|Top 15 scientifically proven health benefits of fasting|
Many people observe fasting as a religious obligation but only few know the scientifically proven health benefits of fasting. Fasting is a good practice, if properly implemented. It promotes elimination of toxins from the body, reduces blood sugar and fat stores. It promote healthy eating habits and boost immunity.
- Fasting Promotes detoxification: Processed foods contain lots of additives. These additives may become toxins in the body. Some of them promote the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Most of these toxins are stored in fats. Fat is burnt during fasting, especially when it is prolonged. And the toxins are released. The liver, kidneys and other organs in the body are involved in detoxification.
- Fasting Rests Digestive System: During fasting, the digestive organs rest. The normal physiologic functions continue especially the production of digestive secretions but at reduced rates. This exercise helps to maintain the balance of fluids in the body. Breakdown of food takes place at steady rates. Fasting, however, does not stop the production of acids in the stomach.
- Fasting Resolves Inflammatory Response: Some studies show that fasting promotes resolution of inflammatory diseases and allergies. Examples of such inflammatory diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis and skin diseases such as psoriasis. Some experts assert that fasting may promote healing of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.
- Fasting Reduces Blood Sugar: Fasting increases the breakdown of glucose so that the body can get energy. It reduces the production of insulin. This rests the pancreas. Glucagon is produced to facilitate the breakdown of glucose. The outcome of fasting is a reduction in blood sugar.
- Fasting Increases Fat breakdown: The first response of the body to fasting is to break down of glucose. When the store of glucose is exhausted, ketosis begins. This is broken down of fats to release energy. The fats stored in the kidney and muscles are broken down to release energy. The Scientific Approach to Intermittent Fasting
- Fasting Corrects high blood Pressure: Fasting is one of the non-drug methods of reducing blood pressure. It helps to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. (Atherosclerosis is clogging of arteries by fat particles) During fasting, glucose and later, fat stores are used to produce energy. Metabolic rate is reduced during fasting. The fear-flight hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline are also reduced. This keeps the metabolic steady and within limits. The benefit is a reduction in blood pressure.
- Fasting Promotes Weight loss: Fasting promotes rapid weight loss. It reduces the store of fats in the body. However, fasting is not a good weight-loss strategy. Reducing fat and sugar intake, and increasing fruits and rest are better measures to achieve weight reduction.
- Fasting Boosts Immunity: When an individual is on a balanced diet in between feasts, this can boost immunity. Elimination of toxins and reduction in fat store also helps the body. When individuals take fruits to break a fast, they increase the body’s store of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A and E are good antioxidants readily available in fruits. They help to boost immunity.
- Fasting May Help to Overcome Addictions: Some authors show that fasting can help addicts reduce their cravings, for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and other substance abuse. Although there are other regimens required to resolve addictions, fasting can play a role.
- Fasting stabilizes your emotions: This happens by detaching from the emotional dependence on food, in addition to removing over-stimulating foods like caffeine, processed sugars, recreational drugs, tobacco and trans-fatty acids — all of which negatively affect our emotions.
- Fasting gives you energy: Fasting gives you a feeling a physical “lightness,” which provides a boost of energy. Another reason for this energy-surge is because, in a normal diet, our body generally converts foods through carbs and sugars. But fasting retrains our body to convert energy from fats, thus boosting our natural energy levels.
- Fasting changes your appearance: Fasting clears the skin and whitens the eyes. It is common to see acne clear while fasting, and the whites of the eyes never look so piercingly clear and bright as they do after fasting. The reason for this is the release of human growth hormone, which has been found to make your skin look younger and more vibrant.
- Fasting improves learning capacity: Research confirms that being in a fasted state improves focus, memory, and ability to comprehend information. Put most simply, fasting improves brain efficiency and effectiveness.
- Fasting restores senses: It’s easy to get addicted to sugary foods. When we do, we stop craving healthy, earthy, and wholesome foods. But fasting restores our appreciation for these delicious flavours. Your taste-buds become electric after fasting and eating healthy foods never tasted so good.
- Fasting increases willpower: Fasting is by far the most sophisticated willpower workout available. If you get good at fasting, you can learn to control every other aspect of your life. If you get good at fasting, you can overcome any addiction, no matter how deeply embedded. Medically, fasting has been found to rapidly dissipate the craving for nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and other drugs.
Pregnant women, nursing mothers, malnourished people, and individuals with cardiac arrhythmias, renal or liver problems are advised not to fast.