Which juice is best during fasting?

Fasting has become an increasingly popular health and wellness trend in recent years. During a fast, people abstain from solid food for a period of time. Some popular fasting methods include intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, the 16/8 diet, and water fasting. While fasting typically involves abstaining from solid food, many people choose to consume calorie-free beverages like water, coffee, tea, and juice to help get them through their fasting windows.

Drinking juice during a fast can provide key nutrients and make fasting more sustainable. However, not all juices are created equal when it comes to fasting. The best juices for fasting are low in sugar and calories while still providing important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Benefits of Drinking Juice While Fasting

Here are some of the main benefits of incorporating juice into a fasting regimen:

  • Provides nutrients – Juice can supply important vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants while fasting.
  • Low calorie – Most juices are relatively low in calories, allowing them to be consumed during a fast.
  • Boosts energy – The nutrients and sugars in juice can help sustain energy levels.
  • Hydrates – Juices have high water content to prevent dehydration during fasting.
  • Curbs hunger – The fiber and nutrients in juice can help satisfy hunger and cravings.
  • Supports metabolism – Juices like green juice provide compounds that can mildly stimulate metabolism.
  • Easy to digest – The body can easily absorb nutrients from juice without requiring much digestion.
  • Tastes great – Juice provides flavor and variety during a fast.

Choosing the Best Juices for Fasting

With an array of bottled, freshly pressed, and powdered juice options available, how do you know which juices are optimal for fasting? Here are some tips:

  • Select unsweetened juices – Avoid juices with added sugars or high amounts of natural sugars from fruit juices. Look for unsweetened labels or check the sugar content.
  • Choose low calorie options – The lowest calorie juices, like cucumber, celery, and leafy greens have about 15-45 calories per cup.
  • Include green juices – Green juices made with veggies like kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, and herbs are great for fasting.
  • Try diluted fruit juices – Dilute high-sugar fruit juices like orange, apple, or grape juice with water or club soda to decrease calories.
  • Avoid milk and yogurt blends – Dairy-based smoothies and juice blends are higher in protein and calories.
  • Limit high sugar produce – Avoid pure watermelon, carrot, beet, or other high glycemic index fruit juices.
  • Read ingredient lists – Make sure juices don’t contain added sweeteners, fillers, or artificial ingredients.

Best Juices for Fasting

Based on their nutrient profile, low sugar and calorie content, and benefits for fasting, here are 10 of the top juices to incorporate into a fasting regimen:

Juice Key Nutrients Benefits
Celery juice Vitamin K, potassium, flavonoids Low calorie, hydrating, reduces inflammation
Cucumber juice Vitamin K, flavonoids Hydrating, supports detoxification
Tomato juice Vitamin C, lycopene Anti-inflammatory, immune boosting
Beet juice Nitrates, antioxidants Boosts nitric oxide, increases blood flow
Tart cherry juice Anthocyanins, melatonin Anti-inflammatory, promotes sleep
Green juice Chlorophyll, vitamins C and K Alkalizing, aids detoxification
Ginger juice Gingerol, antioxidants Reduces nausea, anti-inflammatory
Cranberry juice Vitamin C, antioxidants Supports urinary tract health
Prune juice Sorbitol, potassium Relieves constipation
Diluted apple juice Quercetin, vitamin C Curb cravings, moderate blood sugar

1. Celery Juice

Celery juice has become hugely popular in the wellness world recently, with claims it can help with a range of ailments. During fasting, celery juice is an ideal beverage choice. It’s very low in sugar and calories, making it perfect for fasting. With only about 30 calories per cup, you can consume a few cups of celery juice per day without disrupting your fast.

In addition to being low calorie, celery juice contains beneficial plant compounds like luteolin and apigenin. These phytonutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The minerals in celery juice like potassium, sodium, and magnesium help maintain electrolyte balance while fasting. Overall, celery juice is hydrating and can reduce inflammation, making it one of the healthiest juice options during fasting.

2. Cucumber Juice

Like celery juice, cucumber juice is both low in calories and very hydrating. Cucumber juice contains antioxidants like cucurbitacins and vitamin C in addition to minerals like molybdenum which supports detoxification. The high water content in cucumbers makes cucumber juice ideal for weight loss, glowy skin, and gentle detox during a fast.

A cup of cucumber juice has only about 8 calories, meaning you can drink a few servings per day without disrupting your fast. The mild fresh taste makes cucumber juice refreshing without being too tart or sweet. For some added nutrition, try making cucumber juice with parsley, spinach, lemon, or ginger.

3. Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is another low sugar, low calorie option clocking in at around 20 calories per cup. In addition to vitamins A, C, and K, tomato juice delivers a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Studies show lycopene demonstrates anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties.

The taste of plain tomato juice can be quite strong, so consider diluting it with water, adding herbs like basil, or combining it with other vegetable juices. The nutrients in tomato juice support the immune system, making it an ideal fasting choice when you need an extra health boost.

4. Beet Juice

Vibrant beet juice has grown in popularity due to its many purported benefits. Beets are packed with inorganic nitrates which boost nitric oxide production and increase blood flow. Some find that beet juice helps increase endurance and stamina for workouts.

