My Top 5 Reasons to Practice Fasting
We’re on day three the Fall Detox, with the juice fast just around the corner. We stay fed during the detox, with sufficient caloric intake even during the juice fast. This is intentional because I want to set us up for SUCCESS. We ARE practicing intermittent fasting however, by breaking from everything but water for 12 hours a day. I try to be done with dinner by 7:00 pm so that by 7:00 am I am ready to ‘break-fast’. This week I highlight some of fasting’s AMAZING and EVIDENCE-BASED benefits. If you’re interested in promoting longevity, supporting immunity, and enhancing your cognitive capabilities, READ ON!
What you eat and how much of it you eat are key factors in determining diseases related to the aging process. Restricting calories and food intake has been shown to promote positive changes in the body that affect oxidative damage and inflammation (both of which underlie most disease), optimize energy production, and protect your cells. Fasting is the most extreme form of dietary restriction and it entails abstaining from all food, but not water. In humans, fasting had beneficial effects on insulin levels, glucose levels, inflammatory markers, and blood pressure (1).
My Top Five Reasons to Practice Fasting:
Enhances lifespan: When yeast were switched back-and-forth from nutrient-poor to nutrient-rich water every 48 hours, not only did their lifespan increase but they became better able to withstand stress.
Promotes organ regeneration: This one is super cool. Mice that underwent fasting conditions, had a reduction of weight in their kidney, heart, and liver. After the refeeding phase, their organs increased back to ‘normal’ size. After some tests and such, it was concluded that re-feeding phase of fasting can REGENERATE THE LIVER! Issues of elevated liver enzymes comes across my desk pretty regularly; fasting is a tool for addressing this.
Enhances cognitive performance: Mice that were fed fasting mimicking diets for two weeks at a time, had improved measures of short and long-term memory. These cognitive improvements were attributed to NEURAL REGENERATION; fasted mice had an increased amount of immature neural cells in the brain (cells that become working nerve cells). This is important because a human adult’s ability to generate new nerve cells plays an important role in learning and memory.
Decreases inflammation: We know that inflammation can play a role in many diseases, including cancers. Mice that underwent fasting conditions had less inflammation throughout their bodies. Further, there was a 20% reduction in cases of dermatitis; a common inflammation of the skin.
Weight loss: Fasting has shown to lower the percentage of visceral fat in humans; particularly the fat deposited around the abdomen. This type of weight loss can alter the hip to waist ratios which is an associated risk for metabolic disease.
Thanks for reading! I hope this inspires you to live your healthiest life.