Adventist Church across South America will be meeting in prayer [Photo Courtesy of the South American Division]

South America

What Is Fasting, for What Is It, and How Should It Be Done?

Get to know the guidelines and menus prepared by nutritionist Araci Teixeira for a healthy fast

Brazil | Jenny Vieira, with information from Araci Teixeira

On May 1, the Seventh-day Adventist Church across South America will participate in a consecration and restoration program. It will be a Sabbath of fasting and prayer for struggling families, the sick, and the search for the Holy Spirit. During the day, in addition to fasting and prayer, members will be encouraged to do good deeds, helping those most in need, as the Bible commissions.

Is this not the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?” (Isaiah 58:6, 7, NKJV).

This is true fasting, more so than abstaining from food. However, that still has its importance. Quitting eating throughout the day can be challenging for some. Therefore, nutritionist Araci Teixeira highlighted some tips so the lack of food is not harmful to health and fasting is done correctly. Check out the article below:

What is fasting, for what is it, and how should it be done?

Everything God has provided for us has a purpose, and one of those provisions is fasting. This practice makes the mind clearer through the rest of the digestion work. Science has proven several benefits of fasting, including better cognition and clearer and more logical thinking. Most of these proofs are among people who carry out this practice, such as Seventh-day Adventists Christians.

Ellen White, an American author, speaks of the importance of giving the body rest through fasting. “Fast for a short time, and give the stomach chance for rest. Reduce the feverish state of the system by a careful and understanding application of water. These efforts will help nature in her struggles to free the system of impurities”(Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4A, p. 133, 134).

Fasting is refraining entirely from solid foods, though may include pure water, water with lemon or green teas, and juices without any type of sweetener. Making use of fruits and juices is a restricted way of eating and not fasting, per se, but there are still immense benefits.

Below is a proposal with fruits, juices, and/or oilseeds as an option or for those who cannot do a total fast:

Fruits and/or juices can be consumed every three hours, from one to, at most, three different options every hour:

  • SWEET FRUIT: banana, açaí, red apple, pear, fig, papaya, earl fruit, araticum, persimmon, purple grape, dried fruit.
  • SEMI-ACIDIC FRUITS: peach, mango, carambola, pomegranate, apricot, acerola, blackberry, cajá, fig, green apple, green grape, guava, cherry, jackfruit, guava, nectarine, jabuticaba, Persian lime.
  • ACIDIC FRUITS: orange, tangerine, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, strawberry, raspberry, passion fruit, cherry, siriguela, loquat, tamarind, raspberry, cashew, tangerine, plum, cupuaçu.
  • OLEAGINOUS FRUITS: Avocado, coconut, hazelnut, Brazil nut, apricot, walnut (they are neutral and can be used with any fruit).
  • MONOPHAGEAL OR HYPERHYDRIC FRUITS: Watermelon and melon should be eaten alone.

You can combine semi-acidic with sweet and acidic. The ideal is not to mix sweet with acidic, as it can cause digestive discomfort and gas.

Suggested for every three hours, which can be changed according to the preference and disposition of your region, are the following combinations:

First hour

  • Banana, blackberry, and avocado
  • Papaya, carambola, and coconut
  • Pear, jabuticaba, and chestnuts or walnuts

Second hour

It may be a juice of one or two fruits or just one whole fruit:

  • Pineapple or pineapple juice
  • Orange or orange juice
  • Lemon juice or kiwi

Third and fourth hours

You can repeat the first suggestion or the second, changing the combinations or even consuming either melon or watermelon.

Juice suggestion:

Cabbage, pineapple, and lemon juice

Ingredients :

  • 1 slice of pineapple
  • 2–3 kale leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 glass of water
  • Optional: ginger (two rings) or mint leaves


  • Beat the pineapple kale in a blender
  • Add the lemon juice
  • Drain all juice, strain, and drink (if tolerated well, drink without straining)

Pay attention to the portions:

Remember it is a fasting program, and the consumption of fruits and juices is an alternative. Therefore, consumption should be moderate, up to two servings.

