The Daniel Fast is a partial fast based on the Biblical story of Daniel’s refusal to eat the king’s diet, as well as Daniel’s spiritual experiences. This is the model for the foundational principles of what you can eat on the Daniel Fast. The foods to eat on the Daniel Fast are rooted in the Bible. These foods are whole plant foods in their most natural state.
The Bible states on two occasions that Daniel fasted and “ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth” (Daniel 10:3). He also said, “and let them give us vegetable (pulses) to eat and water to drink” (Daniel 1:12). Most interpret these scriptures to translate to Daniel’s plate including only delicious and nutritious whole plant foods in their most natural state.
Let’s talk a little about what doesn’t make it to Daniel’s plate before we address what is included.
Foods Not Included in the Daniel Fast
Not included in the Daniel Fast are any animal products or processed foods containing preservatives, added sugar, or oils. This includes all meat, dairy, eggs, and their related products (e.g., cheese, mayo, yogurt, etc.).
Processed foods do not make it to Daniel’s plate. A simple way to judge whether something is processed is to identify if there is anything bad added or anything good taken away from your food. This will help you identify preservatives, sugars, and oils to avoid. Sticking to food in its most natural state is your best guide.
Lastly, leavened bread, caffeine, alcohol, and fried food did not make it to Daniel’s plate either.
A wonderful aspect of the Daniel Fast is that you are physically detoxing while spiritually recharging. When you’re fasting from pro-inflammatory foods and digging deep into prayer and devotional time with God, the Daniel Fast facilitates a reset in your life. Like Daniel, millions of people around the world can attest to experiencing the power that whole plant foods have on the body and the spiritual alignment that comes through devotion and prayer.
Foods You Can Eat on the Daniel Fast
So now that you know what not to eat on the fast, let’s get to the main foods you can eat on the Daniel Fast:
You’ll enjoy a rich variety of vegetables, mushrooms, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, herbs and spices.
The good news is that you can eat all the vegetables you want as long as they are unprocessed and not fried. This is exciting because vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It’s no wonder Daniel and his friends were ten times stronger than his peers. Your choices range from starchy vegetables like potatoes or winter squash to greens, mushrooms, and onions.
The Daniel Fast allows God’s sugar to fuel the body. This is the natural sugar in whole fruits. You can eat fresh or frozen fruit. Don’t let the sweetness of fruit fool you! Studies have shown that we can extend our lives by years just by increasing the amount of fruit we eat each day.
Intact Whole Grains
These are whole grains that have not been processed in any way. Check the label: whole grains when bought should only have one ingredient. This category includes brown rice, barley, wheat berries, quinoa, kamut, teff, farro, and oat groats, plus steel cut and rolled oats.
Legumes are beans, lentils, and peas. Once you start looking, you will find that there are so many types of beans out there to choose from. Beans are associated with weight loss and (because of their high fiber content) controlling blood sugar levels. People who live the longest around the world all have beans on the menu.
Nuts and Seeds
All raw nuts and seeds are allowed. This includes cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia, and flax seeds, to name a few. Part of the fun is that you can easily make delicious milk substitutes from many of these!
Fresh and Dried Herbs and Spices
On the Daniel Fast, you are still able to spice up your life with flavorful herbs and spices. Enjoy cumin, cilantro, parsley, coriander, curry powder, thyme, rosemary, basil, turmeric, cayenne, and so much more.
Minimally Processed Foods
This includes products like tofu, frozen fruit, frozen vegetables, tempeh, corn tortillas, whole wheat pasta, canned beans, nut butters, carbonated water, and freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices—so long as none of these have added sweeteners, oil, or preservatives.
If you haven’t noticed the pattern already, the Daniel Fast centers around foods that nourish and edify the body. So now that you are equipped with what foods you can eat on the Daniel Fast, take the next step and join this movement to change your health and your spiritual life. We offer a complete program to pair spiritual growth with bodily cleansing and health, as well as support. Want recipe ideas? Check out Daniel’s Plate.
Take some time in advance to explore these foods and gain familiarity with them to help you prepare for the fast. Also, if you are a heavy caffeine drinker, try reducing your intake over a few days before you start the fast to minimize withdrawal headaches. If you are on medication or under medical supervision, please check with your healthcare provider before starting this or any fast.
Want a downloadable PDF of the Daniel Fast Food List?
Learn more about the purpose of the Daniel Fast.