Intermittent Fasting and the Role of Juices in the Diet
If you are a fitness enthusiast or have been scouting for viable weight loss programs, you are likely already familiar with intermittent fasting (IF). This fasting method has been trending for a long time now also because of the level of flexibility it offers. And the benefits of IF are not unknown. IF plans comprise an eating window and a fasting period. While IF doesn’t restrict your food choices, you must eat healthy during the eating period to make the most of this fasting routine.
Off-late juices have emerged as a popular inclusion in intermittent fasting regimens. So, for all those ready to explore more about the variety of juices and the pros of including them in your IF diet, here’s a comprehensive guide at your fingertips. For readers new to IF, we’ll start with a brief on how it works before delving into the magical juice recipes you must try.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?
Intermittent fasting comprises switching between periods of voluntary fasting and eating. You can practice intermittent fasting daily by segmenting your days into eating and fasting windows. Other forms of IF include fasting on certain days of the week while consuming a regular diet for the rest of the week. The popular weekly IF methods include the 5:2 and Eat Stop Eat. The eating window is usually shorter than the fasting periods in IF patterns that involve fasting for certain hours a day. For instance, you have the 16:8 IF diet, where you can eat in an eight-hour window and fast for 16 hours. Similarly, you have the 12:12, 14:10, and other patterns.
So, how does intermittent fasting work? While IF, your body begins burning fat for fuel once it is in a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic process in which your body breaks down fat cells for energy instead of glucose. This simultaneously results in the release of ketones in your bloodstream due to a lack of insulin. So, most IF routines aim to reduce your overall calorie consumption so you can enter a state of ketosis. This can help with weight loss, appetite control, improvement of hormone functions, and cardiac health. 
Why Should You Keep a Check on What You Drink While Intermittent Fasting
Consumption of any extra calories, fats, proteins, or carbohydrates during the non-eating window can interfere with your IF goals. As IF can be beneficial in lowering insulin resistance and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, including any form of high-calorie beverages can trigger insulin responses in the body and negate most of the benefits you seek from IF. Moreover, since you are at risk of mild dehydration when fasting, you must monitor the quantity and type of liquids you consume to ensure you stay hydrated without fuelling your body with excessive calories.
How To Improve Overall Health with Juices
With all the health benefits it has to offer, you should try IF. While the fasting window does not allow calorie intake, you can drink healthy juices in the feeding window to suit your nutritional needs, taste, and preferences. Vegetables and fruit juices are packed with essential nutrients. Fruit juice contains active components that can contribute to your health and decrease the risk of several chronic health issues, including cardiovascular disease. They also contain polyphenols that have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. Beetroot, celery, apple, and cucumber are a few popular fruit and vegetable juice ingredients.
Fruits and vegetables contain fermentable fiber. These contribute to prebiotic activity. High fiber intake is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular diseases. It can also decrease the risks of type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. The oligosaccharides content in the fiber of fruits and vegetables are transported to the colon, where it gives energy to the gut bacteria. Hence, dietary fiber consumption can play a significant role in improving your gut health. Some studies reveal that juices have a pre-biotic impact on your gut, enhancing some of the benefits of IF. Intermittent fasting has been linked with positive impacts on the gut microbiota. Hence, the consumption of juices can further improve gut health. [2, 3]
Before sharing recipes, let’s look at the basics of juicing and how it can work with IF.
What is Fruit Juicing?
Juicing involves extracting juice from fruits and vegetables, where the pulp is crushed until it turns into liquid, leaving only the fiber behind. You can extract fresh fruit juices at home using a juicer. Your juice of choice while fasting should contain all the micronutrients you intend to seek from the selected vegetables and fruits.
Some of the benefits of juices on your body include the following:
1. Allows Your Gut to Rest
While fiber benefits your body, juices are lighter on the stomach as they need less time to digest than whole fruits or vegetables. Since juicing removes the fibers from the fruits and vegetables, it can allow your digestive system some rest.
2. Improves Gut Microbiome and Triggers Weight Loss
As discussed earlier, fruit and vegetable juices improve your gut health and provide essential macro (carbohydrates) and micronutrients. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of several bioactive components, even in their juice form, making them a good source of phenolic compounds. The bacteria in your colon break down polyphenols into smaller compounds, improving the presence of bacteria in the gut microbiome.
Advantages of Juicing
While eating whole fruits while fasting may provide more nutritional value, some studies indicate that fruit juices are equally nutritious.  Your glass of juice isn’t free of calories, but you can be assured that they have fewer calories than your creamy smoothies and beverages with added sugars. Fresh home-pressed juices can replace high-calorie snacks during your IF feeding period. As juices can improve your gut microflora, they can facilitate weight loss, helping your IF goals. [5, 6]
Another advantage of juices is that they are nutrient-dense. A glass of juice may have more than one fruit, making it a convenient option for individuals who dislike eating whole fruits.