Fasting is often considered to be very frightening and difficult practice. Denying the body its energy source seems uncomfortable, unnecessary, and simply unhealthy to many people who don’t have any experience in fasting.
But according to the medical sciences, this conception is far from correct. In fact, fasting is very healthy for both the body and the mind. Regular fasting can lead to a healthier and a happier life.
There are different kinds of fasts: fruit fasts, juice fasts, water fasts, and so on. There is also a wide range of variations in fast length, ranging from one-day fasts to one-week fasts, to 10-day fasts, or even longer. Here are eight reasons to try fasting for your health.
1. Fasting improves the efficiency of your digestive system.
In a normal routine, our digestive system is busy 24 hours. The most important benefit of fasting is that your digestive system finally gets some rest, which helps it recover and become more efficient.
On a normal day, your digestive system usually gets more food than it can process. As a consequence, it prioritises and digests only the most important food elements. The other food parts are saved in cells for later.
The only problem is that it never gets to digest these food parts because it always gets new food to work on first. These stored food elements slowly convert to fat or just rot in the body. Fasting gives the stomach the time to digest all the food leftovers in the body.
2. Fasting helps you cleanse your body.
When the body is not busy digesting food, it starts to clean the undigested fats, toxins, and wastes like excess unprocessed nutrients, dead cells, etc. from the body. This means that when we fast, the body has much more time and energy to spend on healing and recuperating itself.
The body now has the time to detox and repair organs, cells, tissues, and even our largest organ—our skin. The skin is also cleansed and acne is prevented or reduced as a result of fasting.
3. Fasting gives you energy.
Food is usually considered energy for the body. But we must also realize that digesting food also requires a lot of energy. Up to 65 percent of our energy goes to digestion after a heavy meal.
Though most people feel less energy in the beginning of a fast, you will begin to feel lighter, more energetic, and more enthusiastic later on.
4. Fasting improves your perception of food.
Fasting gives you a new perspective on food, hunger, why we eat, and what we eat. You become more aware of yourself and your body, realizing that often you eat something not out of hunger but because you want to satisfy your senses.
This awareness changes your attitude towards food, guiding you towards a simpler and purer diet because you realize that this is the best for your body.
5. Fasting gives you mental stability.
When you are fasting, your attention shifts and you are more aware of yourself and of life around you. You feel more focused and you are able to think clearer. Because you feel lighter and more energetic, you see and appreciate the beauty of everything much more.
6. Fasting helps you manage your weight.
Though weight loss shouldn’t be a main motivation for fasting, it is a nice benefit. When you fast, the body uses stored fat as an alternate energy source, resulting in weight loss.
7. Fasting can slow down aging.
As mentioned before, fasting gives rest to your digestive system. As a consequence, it also improves the metabolism. One of the primary effects of aging is a slower metabolism. By improving your metabolism, you slow down the aging process of the body, and feel and look younger as the result.
8 Fasting can improve your immune system.
During fasting, your body cleanses itself and removes toxins from your body and thus prevents you from getting ill. When animals are sick, they instinctively start fasting to give their body the opportunity to heal.
We humans are the only species who ignore our instinct and follow our senses instead, looking for food even when we don’t need it.
So go ahead and try fasting to see the benefits yourselves. But just a note: it’s a good idea to take some guidance from someone with experience in fasting if you’re a first timer.