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Partial Fasting
for Cleansing and Detox

While milder than other types of fasting, partial fasting does offer the same benefits of healing and cleansing of the body. The speed at which detox occurs can be slower, but that also means it will be more comfortable.

There are lots of terms used in relation to partial fasting: selective fasting, modified fasting, fasting diet, cleansing diet, single food fast, one-food diet, and mono-diet are some you'll run into.

Since some of the more intense fasting methods, like water, aren't appropriate for all people, at all times (read the Who Can Fast page for more information), partial fasting may sometimes be the better choice. The intensity of a partial fast will vary according to which type you use. They can be just as intense as liquid fasting or as mild as eating a regular diet.

As opposed to dry fasting and liquid fasting, partial fasting includes some solid food--from a very little to quite a lot, as it's not the amount of food but the exclusion or limitation of certain foods that makes it a partial fast. For instance, the Daniel Fast (see below) is actually a well-rounded diet encompassing complete and normal nutritional levels. On the other hand, a mono-diet apple fast consists of just a few apples per day.

Calling the eating of normal quantities of solid foodstuffs a "fast" is a bit of a mis-use of the original term; regimens like the Daniel Fast would more accurately be called "diets". But modern language has developed the term "partial fasting" or "selective fasting" to refer to these regimens.

Even a partial fast with normal nutritional levels, such as the Daniel Fast or a cleansing diet, can be very cleansing and detoxing when it eliminates chemicals, processed foods, and "dead" foods, and replaces them with nature's living foods.

Mono-diets provide for rest and healing

A mono-diet, eating just one food for a length of time, has the additional benefit of providing rest to the digestive organs, same as a more traditional liquid/water fast does, only to a slightly lesser extent. On a mono-diet, the intestinal system only needs to provide a limited number of enzymes to break down the food, therefore the most easily digested foods make the best candidates.

That's why fruit and rice have been used for this purpose for centuries. As long as "feasting" doesn't occur and quantities are kept to a minimum, for example, 3-4 apples per day or 3 cups of cooked rice per day, the digestive system is afforded a rest and healing and rejuvenation can occur.

See here for common lengths of time to fast.

Other time frames that can be used for partial fasting can be found at this page about intermittent fasting.

Some of the most common partial fasts:

  • One-fruit fast — examples are apple fast, grapefruit fast, grape fast or "grape cure", and melon fast
  • Any-fruit fast -- any fruit may be consumed, but the diet is limited to fresh fruit
  • Fruit and vegetable fast -- if you limit your intake, this is more of a fast, but if you eat the fruits and vegetables to satiation, it becomes similar to what is called a "raw food diet", which is still highly cleansing and healthful.
  • Brown rice fast -- practiced for centuries, a rice fast can be very calming, grounding and warming; other grains can be used. The yogic kitchari cleanse is a form of rice fasting.
  • Cleansing diet, detox diet -- these eliminate the worst of our food choices, like processed foods, microwaved foods, possible allergens and irritants, and instead stick to the most natural and wholesome ones. The quantities allowed can be minimal or more generous, depending on your situation. Highly comfortable to perform and a great way to create new, better eating habits, promoting long term lifestyle changes.
  • Daniel Fasting--refers to the stories of Daniel in the Bible. There are three different fasts he underwent, but the one referred to as "Daniel Fasting" is actually similar to what we now call a Mediterranean diet--excluding rich foods such as meat, wine, and other delicacies in favor of more wholesome foods, like grains, vegetables, and fruit--very much what holistic practitioners have been recommending for a long while now.

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Helpful Topics

Intermittent Fasting offers several unique methods for integrating regular fasting into your life.

Liquid Fasting lists some of the options for doing a liquid-only fast, including broth and milk.

Cleansing Diets offers guidance on using a cleansing diet as a partial fast or as a means of preparation for other types of fasting.

Fruit Fast Details how to do a 1-3 day fast with apples.

The real benefits of Fasting for Weight Loss, affecting deep and lasting changes in our lives.

Kitchari for Cleansing Information and recipes for using this healthy traditional Indian dish for a fast or for every day meals.

Emotional Benefits of Fasting offers insight on the healing effects fasting has on our emotional and mental patterns.

Health Conditions Improved by Fasting. See the long list of ailments that are known to respond well to fasting.

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