance and power the process of flushing toxins out.
There is a big difference between consuming your juice freshly squeezed or hours later. Much of the benefits of juice or smoothies comes from consuming them immediately after preparing them. It’s the live enzymes in the fresh juice / smoothie which transport the nutrients into the cells and inliven the body. Within half an hour of making your juice or smoothie, due to oxidation many of the live enzymes are destroyed. When you consume a juice that has been bottled a good way to judge if it still contains any live enzymes is to shake it whilst the lid is still on. You’ll notice the juice fizzing in the bottle if live enzymes are still present. If delivered juices / smoothies is your only option, then you can compensate for their lack of live enzymes by taking “digestive enzymes” or “probiotics” (which contain live enzymes – see below).
4. Add MSM
MSM (Methyl Sufonyl Methane) is an organic form of sulfur and a potent antioxidant, naturally found in all living plant and animal tissues. MSM is a food supplement which is readily absorbed by the body. It has a host of therapeutic benefits, one of which is it’s ability to enhance nutrient absorption and elimination of toxins. The way that MSM does this is due to its effect of making the cell membranes more permeable. In other words when you add MSM to your juice, you greatly enhance the absorption of antioxidants such as vitamin C, so important to supporting healing and the detoxifying duties of the liver. MSM making the cell membrane more permeable also means that toxins bound up in fluid within the cells are more easily expelled – this also explains why MSM serves as a natural anti-inflammatory agent.
Finally, MSM enhances the function of the liver by increasing the amount of liver enzymes, which of course improves it’s ability to neutralize toxins and purify the blood.
5. Add Probiotics
Literally meaning “for life” probiotics are live, beneficial microflora (bacteria and yeast). Beneficial gut flora help with digestion and form our first line of immune system defense (among the many important functions they perform). Modern day living, particularly our diets including, sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and coffee lead to overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast. During a juice fast is an absolutely ideal time to be taking probiotics to help restore health gut flora balance. With the above mentioned food and drinks out of the equation, taking probiotics at this time enables them to work far more effectively. The other great thing about probiotics is that they come with their own live enzymes intact which serve to help power the process of detoxification. Options for adding probiotics to a Juice Fast include taking probiotics supplement capsules or powder in juices / smoothies. An even better option though is to add fermented superfood powdered supplements to your juices and smoothies.
6. Promote Elimination
When doing any sort of detox, it’s especially important to ensure that you’re enhancing elimination of toxins. Your elimination organs include; the colon, kidneys, skin and lungs. Having gone through the rigours of your Juice Fast, whilst there are numerous physiological / psychological benefits gained, a lot of these benefits are only truly realized once toxins have been eliminated. If you’re not effectively eliminating during your Juice Fast, you’re not gaining the full benefits. Worse, if you don’t effectively eliminate then you reabsorb the toxins. Thankfully implementing the above four strategies; superfoods, fiber, msm and probiotics all enhance elimination of toxins, particularly by promoting bowel function. Similarly keeping the body moving and thereby promoting circulation (blood and lymph fluid), enhances elimination of toxins via all of the elimination channels. Drinking additional water or herbal teas between juices promotes elimination of toxins via the kidneys. Finally, exercise or far-infra-red sauna promote elimination of toxins via sweating.
So there you have it, my top 6 strategies for perfecting your Juice Fast. If you have anything to add to these I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Aaron Travers is the author of the “The Boda Fast, a 3 step plan to lower inflammation, maximise fat burning and restore vitality” and Co-Director & Body Work Therapist at Boda Wellbeing in Sydney, Australia .