There are many fasting recipes that help achieve goals such as weight loss, increased health and energy, and help detoxify the body. Some of the most common types of fasting recipes include healthy foods like raw fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas, vegetable broths, and some seasonings.
Fasting is voluntary abstinence from food and/or drink for a period of time, usually for religious, spiritual, or health reasons. Fasts may be total, excluding all food and water, or partial, allowing some food or juice and may last anywhere from one meal to 40 days or more. Since much fasting allows some foods or beverages, it can be difficult to choose what to eat or drink at mealtimes.
Detoxification (detox) fasting recipes frequently include vegetable and fruit juices, sometimes with the addition of herbal teas or vinegar. Since detox fasts are meant to clean toxins out of the digestive system, these recipes frequently fasting call for organic, fresh fruit juices, such as lemon and orange juices. Sometimes vegetable juices and fruit juices are mixed together to improve taste and nutrition of the fasting drink.
One of the most popular fasts for detoxification and weight loss is the Master Cleanse, developed by Stanley Burroughs in 1941. The Master Cleanse become popular again when singer and actress Beyonce announced she had shed 20 pounds for her 2006 film "Dreamgirls" using the fasting recipe. Claims that the mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water can detoxify the body are controversial and debated by medical professionals. Many in the medical community feel detox fasts are unnecessary because the body’s digestive system can clean itself through the normal digestive process on a healthy diet. Detox fasts may even strip the digestive tract of beneficial bacteria or cause nutritional imbalances.
Religious fasts range from water-only fasts to fasting from a certain food group, as in a Lenten fast. A popular Christian fast is the Daniel fast, based on the Biblical story in the book of Daniel 1:8-14 in the Christian Bible. Daniel abstained from all foods except vegetables and water.
Fasting is popular, and sometimes required, in many religions around the world. Some religions practice lifelong abstinence from certain foods, such as meat. Others require periodic fasts during certain holy periods.
The safety and benefits of fasting have been debated by medical professionals. Proponents of fasting believe it can improve health, heal chronic conditions, increase energy, or increase spiritual awareness. Some medical professionals feel that fasting is unnecessary and harmful to health, especially prolonged fasting and complete fasts that restrict water. Before attempting a fast, it’s wise to consult a doctor.