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The Benefits of the 24-Hour Fast

My health tip for today goes a little against the kind of information that’s being spread in the mainstream. It is:

“Once in a while, fast for 24 to 36 hours to ‘reset’ the system”

There are lots of benefits to fasting, but that’s not what I’m going to talk about today.

What I want to talk about is how an occasional 24 to 36 hour water fast can be beneficial.

Very often, you’ll hear that we must *never* skip a meal.

“Skipping a meal” is bad, they’ll say.

Yet, fasting periodically has been an important part of most main religions. In the Bible, there are at least 12 different references to fasting.

One of the main advocates of fasting, Paul Bragg (who also called himself a “life extension specialist”), had the habit of fasting one day a week for 24 hours.

But that’s not what I recommend.

I think if you “force” your system to fast, you’re going against nature.

Instead, listen to your body.

Occasionally, you’ll feel the need for a short fast. I like to think that it helps to “reset” the system.

But what it does is actually more giving your body a chance to rest, and giving your digestive organs a break.

Here are some signs that could indicate you need to give your digestion a break by going on a short fast (but of course, use common sense. If you have a medical condition, ask your physician about this):

– You lack hunger. Food is not appetizing
– You feel a lack of energy
– You feel headaches and a general state of imbalance
– You feel “out of it” and natural foods such as fruits and vegetables are not appealing to you

When that happens, you can try a short fast. There’s nothing like this to restore your “joie de vivre” and get back on track.

NOTE: A good alternative to fasting is to go on a detox diet. This is something I do routinely. Once a week, I go on a “detox” day, and a few times a year, I go one a one-week detox diet.

Raw Vegan Mentor Club

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.


Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.