In a recent post, we discussed the spiritual benefits of fasting. Today we want to talk about why fasting can be beneficial physically as well.
There are literally hundreds of benefits of fasting from food for a duration of time.
Fasting helps the body recover from small ailments and areas of weakness since the body has time to fix them before the next onslaught of food comes in. The body needs all its power to transform the food into nourishment while removing the toxins and disposing of the waste. If you look at a waste management facility, you can see the work involved in turning your household waste into something that is more environmentally friendly and less toxic.
Your body has an even more difficult job with the foods and drinks you consume. Not only does it have to filter out all the toxins that are inherent in them, but the food itself must be broken down to a level that the cells can utilize it. There is no machinery in the world that is as complex as the human body. This process is so efficient that it may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to break down the foods so the body can use it properly and whisk away the waste and the toxins.
This daily ritual of eating, drinking and pooping is what makes the body stay healthy, yet, it is a rigorous undertaking. When a person chooses to fast, perhaps on juices only for a period of time, it’s as if they are giving their digestive system a little vacation. The nutrition from the juices will adequately sustain their energy levels, as well as continue to assist the creation of new, healthy cells and dispose of the cellular waste—all without taxing the digestive system. This allows the NK (natural killer) cells the luxury to begin to work on areas of the body that have been neglected due to constant food manufacturing processes each day, all day long.
While it is important to eat, it seems to have become over-rated through the years. Dr. Joel Fuhrman said it so well in a title of one of his books, “Eat to Live!” We have grown as a country that has chosen to “Live to Eat,” and that is why our poor bodies have begun to wear out prematurely.
What are the Top 10 Health Benefits for Fasting?
- Lose Weight and Belly Fat
- Give Your Digestive System a Break
- May Improve Sleep Pattern
- Breaks Bad Eating Habits and Improve Eating Habits
- Improves Insulin Sensitivity
- Can Reduce Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in the Body
- Improves Blood Fat levels
- May Help Lower Triglycerides
- Causes the Body to create more Human Growth Hormone (which slows the aging process)
- Speeds Up Your Metabolism
How long should you fast?
Some people choose to do a one day juice fast each week. Some people have chosen longer fasts—3 days, 7 days, even 40 days. The longer juice fasts can be quite helpful for some health concerns, but they can also bring about other health concerns so you may want to do a little more research before setting out on a multi-week fast.
Can you eat anything during a fast?
There are several ways to fast and not all of them are safe.
Technically a true fast doesn’t involve consuming solid food at all. They are strictly liquid—primarily juices.
I don’t ever recommend water fasting because the body goes without nutrition for too long and despite some stories of success, there are more risks associated with this type of fasting and there are just as many stories of people becoming even more ill.
Dr. Mercola is a strong proponent of something called Intermittent Fasting, where, essentially you eat your final meal early in the evening and you don’t consume anything else until mid to late morning.
I have found my greatest success is juice fasting all day and eating a salad in the evening. This allows me to continue my walking regimen, or bike riding or other physical activity I want to continue but need the extra energy to complete it.
Another fast that has worked for me has been using a combination of smoothies and juices throughout the day. The smoothies are nutritionally dense and with the added frozen avocado (to replace the banana), it creates a satisfying solution that will last for several hours.
In the winter when it is cold, I tend to fast on vegetable juice and vegetable broth based soup.
As we stated earlier, there are many more benefits of fasting. If fasting isn’t for you – just eat carefully each day, and always walk away from the table before you are satiated. Chances are likely, you will maintain your health in a powerful way, especially if you stay hydrated with quality vegetable juices.
It isn’t always necessary to fast for long periods of time, but since life is full of toxins anyway, the idea of fasting is almost always a good idea, if only to give your body a break.