How do you eat after totally fasting?

After the fasting time, be it 12 or 24 hours, it is necessary that the food is introduced gradually, giving preference to the most natural, always starting with vegetables, fruits, or salads, so as not to harm the organism.


When returning to eat at breakfast, it is advisable to start with sweet and/or semi-acidic fruits, accompanied with carbohydrates such as oats, tapioca, wholemeal bread, quinoa porridge, or granola. You should also have protein sources, such as almond milk, peanut butter, mayonnaise, or cashew nut paste, chickpea paste (hummus), lentil hamburger/chickpeas/beans.

Good fats such as coconut milk (preferably homemade) mixed with cocoa or bananas or sweetened with stevia or another natural sweetener (xylitol, erythritol, thaumatin, honey), coconut yogurt, avocado, nuts, sesame seeds, flaxseed, or chia in the form of flour, sunflower seeds.

Breakfast suggestion

  • 1 banana and 1 slice of chopped papaya with 2 tablespoons of oats, plus 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds and a tablespoon of flaxseed flour
  • 1 glass of warm coconut milk or lemon balm tea (fennel, chamomile) or other vegetable milk or fruit juice
  • 1 lentil hamburger with 1 tablespoon of chickpea paste


Start with salad, preferably raw, dark green leafy, lighter green leafy, and other purple, red, white, and orange vegetables and cooked vegetables, which should make up 50% of the dish. It is followed by 25% of cereals: brown rice, natural corn, barley, quinoa, oat flakes, or cornmeal; they have more protein than dothe class of tubers: yam, manioc, mandioquinha, sweet potato, English potato, yam, yacon potato. And finally, 25% of foods rich in protein: beans, peas, chickpeas, tofu, peas.

Lunch suggestion

  • Cabbage or chard, arugula or watercress, cherry tomatoes, grated carrots
  • Broccoli or kale in flower, string beans, zucchini, or sautéed okra (you can use more than one vegetable)
  • Brown rice or cooked quinoa or corn flour polenta
  • Beans or lentils
  • Sesame flour or tropeiro chickpeas

Recipe for tropeiro chickpeas


1 cup of cooked and drained chickpeas

4 washed kale leaves, cut into thin strips, or 1 cup of raw broccoli cut into small pieces

2 tablespoons full of cassava flour or flaked corn

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium pepper, chopped

Salt and spices to taste

Green onions to finish

Preparation mode

In a large pan or skillet, place 1 drizzle of olive oil and sauté the garlic and onion. Then add the chickpeas and peppers. Mix well, allowing to sauté a little. Add the cabbage or broccoli, incorporating the salt and spices well. Finish with cassava flour or flaked corn. Finally, add the green onions.


Dinner after a period of fasting should be as light as possible. At most, no later than 7pm to facilitate digestion until bedtime.

Dinner suggestion

1 fruit, preferably semi-acidic or acidic

Toasted wholemeal bread or wholemeal biscuit

Chickpea paste (hummus) or cashews

A maximum of 200 ml of fruit juice

Guidelines to facilitate the fasting day or alternative diet with fruits and/or juices:

  • On the day before fasting, lean toward a higher consumption of raw foods. That way, you won't feel the impact of fasting so much
  • Sanitize the vegetables to be used and store them properly in the refrigerator
  • Preferably, use a centrifuge to make the juices, but if not, use a blender with little water and strain the juice
  • When eating, chew each mouthful well. This way, you will feel less need for food

How about using this practice more often? If you don't already, try it once a week and take the opportunity to improve your diet with more real food, those with which our Creator left us—with an immense variety and multiple forms of preparation!

Nutritionist Araci Cristina Santos Teixeira—CRN 1 14248.

Instagram: @nutri.cristinateixeira


This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site