People fast for many reasons – health, before surgery, religious, or to lose weight. When you fast, enzymes in the digestive system are diminished. To build these back up, you need to eat carefully to allow your body time to recover. Another side effect is that your stomach will lose some of its mucus lining. Your stomach will be more sensitive to spicy or acidic food. Also, eat small meals every couple of hours as you readjust to normal food.
Fruit and Raw Fruit Juice:
Fruit is a terrific way to break your fast. Fruit is high in water and easily digested. Eat watery fruit like watermelon, grapes, and apples. Don’t eat citrus fruits as your stomach has lost some of its protective coating.
If you squeeze your own juice, your body can use the nutrients more readily. Follow it with a bowl of juicy fruit and a big glass of water.
Raw Vegetables and Vegetable Juice:
Raw organic vegetables and juiced vegetables should follow your fruit. By juicing veggies, you’ll release nutrients that your body can access readily. The extra water will help as well. Try a glass of fresh carrot juice with a shot of celery or beet juice. If you’d like something solid, follow juice with a small salad (without dressing).
Better Nutrition recommends organic veggies because they are free of pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics and other harmful chemicals that may upset your stomach.
Yogurt or Cultured Milk Products:
As you fast, you change your gut bacteria population. If you were fasting involuntarily from being sick, medications like antibiotics change gut bacteria. To rebuild a healthy population, add cultured or fermented milk products to your post-fast diet. Yogurt and Kefir are great sources for good bacteria. Full fat Greek yogurt offers an excellent balance of protein and fat with a broad range of vitamins and minerals.
Check the label to see if the product contains live active cultures or is fermented.
Nuts are an important source of protein and healthy fats. They also contain magnesium and potassium. Eating a few nuts after breaking your fast is a good way to get some all-important fatty acids.
Nuts may reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, so they are excellent snacks. Just remember that nuts are high in calories, so go easy on them.
As you fast, your body breaks down muscle tissue. To rebuild muscle, eat protein. Carefully add small amounts of high quality protein to your post-fat diet. Protein takes effort to digest, so don’t start with meat.
Lean protein includes beef, chicken, pork, salmon, tuna, and whole eggs. Quinoa, chia seeds, seitan, and of course, beans are excellent sources of quality plant-based proteins. Plant protein is every bit as healthy as meat protein.
Coddled eggs show up in old cookbooks as excellent invalid food, so adding eggs to your post-fasting meals is a good idea. In fact, to coddle (pamper) may come from the cooking of coddled eggs.
Whole eggs are high in protein, vitamins, anti-oxidants, and minerals. Eat a boiled or poached egg post-fast for a quick shot of healthy nutrients. Don’t worry about cholesterol as recent studies show that eggs do not increase cholesterol.
Fasting is popular for many reasons. Before you fast, talk to your doctor. After you fast, gently reintroduce your body to food by starting with fresh fruit or freshly prepared fruit juice. Don’t go overboard eating. You’ll make yourself sick.