Why would anyone voluntarily give up food for an extended amount of time? Eating is an automatic response we have as humans, but how many of us actually eat only when we’re hungry? I’m not even going to talk about WHAT we eat. The health benefits of fasting are vast.
I have chosen to do an extended fast as part of My New Year Resolution: Taking Control Of My Health. I have discovered 10 health benefits of fasting that I wanted to share with you.
Fasting has been around since the time of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. Many of the world’s cultures and religions have promoted fasting as a way to boost health and enhance spiritual awareness.
Research related to fasting is limited to mostly animal studies, but the testimonials of people who have experienced the benefits of fasting are quite remarkable. These benefits range from increased energy, to elevated mood, to new spiritual awareness.
I have committed that this is going to be the year that I take full control of my health and stop waiting on a practitioner or someone else to lead me to health. I have spent the last 5 1/2 years researching every possible avenue in order to fully recover my health. You can read about my health journey here.
So now, my research has taken me back to the very basics. After spending thousands of dollars on practitioners, medications, and supplements, I am learning that the human body does the healing… not medications or supplements.
Below are 10 health benefits of fasting that are better than any medication, supplement, or practitioner, AND it is free!!!
10 Health Benefits Of Fasting
1) Boosts Your Metabolism
While you are fasting, your fatty tissue produces a hormone called leptin which is responsible for how full we feel among other things. Leptin levels drop which eventually decreases leptin resistance. Increased leptin sensitivity also increases thyroid hormone production which increases metabolism which makes us more efficient fat burners.
2) Increases Insulin Sensitivity
Another health benefit of fasting is increasing insulin sensitivity. Since you are no longer filling your body with calories most of which are sugar or turn to sugar, then your body doesn’t have to produce as much insulin. This leads to increased insulin sensitivity in those who are on their way to insulin resistance. You can read about how to reverse Type 2 Diabetes through fasting here.
3) Improves Cardiovascular Health
According to a study that was done in Salt Lake City, Utah where 2/3 of the residents are Mormons and fast once a month, periodic fasting may reduce risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
“People who fast have lower rates of coronary disease, and fasting was associated with a lower prevalence of diabetes,” says study leader Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City.
4) Protects From Cancer
While you are fasting, your body produces less IGF-1, a hormone that helps cancer cells multiply rapidly throughout the body. This decreases your chances of having intractable tumor growth and spread. So, not only does fasting help cleanse the body of the resources that cancer needs to grow, it also inhibits the hormones that help it take over.
5) Slows Aging and Enhances Longevity
There are very few studies regarding fasting and longevity in humans, but how fasting affects aging and longevity in animals is well established. Better blood composition enhances better aging and longevity alone. There seems to be a correlation between cultures who fast regularly and longevity.
6) Decreases Inflammation
Another health benefit of fasting is decreasing the inflammation which is at the core of most diseases. Not only does fasting decrease inflammation through eliminating food triggers, it also balances hormones that can cause oxidative stress. Several studies have found that decreased insulin levels and increased insulin sensitivity lower oxidative stress from free radicals.
7) Drives Out Parasites
Parasites are one of the least recognized underlying causes of many mystery illnesses. They don’t just live in third world countries. They are everywhere. If you have a pet, walk outside barefoot, eat raw food, eat meat, shake hands with someone, then you most certainly have them. They are also extremely difficult to get rid of. They love to eat what we love to eat and usually end up taking the nutrients out of our food and leaving us with very little. Fasting takes away the food that they love so much and provides an inhospitable environment for them. They are much easier to kill and expel if they are starving. Many will leave on their own. However, getting rid of parasites is a long and involved process.
8) Improves Cell Recycling
We all have dead cell material floating around in us, both ours and from foreign invaders like pathogens. If these are left unchecked then they can damage tissue and contribute to diseases. When we fast, it sends our body into cell recycling mode in a process called autophagy where the body selects the damaged cell material and eats it while protecting the healthy cells.
9) Protects Your Brain
Fasting causes our bodies to switch from burning sugar for fuel to burning fat for fuel. After about 4 days of fasting, the body starts to produce it’s own energy source for neurons called ketones. Fasting may also increase the number of mitochondria (cell’s powerhouse that makes energy) in neurons improving memory and learning.
10) Stimulates Stem Cell Regeneration
A study published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California showed that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and, moreover, induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal, triggering stem cell based regeneration of an organ or system. WOW!!!
These are just a few of the health benefits of fasting. Fasting is like hitting the reset button on your body! It starts a deep cleansing of all of the old things that need to go and regeneration of new healthy cells to rebuild what’s been broken.
Why are doctors not recommending this? It’s simple and produces SO many health benefits. These are just a few of the health benefits of fasting! AND, it actually SAVES you time and money unlike most therapies.
I have embarked on an extended fast and will write about my experience soon! How about you? Have you ever used fasting as a healing therapy? If so, what was your experience? I would love to know!
Also, we have a lively Facebook Community where we discuss the latest health information, recipes, safe skincare options and more. We’d love to have you! To protect your privacy, it’s a closed group, so just request to join, and I’ll approve you asap!
Here are more articles that you may enjoy: