We live in a society where many things we eat and drink do more harm than good. We all benefit from avoiding the harmful foods such as sugars, processed poor quality fats, refined foods and alcohol. Is there time though where avoiding all food can be helpful?
Fasting has been used for centuries for both health and spiritual reasons. You may think it is a strange practice and one you would never do. However, you have probably fasted at some time, for example if you have an upset tummy you may have avoided all food and drunk only water for 24 hours. This allows your digestive system to recover and starves and invading bug of a food supply. At other times you may have had no appetite for a day or two when otherwise unwell. At these times your body is able to focus on healing rather than digestion. You may have seen animals avoiding food or eating unusual foods, for example grass in a meat-eating animal, when they are unwell.
Fasting may be part of the recommendations a naturopath for gives alongside a broader treatment program. The benefits of fasts include improvements in skin, immunity, digestion, circulation, and mood and weight loss.
It is very important to be aware that fasting must be undertaken very carefully; if it is not done properly fasting can damage your health, and fasting is not recommended for everyone, so do seek naturopathic advice. Naturopaths may recommend different types of fasts. Pure water fasting is rarely recommended for more than one day. More commonly juice fasting is prescribed. The juice is predominantly vegetable juice and all juices are juiced at home, bottled juices are never used. Bottled juices have a high concentration of sugars, even is no sugars have been added, they are also low in many nutrients, in fact most bottled juices are heat treated to preserve the juice and then have added vitamin C. In addition bottled juices have a high acidity.
Fasting is an involved process; it incorporates a few days to build up to the fast and several days to come off the fast. This means a three day fast will take about ten days in total. Other important components of the fast include gentle exercise, relaxation, and treatments such as skin brushing and Epsom salts baths.