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What Are the Benefits of a Fruit & Vegetable Semi-Fast?

By Brynne Chandler

Fruits and vegetables are crucial to maintaining health, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People who eat a diet low in fresh produce are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and chronic diseases including stroke. Doing a weekly or monthly one-day detox semi-fast of fruits vegetables is gaining in popularity. Dr. Ben Kim of drbenkim.com advises that a healthy short semi-fast will give your body a rest, allowing your liver, kidneys, skin and lungs the chance to do their jobs more efficiently.

Increased Nutrition

Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins like A and C and nutrients like potassium and folate. Vitamin A supports your immune system, helps support vision and facilitates your red blood cells in storing and carrying iron, according to researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute. The vitamin C in citrus fruits and apples also supports your immune system as well as liver health. Potassium and folate are important for brain health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you eat different colors of fruits and vegetables to get the widest range of nutrients.

Efficient Elimination

The fiber in fresh, whole fruits and vegetables helps your digestion and elimination systems do their jobs. As the American Cancer Society points out, many proponents of juicing suggest that you juice your fruits, but this robs them of essential fiber. You can then eat the pulp, but it makes more sense just to eat the whole fruit to begin with, since there is no benefit to extracting the juice first. In the case of starchy, high sugar produce like beets and carrots, the concentrated juice can pose a danger to diabetics.

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Possible Disease Reduction

Mark Mattson, a scientist with the National Institute on Aging, states in a 2007 article on NPR.com that he believes limiting caloric intake improves the way your body regulates glucose, which can help you avoid developing diabetes. Basing his opinions on studies involving rats who were fed every other day, he postulates that partial fasting may also protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Increased Energy and Focus

There is no scientific proof that detox diets or fruit and vegetable semi-fasts provide any measurable, physical benefits. But, according to MayoClinic.com dietitian Katherine Zeratsky, "Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets." Whether this is due to the psychological effect of doing something good for your body, a sense of being in control or other factors is unknown. But, if eating and drinking only fresh fresh fruits and vegetables one weekend a month or so inspires you to make positive changes to your food and lifestyle choices, you may see measurable benefits to your health in the long term.

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