Breaking a fast should never be taken lightly. Fasting affects our digestive system in many ways like it reduces the enzyme production and disrupts the mucus lining in our stomach. To bring our stomach back to normal requires a particular strategy. There are certain foods that must not be eaten, to avoid the health-risking situations like diarrhea, stomachaches and nausea. Now the question rises, what to eat after fasting? Here is every must-know detail about foods for breaking a fast.
Timeline for Breaking a Fast
The food items for breaking a fast must be picked according to the length of the fasting time. The longer a fast is, the more you are supposed to be slow in food consumption. Here is a concise outline about the timeline of fasting and picking food in accordance to that.
Note: No matter what the length of your fast is, it should be broken with one or two glass of pure water or fresh fruit juices without extra sugar or artificial flavors. After fasting, body is dehydrated, so before you opt for something to eat, it’s good to drink first.
Fasting for a day: One day fasting does not affect the stomach that much as it normally does in fasting for a whole week or more. So, you can eat whatever you like except junk foods.
Juice fasting for three days: Those who have been juice fasting, should shift to fruits after breaking the fast. It would easily shift your stomach from liquid to solid.
Note: Juice fasting is the best way of getting rid of all the harmful toxins in human body. It guarantees good health.
Fasting for one week: Let your stomach start with fresh juice or broth for the first two days. Then start adding items with each passing day.
Fasting for more than 7 days: For longer fasts, you have to be slower in introducing various food items to your stomach. Restrict the first few days to the very basic edible items, preferably fresh juices or fruits like mangoes, apple and pears.
What Should I Eat after Fasting?
Vegetable or Bone Broth
After a fatiguing fasting process, your body needs energy. Vegetable or bone broth are the most nutritious and easy-to-digest options for breaking the fast on the very first day. Vegetables like spinach, lettuce and sprouts can be used in broth.
Steamed or Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Give it a natural start with a small amount of freshly-picked raw fruits and vegetables. For the first 5 to 6 days after a long fasting, this is the best you can have, till your digestive system reboots again. Spinach, sprouts and lettuce are the best veggies after fasting. Opt for the fruits enriched with water as these are easily digested without any strain on your stomach. In my opinion, water melon, apple and pear should be preferred.
Pineapple, though a watery fruit, should be avoided. As it is a fiber-rich fruit, which is hard for the body to digest.
Juices of citrus should be avoided for breaking the fast. The acidic properties in them may affect your digestive system.
Yogurt, a great source of good bacteria, should also be made a part of your diet plan after fasting. Those good bacteria and enzymes in yogurt, would help rebuilding your digestive system.
Beans and Grains
Incorporating different food items in your diet is very important. Other than fruits and veggies, using well-cooked beans and grains is highly recommended.
Eggs and Nuts
These superbly nutritious food items can be added to your diet from 4th day of fasting to onwards. Remember, eggs should be half boiled, as a softer egg is easy on stomach.
Introduce a Meaty Delight!
There was nothing noticeable for all the non-veg people so far. So, they must be thinking about what to eat after fasting that satisfies their taste buds? Once you have started your food intake with fruits, veggies and beans for about 3 to 4 days, and no health issue has been surfaced, you can move towards some meaty items.
Dos and Don’ts for Breaking a Fast
Break your fast with the lightest food possible. If your food is not digestible, you are surely going to face gastrointestinal problems. Start with one meal a day with juices, for first 3 days, right after fasting and increase that to two to three meals gradually.
Have patience and do not try to consume the food too quickly. Stuffing solid food to a shrunk stomach can cause illness to your digestive system. Eat just half of what your heart desires. Chew slowly. Take a break of about 15 to 20 minutes before eating again, in case, you are still feeling hungry.
Stay vegetarian for about three days after breaking the fast. Fresh leafy food and fresh juices are highly recommended.
For all the alcohol lovers, it is strictly forbidden for about three days after breaking the fast.
Any type of fast foods is a big NO!!!! At least for the first three days.
Once you have broken the fast, opt for a small body exercise. Walk is the best option.
Food items like potato, pasta, bread, refined flour or white rice, should not be on your list of what to eat after fasting right afterwards.
Avoid fatty and starchy foods for breaking the fast, especially in the first week after fasting, as these may cause symptoms like weakness, headache and nausea.
As you travel from lesser to more variety of food, pay heed towards any kind of reactions or allergy that your body undergoes. That means something is terribly wrong with your food intake.
After reintroducing solids in your diet, if you face constipation or irregular bowel movement, leave solids and use more digestive foods like fruits and vegetables.