Have you noticed the tidal wave of books on juicing that has hit health food stores over the past year? Juicing is back in a big way, and so, too, are juice fasts. There are many benefits to giving your body a break, if only for a few days, from digesting heavier foods. A light juice fast accomplishes just that and more. For starters, juice fasts help the body flush out toxins and reduce systemic inflammation (a leading contributor to numerous diseases such as heart disease and cancer). You may notice that a juice cleanse improves the clarity and tone of your skin, boosts your weight-loss efforts, bolsters immune function, and eases digestive upsets. You may also experience enhanced mental clarity and a deeper spiritual connection during and after your juice fast. And the best part? Juice fasts are delicious-sweet, juicy fruits are paired with tangy, cooling vegetables. Do something good for your body that also tastes good. You will feel physically and mentally revitalized-we promise!
We excerpted four recipes from juicing and raw foods expert Mimi Kirk's new book, The Ultimate Book of Modern Juicing. Here's how the fast works: You will consume six to seven 16-ounce juices daily for three days-that's it! Stay away from solid food, but don't let yourself get too hungry. "For the majority of people, drinking a juice every two hours will help them feel full and keep their metabolism steady," says Kirk. After the cleanse, eat lightly to help your body readjust to eating and digesting. One last note: you aren't limited to the juices featured here; see Kirk's book for more recipes. Also visit betternutrition.com for links to some of our favorite juicing tips and recipes.
Juice up! Add ginger, turmeric, lemon, or mint to any of the following juices to punch up the flavor.
Pineapple Detox Juice
2 cups spinach
1-2 mint sprigs
per serving: 340 cal; 7g pro; 2g total fat (0g sat fat); 85g carb; 0mg chol; 220mg sod; 15g fiber; 56g sugars
Orange Detox Juice
1 handful strawberries
2 cups spinach or romaine leaves
per serving: 220 cal; 6g pro; 2g total fat (0g sat fat); 52g carb; 0mg chol; 180mg sod; 14g fiber; 33g sugars
Cucumber Detox Juice
1 Fuji apple
4 celery stalks
1/2 lemon, juiced
per serving: 130 cal; 2g pro; 0g total fat (0g sat fat); 34g carb; 0mg chol; 130mg sod; 7g fiber; 22g sugars
Watermelon Detox Juice
1/4 watermelon (about 15 x 7 inches)-if organic, with rind; if nonorganic, remove rind
Juice of 1 lime
2-3 mint sprigs
per serving: 350 cal; 7g pro; 2g total fat (0g sat fat); 88g carb; 0mg chol; 15mg sod; 5g fiber; 71g sugars