Fasting for a Day Can Be Healthy
By Paul Rothbart
Fasting is a practice that dates back to ancient times. Many religions include fasting in the rites of major holidays. It's also significant in several cultures. This would seem to make fasting merely a spiritual activity. However, many ancient religions developed practices that were connected to survival and good health. As it turns out, modern science has discovered that there are health benefits to brief periods of fasting. The practice is becoming more popular in recent years and people are benefiting.
It Can Detoxify You
Many foods that people consume are processed. They contain additives and preservatives that get into the body. Some of them are toxic. They are stored along with fat deposits and can cause illness and other health problems. When you fast, your brain reacts instinctively, reading the lack of food as unavailability. It activates stress responses to deal with the situation. First, the glucose in your liver will be burned for energy. In about 12 hours, that store will be depleted and the brain will signal the body to start burning fat stores. Along with the fat, any toxins are also burned. After a fast of a day, your body will clear out a significant amount of the toxic substances, leaving you healthier.
It Aids Weight Loss
When you are fasting, your body is burning fat stores. With reduced fat comes a lower weight and, more importantly, less excess fat makes you healthier. It can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. Research has found that fasting is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.
It Can Boost Your Metabolism
Your digestive system works hard every time you eat. Like any other part of your body, it can get tired. A digestive system weakened from fatigue will not burn fat and metabolize food at top efficiency. Fasting is like a vacation for digestion. Your system rests, gets stronger, and when you start eating again, your metabolism will be faster. This is excellent for overall health and a part of why fasting helps you lose weight.
It Can Boost Your Immune System
Your immune system has the vital tasks of fighting harmful microbes, helping you recover from illness as well as reducing its risk. Fasting triggers the body to regenerate new cells. This includes cells in the immune system. With new cells, it will work more effectively. One study found that a 3-day fast can lead to the regeneration of the entire immune system including a new supply of white blood cells which fight infection.
Fasting is important in many of the world's religions. It can also be a healthy practice. Give occasional fasting a try. You may find yourself healthier than ever.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Santa Rosa, Calif.