By Harmony Faust
There are several people in my inner circle who regularly and voluntarily consume nothing but fruit, vegetable and plant juices for days at a time. This. Blows. My. Mind. Juice fasting is a practice I’ve been hearing about for years and I still don’t get it.
If I’m being completely honest, the crux of my problem with juice fasting probably lies at the intersection of my natural skepticism and laziness—I don’t have a great track record with activities related to health and fitness. It’s always important to make well-informed decisions, but particularly as it relates to personal health. When it comes to your body, I implore you; don’t trust the hype until you validate it. Given my strong feelings on this, I thought perhaps becoming better-informed about the seemingly uncontested benefits of juice therapies would help assuage my skepticism. So I headed off to my trusty library resources to dig into the authoritative content on the subject.
In this case, I was delighted to discover many many relevant articles within the eBooks on GVRL. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Juice Fasting was an obvious goldmine of information, rounded out with additional content from The Gale Encyclopedia of Diets: A Guide to Health and Nutrition and The Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 4th Edition.
Here’s what I learned:
- Juice fasts can be traced back over 5,500 years to the practice of Ayurvedic medicine in India (does that origin story sound familiar, or what?)
- Fasting while consuming fruit, vegetable and plant juices and extracts is widely accepted as a safe practice with many applications including spiritual or religious ritual, weight loss, detoxification, digestive issues, allergies, illness prevention or treatment, improved energy levels, and more
- Juice fasting works because it gives some of your body’s most
important systems a chance to rest and reset, which helps you eliminate toxins and waste, better absorb nutrients and run more efficiently
- There are many approaches to fasting—length of time and frequency will depend on your personal goals; there is not a universal plan that works for every individual, though it seems wise to start with the shorter, more basic options
- Follow the rules—juice fasting is not without risk or side effect so it’s important to ensure you listen to the recommended steps for preparation of both your body and the juices (organic is essential!), personal care throughout and the reintroduction of solid foods
So there you have it folks: the legitimate world of juice therapy, according to me, with assistance from library research tools. I now have the evidence I need to seriously consider if short-term or periodic juice fasting will help me achieve some of my personal goals. With proper support and motivation, for the first time, I believe it could.
That said, I’m a non-medical professional with a passion for information literacy, which makes me in no way qualified to endorse or recommend juice fasting for anyone. If this were a standard 60-second commercial endorsement, now is the time the 15 seconds of benefits would be outweighed by 45 seconds of legalese fast-talk about health complications due to dehydration, fatigue, weakness, anemia and other scary conditions potentially brought about by fasting. Whether you’re interested in doing one day ever or one day a week, you should consult a healthcare professional prior to starting a juice fast regimen. It is not a one-size fits all solution to every problem—speak with your doctor to determine if it makes the most sense for you.
Truth Be Told is a blog series published by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning. Truth Be Told is focused primarily on helping individuals explore and (in)validate mainstream news stories and popular topics in an effort to illustrate the importance of developing digital and information literacy skills. If you’d like to use your library’s authoritative resources to investigate a topic of your own, we welcome you to submit a guest blog post. [alert-info]
About the Author
Harmony is Gale’s Marketing Director for Public Libraries. She has an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications and 13 years’ experience in the publishing industry. She loves her husband, 15-month old son, craft beer and Pinterest.