The calories in beet juice are slightly higher than other options at around 60 per cup. However, thanks to the nitric oxide-boosting effects, beet juice can give you an energy boost during a fast. Try diluting beet juice with low calorie cucumber or celery juice to reap the benefits while keeping calories low.

5. Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice made from Montmorency cherries offers a range of unique health and fasting benefits. With about 115 calories per cup, tart cherry juice is lower in sugar than regular cherry or grape juice. Tart cherries contain the plant compounds anthocyanins and melatonin which reduce inflammation and promote sleep.

Drinking tart cherry juice at night may improve sleep quality during fasting periods. The anti-inflammatory benefits also help with post-workout muscle recovery. For the most benefits, opt for unsweetened tart cherry juice without added sugars.

6. Green Juice

Green juices and juices made primarily with leafy greens and vegetables offer maximum nutrient density. By combining greens like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, parsley, cilantro, and celery you get a megadose of vitamins A, C, and K.

In addition to vitamins, green juice provides anti-inflammatory plant compounds like quercetin, lutein, and beta-carotene. The fiber in greens helps fill you up, while the antioxidants support detoxification. Green juice typically ranges from 30 to 80 calories per cup depending on ingredients, making it a stellar fasting choice.

7. Ginger Juice

Ginger juice contains the active compound gingerol which is responsible for ginger’s pungent, spicy-sweet flavor. In addition to adding flavor to juices, ginger juice can ease nausea, stomach upset, and inflammation which makes it helpful for fasting.

Some people experience headaches, nausea, or gastrointestinal issues when abstaining from food. The anti-emetic properties in ginger can relieve these symptoms. Ginger also enhances circulation and overall body warmth. Juice ginger root alone or add it to lemon, carrot, apple, or green juice.

8. Cranberry Juice

Tart, bright cranberry juice offers a range of nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, copper, and manganese. Cranberries also contain antioxidants like proanthocyanidins linked to heart and urinary tract health. Pure unsweetened cranberry juice can be quite tart, so dilute it or blend it with sweeter juices.

Cranberry juice prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of the bladder which can reduce risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). People who fast are at increased risk of UTIs, so cranberry juice is a smart choice. Have a small glass diluted with water or sparkling water to avoid spiking blood sugar.

9. Prune Juice

With about 120 calories per cup, prune juice is higher in natural sugar than other options. However, as a natural laxative, prune juice can relive constipation, which is a common side effect during fasting. Prunes contain a sugar alcohol called sorbitol that has a laxative effect to stimulate bowel movements.

It’s best to limit prune juice intake to 4-8 ounces diluted with water or tea. While prune juice contains beneficial nutrients like vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium, too much can lead to diarrhea. Overall, small portions of prune juice can gently relieve constipation during a fast.

10. Diluted Apple Juice

Pure apple juice is high in fruit sugar, or fructose, making it less ideal for fasting. However, diluted apple juice with a ratio of about 1:3 juice to water provides hydration, antioxidants, and moderate calories. A diluted serving has 50 calories compared to 110 calories in concentrated apple juice.

The polyphenols in apples like quercetin reduce inflammation and decrease oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Diluted apple juice also provides fiber for gut health. Limit intake to a half cup serving once or twice per day for the benefits without blood sugar spikes.

Additional Tips for Incorporating Juice into a Fast

Here are some extra pointers for safely consuming juice during fasting windows:

  • Stick to 1-3 cups of low sugar juice per day max to avoid disrupting the fasted state.
  • Consume juice slowly instead of gulping it down to prevent spikes in blood glucose and insulin.
  • Have juice between meals or during longer fasting windows instead of with meals.
  • Combine juices for more diverse flavors and nutrients like celery-cucumber-parsley or apple-beet-carrot blends.
  • Always opt for unsweetened 100% juices without added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
  • Make fresh juices at home when possible for maximum nutrition.
  • Rinse mouth with water after higher sugar juices to prevent dental decay.
  • Avoid juice fasting for more than a few consecutive days due to calorie restriction.
  • Talk to your doctor before adding juice to a fasting regimen if you have diabetes or take medications.

Potential Drawbacks of Juice During Fasting

Despite the benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider with juicing while fasting:

  • May disrupt fasting state – Even low sugar juices provide calories that could potentially interrupt ketosis and other fasting processes depending on the individual.
  • Blood sugar spikes – High glycemic juices can spike blood glucose and insulin, especially in those with insulin resistance.
  • Dental decay – Exposure to acids in juice may erosion tooth enamel over time.
  • Lacks protein and fat – Vegetable and fruit juices lack macronutrients that support satiety and sustained energy.
  • Low in fiber – Juice separates fiber from the produce which reduces gut health benefits.
  • Oxidation – Fresh juices begin to lose nutrients through oxidation immediately after juicing.
  • Cost – Purchasing prepared juices regularly can be expensive compared to eating whole produce.

Bottom Line

During fasting periods, juices can provide essential hydration, nutrition, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Optimal juices for fasting are unsweetened and low in calories and sugar, while still offering beneficial plant compounds.

The top juices for fasting include cucumber, celery, green, ginger, tomato, cranberry, beet, tart cherry, and diluted apple juice. While juice can support short term fasts, it lacks protein and fat needed for longer fasts. Drink juices in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet.

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