When you fast, your body undergoes many biological changes. Enzymes, which are produced by the body, either diminish greatly or cease to be produced, depending on the type of fast you keep. Introducing the right foods gradually will allow your body to produce enzymes again to help in digestion. Here are the best foods for breaking a fast, which will benefit your body the most:
9 best foods for breaking a fast
Juices of raw fruits made at home will not overburden the digestive system. Break your fast with juices so that even the protective lining of the stomach, which is also diminished, can return to normal slowly. Avoid breaking the fast with beverages such as coffee or other spicy foods, which might irritate your system. After fasting for 24 hours, drink some apple or watermelon juice – it is soothing for the stomach.
But juices are not the best choice to break a juice fast, however. Juices are good for breaking water fasts.
In general, people take half number of days fasted to reintroduce the food.
Once your body gets used to the raw fruit, then you can proceed with vegetable or bone broths to introduce cooked food gently in the body. These broths will provide strength and nutrition, while being easy to digest. If you have been fasting for 48 hours, broths will give your body much needed strength.
Raw vegetables have plenty of minerals, vitamins, phyto nutrients and other valuable substances. Breaking the fast with a vegetable juice made from organic or pesticide free vegetable would be very beneficial for your body. Organic is a better choice as they are free from herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones, and are higher in antioxidants.
Drink one glass of carrot juice or eat a small vegetable salad, as these foods for breaking a fast will be digested easily by the digestive system. Even when you are practicing intermittent fasting, you can break the fast with a carrot, cucumber, celery, tomato, lettuce, or kale salad, which will give a lot of nutrients.
Experts suggest eating sprouts as the first meal after a fast. Organic sprouts germinated at home are the best. Sprouts contain simple sugars, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants etc, which are easy to assimilate and digest. Sprouts contain chlorophyll, which is known for detoxifying properties. Sprouts include buckwheat, sunflower, broccoli, lentil, alfalfa, cabbage, chickpeas, adzuki beans, mung beans. You can make sprouts easily at home by exposing the seeds to indirect sunlight and water.
Eggs and nuts
When you have been fasting for a long time, you will have to eat nutritious foods like eggs and nuts as snacks since you cannot eat whole meals after breaking the fast. In intermittent fasting, you have to eat well in your eating window, so make sure to eat healthy foods and not consume any junk foods which have empty calories and no nutrition value.
Raw fruits/fruit juices
While fasting, your body does not consume food, which deprives it of energy. This energy is derived from skeletal muscle, so the first foods after a fast that you consume must be those which give maximum amount of energy. Fruits have natural sugars, which the body is able to assimilate and digest without spending much energy, and in turn actually gets more energy to start the digestive process.
Fruits are thus the best foods for breaking a fast, as they nourish your body. Raw fruits’ juices which are made fresh are the best, as they contain a lot of water which makes it easier for the body to digest. Break the fast by drinking one cup of fresh, squeezed juice made of melon, grapes, pears and apples, or just one among these, to be taken in your ‘eating window’.
Citrus fruit juices should be avoided, as they might be too acidic in the stomach. Water, followed by fruit juice and fruits, then a salad, at regular intervals, is the method followed by most people to break their fasts.
Those who are not vegans can get their protein from unsweetened yogurt or curd. This is very easy on the digestive system. Yogurt has a good amount of fat and protein, so it is considered to be one of the very good foods for breaking a fast.
Well-cooked beans and grains
After fasting for 24 hours, you should have beans and grains, which have been cooked well. This will keep you full for a couple of hours and if you include vegetables in it, you will have a complete meal. But this should not be the first meal of the day.
After your body gets used to simple food, then you can consume meats, fish and other complex foods.
You might be extremely hungry after your fast, but you have to restrain yourself and not overeat, or else you would lose the benefit of fasting. Start with small meals every couple of hours by eating the foods for breaking a fast, and gradually progressing to larger meals till you resume your normal eating schedule.