Benefits of Fasting
Latest Discoveries on the Scientific Benefits of Fasting
When we are not consuming food and giving the body a break from food, we can call it fasting. Cultural or religious fasting may prohibit any type of food or drink consumption and last one day or longer. Intermittent fasting may prohibit consuming food for upto 12 hours.
A juice fast involves drinking juice for either one day or multiple days. The juice acts as the main source of energy and nutrients. Juice fasts can be done as part of an intermittent fast or as a standalone diet for a few days at a time. In a graduated fast, we take ourselves from eating ‘regular’ food to meals that contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, salads and steamed vegetables.
Long before the internet age, when humans were still hunter-gatherers, we had to make do with food that could be collected on the move. The human body has thus evolved to go without food for longer periods of time. Eating 3 meals a day with sugars, fats and the sedentary activities of tv-watching and internet viewing have led to an epidemic of ill-health. To counter this and to move towards good health, fasting may be recommended. Whatever the type of fasting, research from all over the globe is showing its many important benefits.
An article on the website Greatist, contains findings from recent scientific studies enumerating the benefits of fasting. Here are some of them:
Promotes brain health: while not definitive, there is research showing that fasting slows down cognitive decline in mice.
Promotes anti-inflammation: Even shorter fasts of 12 hours over a one-month period can show lower levels of inflammation in the body. If that is the case, imagine what a regular fasting schedule or even a longer fasting period can bring you!
Promotes steady blood sugar: When fasting, the body relies on fat rather than carbs, so that the insulin production decreases. In addition, intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance. This leads to subsequent lower spikes and crashes.
Promotes heart health: Fasting intermittently slashes the levels of LDL. Long-term studies show that regular fasters are 70 percent less likely to have heart problems.
Promotes better mental health: Fasting could have a positive effect on the mind by promoting the availability of feel-good hormones serotonin to the brain.
Another website, The Beet, says that with just 3 days of juice fasting, you can change your gut’s balance of microorganisms. This can be a great boost to the cleaning and eliminating system in the body. It can have a host of benefits that include better digestion, better elimination, higher immunity, and lower levels of depression.
It would be remiss not to mention that research shows that fasting can have ill-effects. The research explains that while there may be some benefits to fasting, it is not all it is cracked up to be. This article explains that claims on detoxification during fasting, better absorption of nutrients and even its help with weight loss are blown out of proportion. It also says that juice fasting for those with kidney stones or diabetes may be ill-advised.
In spite of fasting getting a negative rep in certain circles, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, not to mention the many different long term studies conducted about the effects of fasting – on mice and on humans, which show the many positive impacts that it has on health. A few of them have been mentioned earlier in this article. Let’s make it clear. When going the juice fast path, it is best to take it slow. Take the time to research the best juices for you. Find a group that can support you through your journey. Find a mentor/guide that can truly guide you on your journey.
What research can say is this: Fasting may help you live longer. Fasting promotes cell repair, and could reduce the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. It has positive impacts on your mind. When combined with meditation and exercise, it can truly be life-changing.
If you are not sure and want to give it a try – why not join the Tantric Rejuvenation Retreat from 21 – 25 September 2021? You just might boost your health and live to tell the tale!